Sports Streaming Service DAZN Cracked The Code to Young Audiences


Sports video streaming service DAZN recently launched a new live show, ‘ChangeUp’. The idea of the show is not new. It is a daily talkshow with 2 hosts who give baseball fans live updates on all the games.

What is new, is that in pursuit of a younger audience, DAZN has heavily invested in the entertainment factor of the show.

Rather than thinking ‘channel’ and creating strategies for Facebook or Snapchat, the producers of the show got a team of interesting presenters together to create a new, innovative way to entertain a younger generation.

Let’s Learn From DAZN’s ChangeUp

DAZN has succeeded in creating original content to attract and retain millennials on an expensive US$19.99 per month sports channel. Here’s how they did it.

1 DAZN HIRED crazy Hosts who already had a millennial following

The setting of the show is traditional. Two presenters sit in the studio, discussing the games. When something exciting happens in a game, the camera switches to the live action.

What is new? In a bid to attract a younger demographic, the producers have chosen to abort the traditional way of pairing a sports analyst with a seasoned presenter. Instead, they brought in presenters who already had a millennial following.

Notable out-of-the-box presenters of ChangeUp are former HQ Trivia front man and stand-up comedian Scott Rogowsky, and Twitter stars Jake Mintz and Jordan Shusterman.

Mintz and Shusterman started a baseball blog in college, oddly named ‘The Cespedes Family BBQ’. In an interview with The Washington Post they explain the name. It is a reference to Cuban baseball player Yoenis Cespedes. When he came to the US, he sent a workout tape around to teams. Usually these exercise tapes last a couple of minutes, but Cespedes made a 20 minute video where he is also seen roasting a pig at a BBQ. Mintz and Shusterman found this so funny, they named their site after it. Shusterman: “He represented this crazy thing about baseball that we love.

If you don’t get the humor of this, perhaps it’s because, like me, you’re not part of the target demographic 🤷.

2 ChangeUp isn’t afraid of controversy and shakes up conventions

Hosts of baseball shows on television usually wear a suit and a tie. Not so in ChangeUp, where it’s all T-shirts and sweaters.

The laid back attitude goes further than the dress code. The hosts will often talk about subjects that are not related to the game at all.

This causes one critic to complain: “If you’re looking for analysis, ChangeUp is not the place to go. With no former players as part of the regular cast, there aren’t any breakdowns of plays, and the ‘why’ of a play isn’t really covered.

3 They leave room for the unexpected, celebrating dynamic live content

DAZN does get players in the show. Not to analyse the games, but to be interviewed. The interviews are also not only about baseball, and occasionally even cause a live moment in a game to be missed.

What the show lacks in information value, it makes up for in entertainment. It’s irreverent and quirky, and might just turn out to strike that specific note that hooks the targeted audience.

what should we take away from it?

  • Discover what really entertains millennial fans

  • Experiment with touchpoints and timing

  • Invest in getting the tone of voice and the look & feel right

  • Take a tried and tested formula, and put a new spin on it

Further reading:

DAZN's 'ChangeUp': Case Study For MLB's Pursuit Of Younger Fans (Marketing Insider)

‘Cespedes Family BBQ’ creators will host an MLB highlight show for DAZN (The Washington Post)

One thing is for sure about ChangeUp—it isn't for everyone (Awful Announcing)

Anabel De Vetter