Once it is all said and done, a professional sports franchise is a brand just like any other. As with companies in other industries, we can learn a lot by studying the way they manage their presence on social media.
Social Media and Live Video
Live video has been a long time gateway for sports but at this age broadcasters and sponsors are challenged with offering an immersive digital experience. This is in addition to compelling viewers to watch sports on television. The goal is to maximize their audience reach as well as their monetization.
Live online video allows brands and consumers to connect in ways that are exciting and new in the world of sports and entertainment. The sports industry is harnessing the power of social and digital media. Facebook and YouTube are out front with the commentary around sports. These platforms appeal to sports fans because they allow them to take part in the broader conversation surrounding sports.
As sports audiences have become more accustomed to video-on-demand services, such as Netflix and Amazon Prime, Long-form social media viewing has increased. This has contributed to an enhanced viewing experience. Key players in the industry are taking advantage of the opportunities this presents. Several broadcast agreements and major deals have taken place as a result. This provides new streams of revenue for social networks, sports leagues, and sponsors.
Social channels such as Twitter and Instagram provide prime advertising space in an environment where fan communities can be cultivated. This same space allows viewers and community members round-the-clock access to humanized versions of the athletes and sports teams they are fans of.
In these spaces, behind-the-scenes insights and Q&A’s appear to be impromptu but are brand-sponsored. These interactions make fans feel closer to sports stars. This exclusive content is important to fans who use social media to consume content. Young consumers are particularly influenced by advertising from exclusive content.
For sports leagues that are eager to connect with Gen Z, TikTok is a goldmine. The NBA has 4.3 million followers on TikTok. In the UK, the bulk of that following is made up of young females. This might be due to the attention and traction female sports have gained as they become more mainstream in traditional media. Whatever the reason, this is a market that key advertisers are paying attention to and investing in.
Brands and stakeholders are faced with an important opportunity to let their position be known on the fight against negative stereotyping and gender bias. When purpose-led marketing is done correctly, it can gain widespread praise and engagement.
Brands have also begun to take notice of Africa and the Middle East. Twitter unveiled more than 16 premium sports, news, and entertainment video content collaborations at the first MEA Region TwitterFronts event. Included were exclusive shows with Goal DAZM, Bein Sports, and Formula One. The partnerships prove that there is room for enormous engagement growth for sports teams, leagues, and sponsors.