(FinancialPress) — When it comes to Artificial Intelligence (AI), there’s more to life than just IBM’s Watson; much, much more. To that point, advertisers are increasingly becoming aware of the importance of AI in ultra-competitive markets to reach their target audience to gain viewers’ attention and market share. In the sports game, the emerging name in AI is Breaking Data Corp. (BKD.V)(BKDCF), a TSX Venture 50 company and leading provider of a variety of AI services, such as semantic search, machine learning, and natural language processing (NLP). BreakingSports, the showcase app of Breaking Data, utilizes these technologies for fully automated, real-time social media tracking of sports information and events to deliver its users summarized, “as it happens” information through push notifications, building ad revenue along the way for brands and publishers.
Featured in the likes of Forbes, USA Today, Mac Life and iDigital Times, BreakingSports trumpets itself as “The Fastest Sports App in the World.”
In April 2017, Breaking Data planted its flag in the big data space, when the fastest sports app and the biggest single sports publisher on Facebook were brought under the same umbrella, with the Breaking Data merging with Sports New Media Holdings in an all-stock transaction. The primary prize of the acquisition was GIVEMESPORT, one of the leading next-generation sports publishers globally. London-based GIVEMESPORT’s worldwide footprint is underscored by more than 26.2 million Facebook “likes” to its sports page and content that generates over 3.6 billion impressions reaching approximately 138 million unique users every month on Facebook alone.
The breadth of GIVEMESPORT’s domain on Facebook is best put in context when considering that the next largest single sports publisher Facebook page is the venerable sports network ESPN, with 15.2 million fans.
GIVEMESPORT’s industry leading position has not gone overlooked by some of the world’s largest sports organizations, as they seek to reach existing fans and establish new ones through social channels. The firm’s flagship offering is on the news regarding the popular English Premier League, one of ‘soccers most widely-viewed leagues in the world with broadcasts reaching some 200 territories and a potential audience nearing five billion people.
The company also has content partnerships with the National Football League and the National Basketball League, the pinnacle of the two sports, respectively, worldwide. Other partners include: McLaren Racing; UFC, PBR and Miss Universe parent and talent agency giant William Morris Endeavor and its media and event subsidiary IMG; Golding World; and InCycle. Furthermore, the Professional Golfers’ Association selected GIVEMESPORT to broadcast the entire PGA Championship live from Quail Hollow Club in Charlotte, North Carolina last month to GIVEMESPORT’s audience in the United Kingdom on Facebook Live and the GIVEMESPORT website.
More than 1.34 million video streams of the PGA event were reported from the UK and Ireland. A look underneath the headline number showed a meaningful impact in reaching a younger audience, a goal of the PGA that has been difficult to achieve. Nearly 50 percent of the Facebook Live audience was between the ages 18 and 34, with a heavy skew towards men, a step in the right direction for what the PGA wants to see.
The opportunity hasn’t slipped by seasoned marketing veterans either. In July, GIVEMESPORT brought in former VICE Senior VP of Strategy and former Lad Bible marketing director Mimi Turner as Senior Strategy Advisor; VICE Group Account Director Jack Bannerman as joint Head of Commercial Partnerships alongside former LAD Bible Senior Agency Partner Adrian Manian. At the same time, former Daily Mail and Bauer Media head of programmatic Ryan Skeggs was appointed Programmatic General Manager. This group joined a leadership team that was galvanized earlier in the year with non-executive directors including VICE EMEA CEO Matt Elek, former CNN President and CEO Greg D’Alba, former CEO of the Scottish Premier League Roger Mitchell and IMG head of Global Digital Sales Ben Nicholas.
As social media digs deeper into live sports broadcasts, the special AI skills and broad reach of Breaking Data should be in demand. As measured by the recent string of growing quarterly revenue, the effect is already being felt.
On Tuesday, the company released information on the unaudited revenue performance of Sports New Media Holdings during Q1 fiscal 2018, ended June 30, 2017. Total net advertising revenue from GIVEMESPORT during the quarter was US$1.457 million, up from US$959,380 in the year prior quarter.
On a local currency basis (GBP, British Pound), revenue was up 71% from Q1 fiscal 2017 to GBP1.14 million. Looking back at the previous quarters, momentum appears to be growing as the company secured new customers and built its market presence over the past year. As measured in GBP, revenue during the Q4 fiscal 2017 was up 50% from the year prior quarter, following a 21% year-over-year advancement in Q3 fiscal 2017 and 13% improvement in Q2 fiscal 2017 versus Q2 fiscal 2016.
“It’s good to see the GIVEMESPORT team deliver four successive quarters of accelerating revenue growth compared with the same quarters from the previous year,” commented Breaking Data CEO Nick Thain on the latest financials, adding, “This is a trend that we expect to continue in fiscal 2018.”
With GIVEMESPORT climbing now to a rank of the 31st most visited website in the United Kingdom now and #530 in the world, according to Alexa rankings, and increased awareness of the power of AI in marketing, there seems to be little reason to doubt Thain’s prognostication.
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