By: Arin Segal, @arinsegal
Each of us has that person that we want to have lunch with one day. That inspirational figure who we have a burning question for and would give anything to ask that question. Enter PADLOKT, the brainchild of Trent Sydney, Jason Blewitt, Adam Hollioake and worldwide media agency Ogilvy, that gives fans the opportunity to ask these questions. The platform launched in Australia earlier this year, but announced today a slate of UFC talent set to join the athletes from the NBA, NFL, cricket and track and field. The participating talent has their own channel that fans can subscribe to for $1.99 a month, providing unlimited access to that channel’s four types of exclusive content:
• Live Video Q&A– Fans get face-to-face with their idols in fan-fueled, two-way Q&As
• Live Video Broadcast – Fans tune in to the latest feed from their idols
• News Updates – Fans keep up to date with the latest news and activity
• Video Archive – A range of exclusive video content, available any time
Members of Front Office Sports team had the opportunity to try out the platform’s Live Video Q&A with Packer’s wide receiver Randall Cobb. A mix of Packers fans, sports business students & professionals joined in to ask a question ranging from, “What do you want your legacy to be,” to discussions about pregame rituals and off season training routines. Following the call, each participant is sent a link to their #ClosestFan moment that they are encouraged to share on social media using the hashtag. You can check out our #ClosestFan moments below:
According to Trent Sydney, managing director and co-founder, the inspiration came from a desire to, “enable fans to have a real connection with their idols in sports, music and entertainment, no matter where they are located.” By using live two way video, the barriers are broken and fans are able to have, “a genuine, real connection and experience between both parties.” The platform is accessible from laptop and mobile devices allowing fans to access conversations from anywhere in the world. In our call we had people joining us from east to west coast and even a few from Australia. PADLOKT also enables the talent participating to show their personalities in a relaxed setting.
Because two of PADLOKT’s co-founders are former professional athletes, there was a deep understanding of the disconnect that still existed between fans and their idols. Sydney says that talent has responded well to the idea of being involved because, “PADLOKT is a safe, secure and moderated platform for them to talk with their biggest fans. Nowhere else offers the two-way experience and the opportunity to sit down and build a real personal connection - not behind a text response, but an actual face to face chat.” What comes next for PADLOKT? The talent pool will continue to grow and as the subscriber base grows, so will opportunities for more unique experiences.
The challenge, however, is to keep the experiences personal as the platform scales. Sydney has no concerns, saying PADLOKT is a global service and it has been built, “to handle our growing subscriber base and a large quantity of live events – happening all around the globe at multiple times. As an example, the platform can stream to up to 10 million viewers of live Q&As at any one time.” With any start-up however, there are always challenges faced as you try to get off the ground and Sydney says the biggest has been turning concept to reality and building the technology to support that concept, “all without losing focus on making the experience as simple and easy to use as possible for all fans from anywhere around the globe.”
Want to get involved? The first live two-way video sessions confirmed as part of the UFC partnership are:
• UFC flyweight champion Demetrious ‘Mighty Mouse’ Johnson (15th Dec, 7PM PST)
• No. 1 ranked UFC light heavyweight Anthony ‘Rumble’ Johnson (20th Dec, 7PM EST)
• No. 5 ranked UFC bantamweight Cody ‘No Love’ Garbrandt (27th Dec, 7PM PST)
• UFC heavyweight champion Stipe Miocic (29th Dec, 7pm PST)
Head on over to www.PADLOKT.com for the latest times and schedules.
Special thanks to Randall Cobb & the PADLOKT team for giving Front Office Sports the opportunity to try out the platform.
Arin is an Associate at Prodigy Sports, a boutique executive search firm located in the Metro NYC area focused on mid-senior level talent in the sports industry. She has a passion for tracing the careers of industry professionals & understanding the unique cultures of sports organizations. Curious about Prodigy's latest opportunities? Send Arin an email at firstname.lastname@example.org.