The 2017 season was awesome in so many ways. It was our first full season, with nine events and a Tour Championship. We had tremendous success growing the festival throughout the season. We saw our live viewership numbers go up, sometimes dramatically. There were more edited shot by shot rounds then anyone could have imagined. And the Tour Championship was a celebration of the season that stood on its own and made us proud.
Festival of the Flying Discs
The festival that travels with the Pro Tour went through many iterations. We developed the Festival Tournament Bracket which goes off the afternoon/evening before each event starts. Players, spectators, and locals are all welcome to participate in this fun bracketed tournament where everyone competes in every game. This will be a key feature of the 2018 Festival as well. Sign up early to secure your spot.
The other side of the festival is party time. People pay a nominal cover fee to play all the games for as long as they want. DGA‘s Disc Tac Toe, MVP‘s Portal Putting Pole, and Dynamic Discs‘ Marksman Challenge were among the crowd favorites. We’ve got some great ideas for next season so stay tuned and come play the Festival of the Flying Discs when a Pro Tour stop comes to your area. You will be glad you did. Lastly, we will be incorporating some vendors in the festival, so if you are looking to support our disc manufacturer partners, the festival is the place to do it!
Nite Ize Night Golf
With the amazing support of Nite Ize, we were able to continuously improve the Nite Ize Night Golf event. This event saw steady growth with the last two events actually selling out. Playing night golf with rope lights defining OB, an awesome well-lit and fun course, and throwing the brilliant Nite Ize golf discs makes for some crazy fun. Thanks to everyone that came out to play. We look forward to having even more fun and bigger crowds in 2018. Hey Nite Ize, we need more discs!
Moving on to the live viewership numbers, not only did we see a year-over-year increase, we also saw the length of time that people watch also increase dramatically. There are three things working to make all of this happen. First, the sport is growing. Second, people are starting to root for particular players, hopefully building an emotional bond. Third, the live broadcast continues to improve.
With all three of these factors, it is no wonder that our live viewership numbers are up. A lot. Enjoy these 2016 to 2017 growth numbers:
For the Pro Tour, the most exciting indicator is the growth of the average live minutes watched. Working with Smashboxx TV and UDisc, we made many significant improvements to the live coverage throughout the year. These included better incorporation of the statistics, spliced in women’s coverage, and better lead card flow (less backups). All of these resulted in spectators tuning in for longer periods of time. Pair this with the fact that more people were watching (close to 40% growth in viewership numbers) and we are on the right track for growing disc golf into a spectator friendly venue for companies to utilize their advertising dollars. We will continue to work hard to make the live broadcast better and get these numbers up even more in 2018!
Jomez Pro, Central Coast Disc Golf, and Prodigy Disc provided dozens of rounds of edited shot by shot coverage. The lions share of the round coverage views (80%) came from the edited coverage. For disc golf right now, the work that these partners do is driving viewership and getting more and more people interested in watching our sport’s best players. They have continued to improve their production quality and we look forward to continue to incorporate (and even expand) the edited coverage offered at every Pro Tour stop in 2018.
It was an amazing year. We saw tremendous growth, amazing athletes, gorgeous venues and more spectators than we have ever seen. Thank you very much for watching. Your eyes are the reason we will continue to grow.