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Catching buzzworthy moments that matter

Buzzer puts sports fans where the action is—while it’s happening

Catching buzzworthy moments that matter

When Patrick Mahomes recently led the Kansas City Chiefs to a last-second comeback win in the NFL playoffs, it immediately became an iconic moment in sports history. But in case you weren’t among the lucky millions glued to the TV—or better yet, actually in the stadium—there’s a new app for sports fans that makes sure no one ever misses those big moments. Buzzer, one of Fast Company’s Most Innovative Companies of 2022, is a startup that curates the most exciting moments in live sports, providing a mobile-friendly way to consume content in real time.

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“When you are on Twitter, you can see when an exciting game is trending, but by the time you figure out how to watch the game, the moment may be gone,” says Bo Han, Buzzer’s founder and CEO. “We want to be that last-mile technology connecting the consumer and these live and ephemeral moments in sports.”

NEW MEDIA LANDSCAPE

A generation ago, most sports were watched live on a handful of television channels. Today, the landscape is very different. Media rights have become fragmented across an increasing number of cable and streaming services. A soccer fan might need several subscriptions for their favorite team’s regular games, important tournaments, and Champions League or international matches. As distribution is changing, consumption is shifting too. Many younger consumers are “cord nevers,” less aligned to local teams and focused on following individual players and watching shorter content on social platforms.

“Over the past 20 years, the average age of viewers across sports—with the exception of women’s tennis—continued to rise, with most live sports fans in their fifties and sixties,” Han says. “This is because, even when sports are on TV, Gen Z and Millennials are on their phones. If the viewers of the future don’t watch live sports, that poses a threat to the entire industry.”

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A NEW WAY TO WATCH

Buzzer offers a new way to watch that starts with content curation and personalization. Buzzer lets sports fans track the athletes, teams, and leagues they care about, and provides alerts when pivotal moments are about to happen. The company also leans into growing industry trends like sports betting through partnerships with companies such as FanDuel. If you wager on a basketball game, for instance, the app will let you know when your bet is coming down to the wire and to tune into what Buzzer calls a #BuzzerMoment. “While every #BuzzerMoment is a bettable moment, now every bettable moment is a #BuzzerMoment,” Han says. “Bets are a part of understanding the interests of a full-spectrum sports fan.”

Rather than charging a subscription, Buzzer offers “micro-purchases.” For example, if a game is close entering the final minutes, you could pay to watch only the end of the game to see the outcome. If you have already subscribed to content, the app also acts as an authentication tool, enabling you to watch without any charge, and ensuring an incremental audience and revenue opportunity for partners. It also makes sense for broadcasters and sports teams, since fewer consumers will log on to pirated streaming services to catch a live game.

Buzzer also makes it easy for users to engage through social media or #NBATwitter while using picture-in-picture. The goal, Han says, is to get more people to join in when these amazing sports moments happen: “Buzzer, at the core, is a community product. We are utilizing data to bring people together through sports.”

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FastCo Works is Fast Company's branded content studio. Advertisers commission us to consult on projects, as well as to create content and video on their behalf.

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