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Los Angeles FC returns to MLS with big plans for fan engagement

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As Major League Soccer (MLS) returns to action in the US with the MLS is Back tournament, Los Angeles Football Club (LAFC) has begun delivering new innovative video experiences for fans to connect with the club after soccer’s hiatus.

Using Grabyo, a leading cloud video platform, LAFC is producing and delivering live and real-time video content to engage its fans across all of its digital channels.

As the tournament is being played behind closed doors, LAFC is leveraging Grabyo’s advanced live streaming platform to host pre and post-game live shows on social media, to enrich the experience of following the club and replicate the matchday experience. These shows are highly interactive, encouraging fans to give their opinions and comments for the show’s guests to discuss.

Leveraging the interactive nature of live social broadcasts will drive longer watch times and engagement with the club – as well as connecting fans with a focal point for online support.

LAFC is also giving fans more access to the club than ever before, with player interviews and behind the scenes content from training delivered to its digital channels. The club has also begun hosting pre-game shows on YouTube TV and a live member tailgate on the LAFC app. During the COVID-19 pandemic, fans have responded positively to more raw, personal content from players and broadcasters, a trend that LAFC plans to continue.

Grabyo’s browser-based video production platform enables LAFC’s digital team to deliver live broadcasts and real-time clips remotely from anywhere in the world. The club only needs a skeleton crew to capture content, with a small number of producers working remotely using just a laptop/PC with an internet connection. This ensures its staff are able to work safely without compromising on the quality or quantity of content.

Alongside its soccer content, LAFC will also use Grabyo to produce and deliver more eSports content through its LAFC Gaming arm. The club’s resident eSports player, RemiMartinn, will broadcast live to Twitch using Grabyo’s direct integration with the platform. During lockdown, Twitch has seen a rapid rise in viewership, adding over 2 million new visitors to the streaming site since January and reportedly accounting for over 65% of all video streaming in 2020 Q1.

Christian Lau , Chief Technology Officer at LAFC, comments: “We’re excited to incorporate Grabyo’s industry-leading technology into the LAFC fan experience,” LAFC Chief Technology Officer Christian Lau said. “At a time where we need to be more connected than ever, Grabyo has helped the Club seamlessly transition from our home at Banc of California Stadium to the digital space that is now our reality.”

Mike Kelley, President of Americas at Grabyo, adds: “We’re delighted to be working with LAFC to bring its fans closer to the club at this time of social distancing. The club’s video strategy is executed with the fans at the centre of everything, and this type of fan engagement is where the game is going. Fans are realizing the true value of live social video and appreciate a raw, unfiltered look into the team they follow. This appetite for more access won’t be going away anytime soon.”

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