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Flevy Management Insights Case Study
Global Market Penetration Strategy for an Online Sports Broadcasting Platform


Fortune 500 companies typically bring on global consulting firms, like McKinsey, BCG, Bain, Deloitte, and Accenture, or boutique consulting firms specializing in Design Thinking to thoroughly analyze their unique business challenges and competitive situations. These firms provide strategic recommendations based on consulting frameworks, subject matter expertise, benchmark data, KPIs, best practices, and other tools developed from past client work. We followed this management consulting approach for this case study.

Reading time: 10 minutes

Consider this scenario: A leading online sports broadcasting platform is at a crossroads, needing to incorporate design thinking to overcome stagnation in subscriber growth.

Despite being a pioneer in digital sports content, the platform has seen a 20% slowdown in new subscriber acquisition over the past 18 months, attributed to increased competition and market saturation in its traditional strongholds. Internally, the company struggles with outdated technology and a lack of innovation in content delivery, which has led to a suboptimal user experience. Externally, emerging platforms and traditional broadcasters' digital offerings have intensified the competitive landscape. The primary strategic objective of the organization is to penetrate new global markets while upgrading its technological infrastructure and content innovation to reignite subscriber growth and enhance market competitiveness.



The organization, despite its pioneering status in online sports broadcasting, is facing a critical juncture. The slowdown in subscriber growth signals a deeper issue that may stem from two primary areas: a technology stack that is not keeping pace with industry innovations and a content strategy that needs a fresh infusion of design thinking principles to better meet viewer demands. The leadership is concerned that without addressing these fundamental issues, the platform may continue to lose relevance in a rapidly evolving digital landscape.

External Analysis

The online sports broadcasting industry is experiencing rapid growth, driven by increasing consumer demand for on-demand and live sports content accessible from any device. However, the landscape is becoming increasingly competitive as traditional broadcasters enter the digital space and new platforms emerge.

Analyzing the competitive environment reveals:

  • Internal Rivalry: High, with numerous platforms competing for viewership, leading to increased content acquisition costs and marketing expenses.
  • Supplier Power: Moderate to high, as sports leagues and organizations have significant leverage in content licensing negotiations.
  • Buyer Power: High, due to low switching costs and a plethora of alternatives for consumers.
  • Threat of New Entrants: Moderate, given the substantial initial investment required for content acquisition and technology infrastructure.
  • Threat of Substitutes: High, with free streaming services and traditional TV options still posing significant alternatives for sports fans.

Emergent trends indicate:

  • Shift towards personalized content: Offering opportunities for platforms that can leverage data analytics for personalized viewer experiences but posing risks for those unable to adapt.
  • Increased demand for interactive viewing experiences: Platforms that innovate with interactive features can differentiate themselves, though this requires significant investment in technology.
  • Global market expansion: Emerging markets present growth opportunities, but local content preferences and regulatory hurdles pose challenges.

STEEPLE analysis highlights technological advancements, changing consumer behaviors, and regulatory environments as key external factors influencing the industry.

Learn more about Consumer Behavior Data Analytics External Analysis

For a deeper analysis, take a look at these External Analysis best practices:

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Porter's Five Forces (26-slide PowerPoint deck)
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Internal Assessment

The platform boasts a strong brand and exclusive content partnerships but is hampered by its aging technology infrastructure and a lack of content innovation.

SWOT Analysis

Strengths include brand recognition and exclusive broadcasting rights. Opportunities lie in expanding into new markets and leveraging technology for personalized content. Weaknesses involve outdated technology and a conservative approach to content innovation. Threats encompass rising competition and rapidly changing viewer preferences.

Core Competencies Analysis

The organization has excelled in securing exclusive content and building a loyal viewer base. However, evolving its technological capabilities and adopting a more innovative content strategy are crucial for sustaining competitive advantage.

Distinctive Capabilities Analysis

Distinctive capabilities in content acquisition and a robust distribution network set the platform apart. Enhancing its technology stack and embracing design thinking in content creation could further differentiate it in the market.

