AMAZON + NFL + TWITCH + ESPORTS = THE OPPORTUNITY
TNL Take: If you follow me on Twitter you can easily see my Amazon obsession. In the ever changing retail and digital landscape, either you're with Amazon or good luck.
This past Thursday saw a unique collaboration between the NFL and Amazon owned Twitch - not the NFL Amazon Video Thursday night deal but the ability to watch the Falcons vs. Saints game on Twitch for free.
One of the genius elements of Twitch Prime is getting exclusive in game content like Madden card packs on a weekly basis. However as this is based on Amazon Video's deal there isn't the true in game content integration that Twitch has.
I'd be surprised if Amazon would move their NFL content tied to Amazon Video off the platform onto Twitch for free but it does give a peek into what could work for future seasons.
I still believe that Amazon will make a move into the ticketing vertical as it's another area ripe for disruption. In fact, as called out previously, Twitch did use the Ticket Fairy for TwitchCon 2017 tickets.
Purchase an NFL Ticket and get Prime for 6 months for free?
Buy an NFL Ticket and get exclusive in game content?
NFL Ticket purchase via Amazon gives you NFL Thursday night access for Free?
There are many ways this can play out.
Amazon is the #1 US online retailer and Top 10 overall retailer in the world. 1-hour Amazon Prime delivery is magic. Now combine this with the points above.
Buy Amazon NFL Merchandise for exclusive in game content?
Purchase Amazon NFL Merchandise and then receive discount on NFL tickets?
Many more opportunities here as well.
All of this can be tied together for esports as well. While the examples above can drive engagement for Madden competitive gaming, this could easily translate to other titles and genre's.
Amazon recently snapped up the rights to the US Open in the UK and further adds fuel to the speculation that they will be bidding for English Premier League rights as well. FIFA esports anyone?
While there's no league affiliation, the integration of in game content, merchandising and events could translate to Amazon's suite of games to be released from their game studios.
So how did the first NFL game on Twitch perform?
Not so well with ~10K Average Concurrent Viewership for the game.
For perspective, the Madden NFL Club Championship with the Miami Dolphins drew about 1/3 of that viewership...for esports. More than likely it had to with little promotion or marketing vs. the potential lack of audience.
While it may seem that the whole is greater than sum of its parts, this will still require the blessing of any sports league for full integration.
Hopefully that won't be an obstacle.