Identifying a cost effective digital strategy. Driving substantial savings and giving talkSPORT users the EDGE
Following successful results with the Sun Savers project, DSKY were recommended to the News UK New Business Ventures team to assist with a new loyalty and engagement project.
In late 2020, following a Covid enforced delay, DSKY were immediately offered the chance to return to the SportsHub project, to deliver a best-in-class sports product – to be known as talkSPORT EDGE.
While DSKY had been involved in the discovery phase of talkSPORT EDGE in a purely product management capacity, this delivery phase provided an opportunity for greater involvement. DSKY fully took on the responsibility of technical strategy, as well as delivery – which included up front digital strategy, due diligence of tech solutions and ongoing product management.
Our DSKY process had delivered successful, efficient and cost effective results for our most recent project at NewsUK. So we followed the same blueprint.
Our brief was
Confirm our tech requirements for the product via competitor and market analysis
Deliver a competitive v1.0 product, in a cost effective manner, within a short time frame (with an ambitious launch date of the start of the Premier League 2021/22 season)
Build a content management solution that enabled re-use of existing talkSPORT content
In addition to this, we also identified the following requirements
Give editors complete ease of use – allowing them to focus on creating new and existing content, rather than app management
Automate a large % of editorial content from existing social and content channels
Explore avenues where existing companies in the sporting tech world would be able to provide tech solutions and experience to help us in our journey
Following the DSKY principle, we again looked to drive lean, cost effective methodology to achieve the ambition of the project, and recommended a Request for Proposal (RFP) process, to explore partnership opportunities in the sports tech market.
Given tight timeframes, and product requirements which had to compete with some of the most established brands in the market (i.e. an MVP just wouldn’t do) we identified a shortlist of 8 companies, some established, some start ups, some purely data providers – and set about exploring the potential of working together to achieve our goal.
This approach was also balanced by carrying out a thorough estimation session internally, to give a cost and time estimate to deliver from scratch via internal development teams.
While this approach required 2 months of up front work, we at DSKY were certain that the time taken would be extremely valuable in the long run. Ensuring we were confident in our tech strategy would give us greater control over the delivery progress in the long run. Ultimately we were working upfront to reduce the degree of risk in a project which was technically complex, and rife with challenges and unknowns.
We needed to reduce the risk, and understand the unknowns. After a thorough process in which DSKY led our requirements presentation and our ambitions for the project, including roadmaps, feature breakdown and integrations – our shortlist of potential providers was reduced down to two.
Following technology, finance, commercial and legal agreements – we were able to select Checkd Dev as our technology partner for talkSPORT EDGE. This was a fantastic partnership for both parties, which enabled key economies of scale across the technology platform, lower cost, risk and substantially shorter delivery timeframes.
DSKY then led the tech delivery of the project, including delivery strategy, business relationship management, product management, business analysis and project management.
We were able to deliver a beta version of talkSPORT EDGE in time for the Euro 2020 tournament. This was key to ensure that for full launch, we had ironed out any technical challenges, proved the concept and also ensured that the editorial process to maintain the app was simple and effective.
Following this positive beta test during the tournament, the talkSPORT EDGE app was launched in August 2021, in time for the start of the Premier League season. At the time of writing, the app is 4.7/5 on the app store and is available on both iOS and Android.
The decision to pivot to the external delivery RFP approach saved an estimated £1.5m in tech costs and brought the delivery date forward by at least 12 months. It has also opened the door to a fantastic longer term tech partnership with Checkd Dev.