Just as it's done with music festivals and the World Cup, Snapchat is working to help its users experience NCAA sports (led by the Final Four) with the help of people lucky enough to be there. Digiday reports that the company is negotiating with the NCAA and other sports leagues to include their games as part of Snapchat's "Our Story" feature. Our Story collects photos and videos captured by Snapchat users at a given live event (or on a college campus).
Snapchat isn't turning into ESPN
Once they're submitted, the company curates and immediately distributes the best snaps to everyone else using the app, where they appear as a single, cohesive story. Don't expect to see any snippets of professional game footage, as these stories will remain completely user generated and made to make you feel like you're there in person.
Snapchat is merely looking to head off any potential conflicts between itself and the sports leagues so it can share user content without worry. Locking down rights to the Final Four means that Snapchat must land deals with both the NCAA and Turner Broadcasting, according to Digiday, but the company is also looking to sign agreements with other sports leagues.
Snapchat will monetize the NCAA stories by selling brand sponsorships for each of them. Revenues will reportedly be divided between Snapchat, the sports leagues, and broadcasters showing the games on TV. If all goes to plan, the new addition to Our Story will launch with the Final Four, but future NCAA sporting events will also be featured. Snapchat debuted the Our Story feature last year after trial runs at an EDM music festival and the World Cup. In the latter instance, the company lacked any rights deals for covering the World Cup, but apparently the unsanctioned approach isn't one Snapchat wants to take any longer. In January, Snapchat unveiled Discover, another new feature that showcases content from news and entertainment partners like CNN, Comedy Central, and ESPN.