Sports and Social Media - Why Should Properties Care?

Today is the eighth in a series of posts (a new post each day) with thoughts from some pretty smart folks to try to answer the question of why people should care about the intersection of sports and social media. You can see the first seven posts below:

Even if you already know why this is important, I hope you enjoy getting a variety of perspectives on this subject. If you have bosses, colleagues or friends that still don't get it, maybe they'll find some value in this series if you share it with them.

Today's topic is properties. Properties can use social media in a variety of ways:

  • drive awareness and get more butts in seats (sell more tickets to events)
  • improve the fan experience before, during and after the event
  • improve the experience for fans who are not able to experience the event in person (new content/monetization opportunities)
  • increase the reach and effectiveness of sponsor activations to drive more sponsorship revenue

See below for a few thoughts from other smart folks about why properties should care about sports and social media.

Anthony De Rosa - Properties need it to brand themselves. Social media allows them the opportunity to connect with people in a organic way, if done properly.

Brian Gainor - Sports properties that assess social media primarily as a fan engagement tool and secondarily as a revenue-driver (direct/indirect) will experience the best results. Those who invest necessary time and resources to provide users with unique content (videos, pictures, stories), behind-the-scenes access, promotional offers, and insights will attract a multitude of avid fans online. This is in turn will help formulate new fan databases, deliver new promotional inventory for sponsors, serve as a means to drive traffic to merchandise/ticket/suite sales, and help maintain brand relevancy 365 days per year. Twitter and Facebook also help teams monitor real-time fan feedback, promote individual players’ brands and charities, demonstrate a tech-savvy corporate culture, and interact directly with both avid and casual fans all across the world. The opportunities are endless with social media!

Ash Read - Social media can generate more exposure for sponsors. In my social media interview with Real Madrid I learned that some club partners now prefer exposure on the clubs social media profiles (mainly Facebook and Twitter) to the official Real Madrid website. When putting together a sponsorship proposal or package properties should put a focus on digital rights and opportunities – this is something which is often overlooked. However, before properties can build social media into proposals they first need to build up their social media profiles and following; sponsors want eyeballs and being put in front of 20 Twitter followers probably won’t make them stand up and take note. If properties can allow sponsors to become part of a vibrant and large community then this becomes a great opportunity for sponsors.

Brian Reich - The people who build ballparks and design arenas are looking to create the ultimate fan experiences, and maybe to provide a team with home field advantage as well. The game unfolding on the field will always be the primary attraction, but in the digital age, and a socially enabled world, the experiences that fans have is not limited to what they can see from their seats. We are always connected, have access to more information than what is available on the scoreboard, and welcome the observations from those who are attending or watching the same game, at the same time. Just as social media creates the possibility of building a community around any event, properties should recognize the experience they must now create should be socially-enabled also. Give fans a way to interact with the building. Make connections between those inside an arena and those participating from afar. Capture and share the total experience that the gathering of fans makes possible, and use it as a way of enhancing the product (sports) as well.

Now it's your turn - why do you think properties should care?

Stay tuned for tomorrow's post (the last in this series), which will examine why sponsors should care about social media/sports.

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