Scoring for Fans: Yahoo Sports’ Sarah Crennan on Football Season
Meet the woman making the winning plays at Yahoo Sports. Sarah Crennan, their Head of Content, is quarterbacking the launch of new content experiences at a champion's pace, and Sarah sat down with us to talk about all the ways Yahoo Sports is looking to change the game for fans.
Football is everywhere. What gap is Yahoo Sports filling?
Football does feel like it's everywhere, but we're unique in that we're the only place to get games all season in a frictionless environment. There's no cable login needed. All you do is download our app, enable your location, and you have local and national games in your mobile device
You've got a lot of new shows for football fans. What can we look forward to?
We just launched Mostly Football with Martellus Bennett, our new pre-game show on Thursdays. It offers something a little more authentic to the fan point of view around both the games and the culture of sports. Martellus is incredibly creative and a lot of fun to work with. He's passionate about a lot that doesn't have to do with actual game play, so we cover topics that aren't sports, but that still appeals to a sports fan.
A third one we're working hard on is The Spin, which will be a video complement to all of the hard work our journalists do. When someone like Terez Paylor, one of our lead NFL analysts, writes a piece, we want to get him on camera to give his spin in a different format. Consumers are consuming more and more video, so we're meeting them there.
Sounds like football's not just a job for you. What do you love about the game?
I think it's a really dynamic sport, and I'm still learning about the strategy, especially as the rules continue to evolve. I have always been someone who loves the X's and O's and football has so much to see in terms of, "Oh wow, did you see how that player impacted the entire play?" "Did you see how they made that change from quarter to quarter?" or even breaking down the dynamic of why a quarterback is successful.
For me, that's what is always appealing about watching sports, and, in this instance, football.
Are you watching your NFL games on Yahoo Sports mobile?
I really am. Our game watch experience is pretty sticky. We give fans our pick of who will win. You can dive deeper into stats for each team or the head-to-head match up. I've been playing a lot with the experience our product team put out, and it really is amazing. Sitting in front of a television all day just isn't a reality for many people, including me, and I believe in our experience as a major point of differentiation.
Tell us more about this game watch experience.
Take the upcoming Miami at New England game for example. Maybe you think New England is going to win, and you can see a state-by-state breakdown on how others are voting.
From the Yahoo Sports app
For every game we have the weather, and alerts for close games, score changes, red zone, and more. Looking forward, we'll learn what's valuable to fans based on engagement, and what's getting them to come back to the game if they've dropped out.
From the Yahoo Sports app
What opportunities do you see ahead for Yahoo Sports and the NFL?
I think we can own the mobile experience because of our strong presence and investment focused on mobile. As you look at cord cutters and the behavior of younger demos, they aren't as likely to pay for television. Our partnership gives us the opportunity to let them watch football all season long without any authentication, and we'll see how consumers react and we'll learn how we can better serve fans.
There are so many learnings we can get. We already know that for the limited playoffs we had last season, we drove 1.1 million downloads. That was just over several weeks. There's tremendous potential to seeing how fans react over a full season on mobile.
What's your favorite team, and do they have a shot at winning the Superbowl?
The Redskins. Their odds of winning are 100 to one. If you play by the books, it doesn't look good—but I'm a believer. I'm really excited about [quarterback] Alex Smith. I'm excited about AP [running back Adrian Peterson]. Nothing's certain, but I'm going to try to be optimistic this year.
If you're ready to watch football live on your phone, download Yahoo Sports now.