Cast Iron Media's new product seeks to support ad sales and placement in live-streamed sports

PR Release / 05.08.2024

Cast Iron Media has developed a tech-driven media platform to support ad sales and placement in live-streamed sports. The new product, called The Foundry, seeks to provide an end-to-end solution, from sales leads to orders to ad placement and billing.

“While streaming in concept had been around for a while, in reality, no one had developed the tools necessary for the behind-the-scenes work that needs to get done for business to be done in and around streaming live sports,” Cast Iron Media CEO Kent Heyman said. “We built what we think is every sensible component of a media ERP platform,” using the acronym for enterprise resource planning.

While other ad servers exist, Heyman said they fail to meet the changing needs of live sports — a 6 o’clock news program, for instance, has more predictable ad breaks than, say, a baseball game with its varied innings, numerous pitching changes and rain delays.

The Foundry’s ad server is “the crown jewel” of the solution, he added, touting its ability to track media impressions while integrating with league apps and other publishers.

“These impressions are the coin of the realm for these guys,” Heyman said. "That's a very valuable asset, and it's how they drive a lot of their revenues so they can pay players and put a good product on the field. So we needed to find a way to be more efficient with it because the old technology created waste.”

Cast Iron Media maintains league, team and rightsholder partnerships to gain access to and then manage inventory for live events across MLB, NBA, NHL, and NCAA. Its team has roots in local and regional media, helping reinforce the need for targeted ads appearing in various Designated Market Areas (DMAs).

“If you're going to transact on a national basis with all 210 DMAs at once, it's a fairly simple transaction,” said Heyman. “But there's a massive part of the market that doesn't want to do that. They want to advertise regionally and locally — they may have 36 DMAs they want to do business in — and each one of those, unfortunately becomes a separate transaction.”

The genesis of the idea for The Foundry originated during the early days of the global pandemic. Heyman was leading ISM Connect that focused on video boards and brand messaging in venue, which of course was a time when “media assets had virtually no value,” he said, noting no one knew how long fans would be barred from stadiums.

The leadership team began researching the at-home experience and dove deep into streaming, acquiring Revvid Media to help form the foundation of its SportsStream Live product. Cast Iron Media also maintains an in-venue activation marketing business called CrowdConnect Live.

ISM Connect had the ability to track fans’ viewership of its ads, a technology that was further developed and rebranded as facial recognition platform Wicket; Heyman was previously founder and chairman of that business while concurrently leading Cast Iron Media until stepping back from Wicket last year.

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