Learn more about Design Thinking Competitive Advantage

Strategic Initiatives

  • Global Market Expansion: Focus on penetrating emerging markets with high growth potential in online media consumption. The intent is to diversify revenue streams and reduce dependency on saturated markets. Value creation comes from tapping into new subscriber bases, expected to drive significant user growth. This initiative requires market research, localization of content, and strategic partnerships.
  • Technology Infrastructure Overhaul: Upgrade the platform's technology infrastructure to support 4K streaming, lower latency, and higher user concurrency during live events. This initiative aims to enhance the user experience and enable innovative content delivery formats. Investment in state-of-the-art technology and engineering talent is essential.
  • Content Innovation through Design Thinking: Implement a design thinking approach to content creation and delivery, focusing on viewer engagement and interactivity. This initiative seeks to redefine sports broadcasting by making it more immersive and personalized. It involves collaboration between content teams, technology teams, and viewer feedback mechanisms.

Learn more about Market Research Value Creation User Experience

Design Thinking Implementation KPIs

KPIS are crucial throughout the implementation process. They provide quantifiable checkpoints to validate the alignment of operational activities with our strategic goals, ensuring that execution is not just activity-driven, but results-oriented. Further, these KPIs act as early indicators of progress or deviation, enabling agile decision-making and course correction if needed.


Measurement is the first step that leads to control and eventually to improvement.
     – H. James Harrington

  • Subscriber Growth Rate: Measures the effectiveness of market expansion and content innovation strategies.
  • User Engagement Metrics: Time spent, interaction rates, and content consumption patterns will indicate the success of the new content strategy and technology enhancements.
  • Market Share in New Regions: Tracks the progress of global expansion efforts.

These KPIs provide insights into the strategic plan's impact on subscriber growth, user satisfaction, and market penetration. Continuous monitoring will enable timely adjustments to strategy execution.

For more KPIs, take a look at the Flevy KPI Library, one of the most comprehensive databases of KPIs available. Having a centralized library of KPIs saves you significant time and effort in researching and developing metrics, allowing you to focus more on analysis, implementation of strategies, and other more value-added activities.

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Design Thinking Best Practices

To improve the effectiveness of implementation, we can leverage best practice documents in Design Thinking. These resources below were developed by management consulting firms and Design Thinking subject matter experts.

Design Thinking Deliverables

These are a selection of deliverables across all the strategic initiatives.

  • Global Market Entry Strategy Report (PPT)
  • Technology Upgrade Roadmap (PPT)
  • Design Thinking Framework for Content Innovation (PPT)
  • Financial Impact Model of Strategic Initiatives (Excel)

Explore more Design Thinking deliverables

Global Market Expansion

In pursuing global market expansion, the organization employed the Market Entry Strategy framework and the PEST Analysis. The Market Entry Strategy framework was instrumental in identifying, evaluating, and selecting the most viable markets for entry. It provided a structured approach to assess potential markets based on various criteria such as market size, growth potential, and competitive landscape. The process involved:

  • Conducting a comprehensive market analysis to identify high-potential emerging markets with a growing demand for online sports content.
  • Evaluating the competitive dynamics in these markets to understand the level of market saturation and the presence of local competitors.
  • Selecting target markets based on a scoring model that considered factors such as market size, growth prospects, and alignment with the organization's strategic objectives.

PEST Analysis further supported this initiative by offering insights into the political, economic, social, and technological factors that could impact the organization's success in new markets. This analysis was crucial for understanding the external environment in the selected markets and for tailoring market entry strategies accordingly. The team implemented the PEST Analysis by:

  • Assessing the political stability and regulatory landscape in each target market to identify potential barriers to entry.
  • Analyzing economic indicators such as GDP growth, consumer spending patterns, and digital infrastructure to gauge market attractiveness.
  • Examining social trends, including consumer preferences for sports content and digital consumption habits, to inform content localization strategies.
  • Investigating the technological landscape, particularly broadband and mobile penetration rates, to ensure the platform's offerings would be accessible to the target audience.

The combined use of the Market Entry Strategy framework and PEST Analysis enabled the organization to make informed decisions about which markets to enter and how to adapt its offerings to meet local needs. As a result, the organization successfully entered three new markets within the first year, achieving a 25% increase in global subscribers and establishing a strong foothold in regions previously untapped by online sports broadcasting platforms.

Explore best practices on Market Entry.

Learn more about Market Analysis Market Entry PEST

Technology Infrastructure Overhaul

For the technology infrastructure overhaul, the organization adopted the Value Chain Analysis and the Resource-Based View (RBV) framework. Value Chain Analysis was pivotal in pinpointing inefficiencies within the organization's operations, from content creation to distribution, that were hindering performance and user experience. The team meticulously:

  • Mapped out the entire value chain of the organization's operations to identify bottlenecks and areas where technology was outdated.
  • Identified specific technologies that could address these inefficiencies, such as cloud-based solutions for content storage and delivery networks for faster content distribution.
  • Implemented a phased technology upgrade plan, prioritizing areas that would have the most immediate impact on user experience and operational cost savings.

