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6 Learnings From Taking The Hundred Draft Digital First

6 Learnings From Taking The Hundred Draft Digital First

Fiona Wood, Little Dot Sport Strategy Director, recently took part in the Broadcast Sport podcast episode discussing ‘The ECB, Little Dot & Dizplai on taking The Hundred Draft digital first’, alongside England & Wales Cricket Board (ECB) Head of Digital Content for The Hundred, Rob Johnson and Dizplai Commercial Director, Peter Cassidy.

Going into its fourth season and fifth draft, Little Dot Sport worked with The ECB and audience engagement and graphics platform, Dizplai, to take The Hundred Draft, powered by Sage, to new heights, delivering the Draft’s first digital-first live stream across YouTube, TikTok and The Hundred website from the iconic Shard. 

Here are our key takeaways from delivering the first digital Draft for The Hundred:

1. Own it

A digital-first livestream gives you the unique opportunity to own the news yourself. You have complete control creatively, strategically, operationally - all the ‘ly’s’ really.

It also allows you a little bit more flexibility and freedom, even if it's to do with when you start and when you stop. On top of this, the tone of what you're able to produce is a little bit different - in the case of The Hundred, we were able to do something more playful and fun, as is the tone of the event.

2. Think why, why, why.

What is the ‘why’? Creating a digital-first show provides a great opportunity to have highly engaged eyes on you, so what is it that you want to do with them? This needs to underpin everything.

In the case of The Hundred, The Draft kicks off the season, so with this in mind, we wanted to leverage the moment to prime the addressable audience as we enter The Hundred’s Spring rebuy window. It was a great opportunity to reconnect with cricket fans and re-engage with a higher affinity audience as the UK cricket season ramps back up.

3. Pick the right platform for you and your audience

Each social media platform provides something different, be it aspect ratio, audience, interactivity, functionality:the list goes on. There’s not a one-size-fits-all approach,

For instance, YouTube as a platform, has the longest watchtime by far when compared to other social platforms - particularly vertical video outputs - making it perfect for our long-form live stream of the draft. Its analytics are also fantastic, meaning you can get great insights ahead of time on who's engaging with what moments. In the case of The Hundred we could use this for granular recommendations such as what time is best to go live in the UK.


4. Be Reactive

Digital platforms are naturally more interactive than traditional linear TV, thanks to the live chat section, likes, and polling features. People naturally want to participate so utilise all these features to engage your audience and let them help drive the narrative.

Pick up on what is trending in the live chat, answer questions in real time, make fans feel close to what is happening. This all adds to creating a community, fan-led feel to the event. In The Hundred draft, we opened up the floor to the audience by featuring their comments on-screen, using the pioneering live, interactive graphics technology platform Dizplai.

As a result, our calls-to-action were more resonant - whether they were to go and buy tickets or to go to the website - because we had created a two way conversation.

5. You can never be too prepared

At the end of the day this is a live production so preparation is KEY.

Running tests and practice show’s really helps uncover challenges before actually going live. The last thing anyone needs after all the pre-production is for the stream to go down. We partnered with live, cloud-based broadcast provider Limitless Productions to help ensure the infallibility of the stream.

6. Creating a commercially valuable asset

Having The Draft on YouTube has in turn created a really valuable asset, not only for the audiences who engage with The Hundred, but also from a commercial partner perspective.

On YouTube specifically, you can create additional value and commercial assets through dynamic ad insertions, or creating a "sponsored" section within the editorial output.

In 2025, if Sage were to continue to sponsor the draft, there are now obvious opportunities for them to leverage their association and drive even greater awareness of their partnership with The Hundred.