Recent years have seen the rapid rise of short-form content, growth elevated by an importance in social content. 

Seeking to embrace this engagement, Twain Sport has taken a leaf out of TikTok and Instagram’s book when creating its T-Basket hybrid sports product. With games lasting 60 seconds, and whole tournaments held within the space of one hour, this content is short and quick.

Šarūnas Mazalas, Chairman of the Hybrid Sports League which runs Twain Sport, spoke with SBC about the growing popularity of T-Basket and the ways this new sport is engaging with millennial and Gen-Z bettors.

He said: “Our main partner is BetGames. They are working with a lot of betting operators, and the feedback that we have been receiving has been extremely positive. Our newly created game, T-Basket, is a quick version of traditional basketball. A full tournament only lasts one hour.

“Take the FIFA World Cup, for example. It is hard to make a direct comparison due to the differences in popularity – the World Cup is the most popular tournament globally. But the tournament itself runs over the course of one month. This is considerably longer than the one hour tournaments that we have.

“That quick tournament format is amazing, because there are new betting opportunities every three minutes. It is quite literally right here, right now. It follows the same formats that we’re seeing on social media sites such as Instagram or TikTok. It’s meeting that demand for both quick content and entertainment.”

Upon creating T-Basket, Twain Sport noted that it wanted to emulate the fast-paced nature of virtual sports and combine that with the excitement of reality. This, Mazalas explained, was a driving force behind the decision for games lasting one minute.

During the discussion, talk soon turned towards viewer retention during a sports game. Mazalas pointed our attention towards a new subscription model launched by the NBA in 2019, which aimed to meet the needs of fans that, quite often, do not have the attention span to watch an hour-long game.

Data on game viewing figures were another key factor in deciding why T-Basket content should be fast paced. He said: “We have plenty of data and plenty of numbers. But I would maybe talk about two factors that we know and can share. First of all is the NBA. Commissioner Adam Silver is the person who is always one step ahead compared to other heads of sport. He knows the best way to attract and engage with that audience.

“The NBA saw the number of viewers and the number of subscribers begin to go down. So a few years ago, what they did was offer 10 minute NBA League Pass Subscriptions, or last quarter passes. They saw the number of people watching the full game start to decline. So instead, they thought ‘let’s offer them only the last quarter’.

“The second example would probably be a mini-series. These have become the most popular TV show format in the US; they don’t require long-term commitment from the viewer. This is happening because millennials no longer watch a full sports game or a long running TV series.

“In response to these trends, what we have created is a faster, quicker sports format. It is one that we believe resonates with that exact demand from younger generations.”

Šarūnas Mazalas, Twain Sport: Embracing the rise of quick-form content with T-Basket