The world’s first completely virtual NFL draft is in two weeks. In anticipation of that event, a pair of companies have joined forces to create a tool for football fans to catch up on every top prospect.
Veritone, together with ExpressVPN, launched DraftClips.com, a website filled with more than 30,000 high-resolution clips from the college careers of more than 150 NFL hopefuls. The website is free to access, and according to a press release, features hundreds of hours of college football content at a time when every major sport has come to a startling halt.
In part, DraftClips.com is a product of that stoppage, which has been caused by the ongoing coronavirus outbreak. In an interview with Digital Trends, Ryan Steelberg, Veritone president and co-founder, said the concept was created about three weeks ago. It took convincing its content partners to allow the actual clips to be made available, but after receiving that confirmation, the project hit the ground running.
“It moved fast,” Steelberg said. “We saw a shortage and felt there was going to be demand. We wanted to get the consumers what they want.”
The content doesn’t feature full games, in contrast to brands like the NBA and NFL, which are offering access to past games and footage. Instead, it’s a collection of highlights from specific players and teams, ranging from touchdowns and celebrations, to fumbles and sacks, or even dancing mascots.
Steelberg said the plan is to continue to refine the website over the next several weeks and to seek feedback from fans on how to best deliver the content. With the NBA draft still tentatively set for June 25, it’s not out of the realm of possibility that this new draft-centric website could expand into basketball.
While DraftClips.com was born out of a desire for sports content during the coronavirus pandemic, there is a bigger picture at play here. In its current state, it’s a source for sports fans to relive highlights from the players and teams they follow. Down the road, could it serve as something much more collaborative, where someone like top quarterback prospect Joe Burrow could personally add clips to a database that has already been established for him?
“We’re at a time where there’s no longer a technological limitation. We can do this,” said Steelberg, who also emphasized the need to take broadcasting and distributing rights into consideration. “I think you’re going to start seeing new and innovative packaging and issuing of content, direct to consumers.”