Does Jomez Make The Player, Or Do Pros Drive Video Views?

May 6, 2020
Photo: JomezPro

Disc golf media popularity has reached an all-time high. Not only are more individual viewers tuning into the tournament coverage, but more and more production channels are popping up, giving way to a broad selection of events to watch beyond the major stops along the way. 

That the number of viewers has increased as the volume and quality of content has increased should not necessarily be a surprise, and it bodes well for the growth of the sport in general for the future. Fans now have a multitude of options, from live coverage to day-after coverage of big tournaments. Both options give fans multiple cards to choose from based on which players they want to follow, and a way to view the footage in whatever way is most convenient for them. 

Out of all of the channels filming tournaments and other disc golf-related content, however, one thing looks to be clear— Jomez Productions has emerged as the clear leader in disc golf video content. Boasting a robust 189,000 subscribers on YouTube— nearly twice the closest competitor— Jomez continues to set the bar in disc golf coverage in terms of innovation and quality. This boost in viewership culminated with a combined 3.8 million views on their final card at the 2019 World Championships alone.

Because of Jomez’s wide audience, it’s important to stress the opportunity that comes with making an appearance on a card that they film. Just by appearing on the front 9 of a card, you’re likely to be seen by more than 100,000 people, on average. For the player, this is huge in terms of increasing familiarity with the audience. The more that the audience is able to get a feel for a certain player’s personality and game, the more likely that player is going to see a boost in popularity, and hopefully, signature disc sales.

This, in turn, also means that the company that sponsors a player that appears on the card is going to receive the same amount of exposure. Having a player appear on the card means instant exposure of your products to a wide audience, showcasing what your products can do on the highest level. In terms of brand representation and personal exposure, Jomez coverage really provides a win-win. 

All this being said, it’s interesting to look at which players are appearing on Jomez frequently, as these are the players that may actually have additional value to manufacturers. By looking into this frequency, you can gauge not only which players are performing at a high level and making lead cards consistently, but also which players can be marketable and showcase products for a brand to a wide audience. 

Looking into the history of players appearing on Jomez also gives insight into players’ rises and falls throughout the years. As shown in this table that highlights appearances on the 2017 Jomez cards, it’s clear that this was Ricky Wysocki’s year of dominance.

PlayerAppearancesFeature CardsFinal CardsWins
Ricky Wysocki245107
Paul McBeth14364
Simon Lizotte14450
Nate Sexton12560
James Conrad10240

However, 2019, by and large, was Paul McBeth’s year. He joined Discraft for an unprecedented 4-year, $1 million contract, won his fifth world championship, and launched his own signature line of discs. And on top of that, he dominated Jomez coverage, making by far the most appearances, and winning almost half of the tournaments Jomez filmed last year.

PlayerAppearancesFeature CardsFinal CardsWins
Paul McBeth339108
Ricky Wysocki21861
James Conrad16451
Eagle McMahon15453
Simon Lizotte14440

Most impressive about McBeth’s performance was his ability to close out wins. Out of 10 tournaments where he was on the lead card in the final round, he won seven of them (he won one of those tournaments from the chase card), giving him a dominant 70% finishing rate when playing on a Jomez lead card final round.

On the FPO side, Catrina Allen and Paige Pierce’s yearlong battle wasn’t documented as closely by the Texas crew, but the story painted by the Jomez cameras still gives some insight into the year that both ladies had:

PlayerAppearancesFeature CardsFinal CardsWins
Paige Pierce10321
Catrina Allen10131

That’s about as close as it gets, in terms of pure numbers. What will be interesting to see is if Jomez devotes more resources to its FPO coverage in the coming years, and how that translates to growing the popularity and exposure for the FPO scene.

And finally, for anyone that might be curious, here are the all-time leaders for Jomez appearances, since they began filming in 2015:

PlayerAppearancesFeature CardsFinal CardsWins
Paul McBeth94223121
Ricky Wysocki77202712
Eagle McMahon5414187
Simon Lizotte4918154
James Conrad449172
Nate Sexton299111
Nikko Locastro25240
Jeremy Koling21942
Gregg Barsby19461
Paul Ulibarri19440

What’s remarkably clear from this is that McBeth and Wysocki have been running the show for the past five years, which has led to sponsorship deals, numerous signature discs, and even recognition from some mainstream news outlets. The two have combined to win 33 out of the 65 tournaments that Jomez has ever filmed, which really is remarkable to think about. No doubt watching the two of them consistently battling it out of the final card has not only pushed the two of them to improve, but has also created must-see drama for YouTube footage.

Yet out of all this, the overarching question becomes: Is Jomez more popular now because of the players, or was it Jomez that made the players more popular? The answer to this question probably lies inside some kind of middle ground, but middle ground rarely makes for impressive hot takes on forum posts. So to give some kind of answer to this question, we must first look at Jomez’s raw viewership numbers. For the sake of accuracy, only data from 2017-2019 was gathered, as it represents the years in which Jomez started touring full-time. 

Jomez Viewership from 2017-2019 (MPO Lead Only)

201720182019
8,414,00013,914,00020,480,000

*It’s worth noting that the Final card of the 2019 World Championships received almost 4 million views, skewing these numbers a bit

This shows a clear increase from year to year, but it doesn’t tell the full story, as Jomez covered 16 tournaments in 2017, 19 tournaments in 2018, and 20 tournaments in 2019. Factoring that in, we then divide the total number by the amount of tournaments to show how many viewers they average across any given tournament on all of their cards. The results look like this:

Jomez Viewership by Tournament from 2017-2019 (MPO Lead Only)

201720182019
526,000734,0001,012,000

This paints an argument for Jomez’s exposure giving players the larger platform to showcase their talents and brands. Any given tournament that Jomez films is now likely to get around 1 million total views. If a player is able to shoot hot for a tournament, that means a ton of eyes on them as they are playing at their very best. The past two years, Jomez viewership has gone up almost 40% each year on their MPO tournament footage. If that growth is sustained going forward, disc golf could make a mainstream jump sooner rather than later.

However, to make an argument for the players, it’s important to look at the undisputed King of Jomez, Mr. Paul McBeth. The question becomes: does having McBeth on a card boost the viewership? If so, how much? First, we take a look at the raw numbers.

Paul McBeth/Jomez Viewership from 2017-2019

201720182019
3,560,0006,899,00012,835,000
42.3% of total views49.5% of total views63.4% of total views

Even if you remove the 2019 Worlds round that has 3.8 million views on it from the equation, Paul still accounted for 8.9 million views in 2019, a robust 54.7% of the total Jomez views. On average, rounds that have McBeth on the card have performed at 43% higher viewership rate than cards in which he has not appeared on between 2017 and 2019. In fact, this discrepancy has actually increased every year. This would point towards McBeth making Jomez, and not the other way around.

However, at the end of the day, it really doesn’t matter if the egg or the chicken came first. What matters is that McBeth and Jomez are growing the sport in a way that both holds true to the sport’s values and appeals to both older and younger generations. If the tour is able to continue this year, it will be interesting to see if this growth can be continued, and if so, what consequences it will bring about for disc golf in the future.

Some miscellaneous fun facts:

  • 172 players have appeared on a Jomez-filmed card.
  • Of those, 78 have only appeared on one card.
  • 24 different players have won Jomez-filmed events.

The post Does Jomez Make The Player, Or Do Pros Drive Video Views? appeared first on Ultiworld Disc Golf.

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