Sports team marketing as we know it has been transformed by social media. A 2019 study found that 67 percent of respondents aged 18 to 27 watched sports material on social media sites including YouTube, Twitter, and Facebook, and that trend has most certainly grown since then. Emerging technologies have improved the entire viewing experience for 69 percent of sports fans globally.
People enjoy the mix of sports and social media for their common purpose: to connect people. When the two are combined, the viewer gets a new, enhanced, and communal experience:
- Sports provide real-life, captivating stories, while social media provides story-telling tools.
- Fans want to feel a connection with their favorite athletes, and social media provides exciting avenues to communicate with teams and players.
- Sports organizations benefit from fans’ enthusiasm for their favorite teams and players.
You can utilize social media to enhance constituent participation as the manager of a sports operation, such as a recreational league or facility. Consider the following options:
For years, sports broadcasting was dominated by cable television. Now that broadband internet allows for livestreaming, sports groups are teaming with Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and even Amazon Prime to provide real-time video. Because smartphones are so popular, the leagues have every reason to promote their product on platforms that allow users to watch on any device.
Sports marketers can be more inventive than ever in their use of social media platforms to engage fans during sporting events. During rain delays, the Boston Red Sox engage their audience on Twitter by asking for song suggestions. This keeps people watching advertisements instead of turning off the television and waiting for the rain to stop. Fans listen to conversations between pit teams and drivers on the racetrack. ESPN and NFL Network broadcast tweets from fans and athletes during breaks in the action and news segments.
AR and VR
Social networking networks may eventually allow customization of augmented and virtual reality. Fans may, for example, listen to broadcasts that feature coverage and background they want to see the most. If you’re a 49ers fan who enjoys receiver and defender backfield matchups, social media can recreate those scenarios with engaging imagery and commentary. Traditional television broadcasting may soon become outdated as emerging virtual technologies let viewers further tailor their experiences.
Sponsors also benefit from this. As part of an endorsement for a financial services organization, Venus Williams offered tennis advice. Fans used virtual tennis balls and a 3D-printed racquet controller to put their newfound knowledge into practice.
Amateur golfers can use also an augmented reality to document their swings and enhance their game through computer simulation.
eSports has become a multibillion-dollar industry. For a generation weaned on video games, such as the popular Madden NFL series, eSports provides enthusiasts with the ability to compete, display their talents, and build a fan base. This is being capitalized by streaming services, particularly social media platforms, which have helped to develop a new genre that redefines the term “athlete.”
The sports marketing profession is rewarding for individuals with the creativity and cutting-edge education to make an impact as it continues to gain backers and momentum.