GQ, the lifestyle publication, successfully found a way to tap into consumers’ passion for sports by developing a brand extension that provides a unique insight into the lives of athletes.

Oren Katzeff, president/entertainment at Condé Nast, discussed this subject at CES 2020, an event held by the Consumer Technology Association (CTA) in Las Vegas.

He reported that GQ Sports, which was introduced in September 2019 and is focused on digital video, carved out a particular niche in a content ecosystem that is awash with sports highlights and opinion.

“We launched a platform and a channel that's all about lifestyle. It's a destination dedicated to the lives of athletes outside of the stadium,” he said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: How GQ Sports rapidly built a new lifestyle-media brand.)

Having already garnered over 50 million views – and more than 4 million hours of viewing time – since launch, GQ Sports has seemingly found a viable brand proposition.

This outcome, for Katzeff, was aided by a slate of consumer insights. “The first part of why we did this was really about the audience and data, looking at the data, interpreting the data, and making decisions based on that data,” he said.

A case in point: “We noticed interesting sports trends on GQ’s YouTube channel that viewers were tuning in … at a higher rate when we had sports content on athletes.”

If sports highlights have a limited – and largely immediate – shelf life, behind-the-scenes content potentially has an evergreen appeal for GQ’s audience, too.

“We wanted to diversify our library content to include more sports programming in the same voice, and in the same style of all the other GQ content that we were doing,” Katzeff said.

Similarly, while sporting clips and opinions are ubiquitous, GQ believed that a clear gap existed in its particular sphere of influence.

“We really saw that there was a void in the market for lifestyle-sports content, and we knew that there's a lot of advertiser demand for it,” Katzeff said.

The proof? “When we launched GQ Sports, we launched with sponsors like BODYARMOR, Jack Daniel’s and Levi's – again, really bridging the gap and creating great content for audience and for advertisers as well.”

Sourced from WARC