OTB Sports (formerly known as Off the Ball) is an Irish media company, comprising a podcast network, website, daily radio show on nationwide broadcaster Newstalk 106-108fm and web-based live digital broadcast. It is on air seven days a week. They have 47,000 daily listeners on-air. Their portfolio of shows include:
- OTB AM
- Rugby with Brian O’Driscoll
- The Football Show
- Live Champions Cup commentary
- Monday + Wednesday Night Rugby
- Live Premier League commentary
- The Hurling Pod
- The John Giles Show
- The Saturday Panel
- The Sunday Paper Review
- Friday Night Racing
- Golf weekly
The OTB brand has a combined social media following of over 433,000 fans across Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and TikTok. Their TikTok account alone has had 5.9 million views.
Emma Carroll is Imaging Producer and Audio and Visual Mixing Manager at OTB Sports and is responsible for the repurposing of the OTB Sports content across podcasts, show promos, and content for social media. Matthew Coughlan is OTB Sports Solutions Manager with Media Central and acts as the link between the OTB Sports content team and the Media Central commercial team. He also responds to brief requests and executes client campaigns.
OTB Sports is now a multi-media brand, it is no longer just a three-hour radio show.
Learning Waves Course
Emma took the Diploma in Social Media for Radio and understood that after the live radio show ends, there’s so much repurposing of content that happens that she wanted to know how social media could be maximised. For Matthew taking the course was to build on previous experience as an account manager in a digital media agency. He really wanted to see how radio and social media combined to create client campaigns.
OTB Sports is a magnet for commercial briefs such is the demand for partnership on their content products.
With a national call for increased participation of women in sport along with an increase profiling of women’s sport in Ireland, OTB Sports felt responsible for taking the lead. Emma says the team made themselves a promise of being a real player on the pitch of championing women in sports, whether that was women commenting on sports on-air, working behind the scenes, and women on the field of play. The COYGIG Podcast was developed as a concept but it needed a sponsor. Matthew and the Media Central team stepped in and saw Cadbury’s as a perfect fit as they were partners of the Irish Women’s National Football Team and there was an existing relationship with OTB Sports.
Matthew & Emma and their colleagues wanted a campaign that would excite the client delight audiences but ultimately profile women in sport.
The big question was, would there be a big enough audience? But we found out very quickly that this was going to be successful because the early social media posts proved the concept.
- In association with Cadbury, OTB Sports created a bespoke podcast tailored to domestic and international women's football.
- The show focused on the Women’s Super League (WSL) with a spotlight on Irish players both at home and abroad.
- Presented by ESPN footballer and writer Kathleen McNamee, Peamount United player and ex-Ireland international Karen Duggan and OTB's Emma Carroll, the team were joined by current Irish footballers.
The primary audience for the COYGIG pod is women aged 18 – 35 who are interested in sport but the development of women's football also means an opportunity to reach a wider, mainstream audience and tap into OTB’s 531k social following.
With 2.1 million digital audio streams a month, it also allows us to leverage the audience who consume podcasts with OTB on a regular basis. This is also a highly social-savvy age demographic, which means we can reach our audience across a variety of touchpoints and test out new, experimental forms of social media content.
- Leverage OTB Sports' full suite of social and digital channels to amplify the COYGIG podcast.
- Each podcast is recorded - repurposed and optimized across all channels. For example, it is live streamed across OTB's Twitter, YouTube and Facebook channels while easily consumable 15 – 30 second highlight clips are seeded out on Instagram (Reels and video), Twitter and TikTok to support.
- The 6 social video trends will be implemented – Native, live, premiere, stories, simulcast and short form epic.
- Client and OTB branding will be visible throughout all content in addition to the name of the podcast
- Each post will tag the guests, Cadbury and the FAI and include hashtags such as #COYGIG in order to gather organic reach.
Campaign Key Performance Indicators (KPIs)
- 1k listens per week
- 3.2k views per week
- 12k impressions
We blew the KPIs out of the water and the podcast exceeded everyone’s expectations.
Advice to Radio Pro Colleagues
“If you get a chance to go a course like this with Learning Waves, the insights are incredible and you get actionable skills that you can implement right away. If we are to develop radio as a medium, we need to understand its potential as multi-platform.” – Emma Carroll, OTB Sports.
“While I’ve only been in radio for over a year, having moved from the advertising agency side, it’s very fast-moving. The course is brilliant in that it broke down best practice, channel-by-channel with bite-size pieces of knowledge that we could implement right away. We had the ability to test as we learned on a weekly basis.” – Matthew Coughlan, OTB Sports