The Resource-Based View (RBV) framework complemented this by focusing on leveraging internal resources and capabilities to gain a competitive advantage through the technology overhaul. The organization:

  • Conducted an internal audit to identify unique resources and capabilities, such as proprietary content delivery algorithms, that could be further developed or optimized.
  • Allocated resources towards the development of new technologies, such as AI-driven content personalization engines, to enhance the platform's competitive positioning.
  • Reallocated or divested resources that were not aligned with the strategic focus on technological innovation and superior user experience.

By implementing the Value Chain Analysis and RBV framework, the organization was able to significantly improve its technology infrastructure, leading to a 40% reduction in content delivery times and a 30% increase in user engagement metrics. These enhancements not only bolstered the platform's market competitiveness but also positioned it as a leader in technological innovation within the online sports broadcasting industry.

Learn more about Value Chain Analysis Value Chain

Content Innovation through Design Thinking

The initiative to drive content innovation through Design Thinking was supported by the application of the Design Thinking framework itself, alongside the Consumer Decision Journey (CDJ) model. The Design Thinking framework facilitated a user-centered approach to content creation, allowing the team to innovate in ways that deeply resonated with viewers. The process involved:

  • Empathizing with users through interviews and surveys to understand their sports viewing habits and preferences.
  • Defining user personas and their unique needs to tailor content offerings more effectively.
  • Prototyping new content formats and interactive features, followed by testing these concepts with a select group of users for feedback.

Simultaneously, the Consumer Decision Journey (CDJ) model provided insights into how viewers discover, consider, and consume sports content. By mapping out the CDJ, the organization was able to:

  • Identify key touchpoints where viewers sought out sports content, leading to targeted content distribution strategies.
  • Understand the factors influencing viewers' content choices, which informed the development of more compelling and engaging content.
  • Optimize the content discovery process on the platform, making it easier for viewers to find content that matched their interests.

The strategic application of the Design Thinking framework and CDJ model led to the launch of several innovative content formats and interactive features, resulting in a 50% increase in viewer engagement and a 20% uptick in subscription renewals. This initiative not only reinvigorated the platform's content strategy but also reinforced its position as a forward-thinking leader in online sports broadcasting.

Learn more about Consumer Decision Journey

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Key Findings and Results

Here is a summary of the key results of this case study:

  • Entered three new markets within the first year, achieving a 25% increase in global subscribers.
  • Implemented a phased technology upgrade plan, leading to a 40% reduction in content delivery times.
  • Enhanced user engagement metrics by 30% through technological improvements.
  • Launched innovative content formats and interactive features, resulting in a 50% increase in viewer engagement.
  • Achieved a 20% uptick in subscription renewals through content innovation.

The strategic initiatives undertaken by the online sports broadcasting platform have yielded significant results, demonstrating success in global market expansion, technology infrastructure overhaul, and content innovation. The 25% increase in global subscribers and entry into three new markets underscore the effectiveness of the market entry strategy and localization efforts. Technological enhancements have notably improved content delivery times by 40% and user engagement by 30%, addressing previous concerns about outdated infrastructure. Moreover, the introduction of innovative content formats has significantly increased viewer engagement by 50% and subscription renewals by 20%, highlighting the success of incorporating design thinking into content strategy. However, the results also suggest areas for improvement. The focus on technology and content innovation, while successful, may have overshadowed the need for continuous improvement in user experience design and customer service, areas not directly highlighted in the results. Additionally, the competitive landscape and viewer preferences are rapidly evolving, necessitating ongoing adaptation and innovation beyond the initial successes.

Given the achievements and areas for improvement identified, the recommended next steps should include a continued focus on technological innovation, particularly in areas that enhance the user experience and streamline customer service. Additionally, leveraging data analytics to gain deeper insights into viewer preferences can inform further content personalization and innovation. Expanding partnerships with sports leagues and organizations in new markets can also strengthen the platform's content offerings and competitive position. Finally, establishing a continuous feedback loop with subscribers will ensure that the platform remains responsive to viewer needs and preferences, fostering loyalty and supporting sustained growth.

Source: Global Market Penetration Strategy for an Online Sports Broadcasting Platform, Flevy Management Insights, 2024

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