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Four Ways Social Media Improves Sporting Events

Through working at a social media agency, I spend a great deal of time on networks such as Twitter and Facebook. Since they are real-time in nature, it’s only natural that social networks and sporting events go hand in hand. Whether it’s the football World Cup, the Super Bowl or the last day of the season with multiple sides facing relegation, social media is a great medium for sport commentary. Here are a few reasons why:

  • More pre/post match banter and chatter – Pre match excitement usually isn’t too hard to come across, but its extension into social media means that more fans from far and wide can get involved, rather than excitement being limited to the vicinity of the sporting event. Someone may be a fan in exile or on holiday for a game, but social media can help to keep people in the loop in such instances.
  • Latest updates received much quicker – The real-time aspect of social networks such as Twitter and Facebook allows for the latest news or scores to be communicated from peer to peer far quicker than websites can be updated. Our world is no longer up to the minute; it is up to the second.
  • All of the content is from the digital mouthpiece of the fans and not the media – Whilst on some occasions this may not seem a good thing, but the voice of the fans is often the most passionate, and as such it’s much easier to start conversations. Fans will love talking with other fans about their own team, and will almost always have a preference or opinion on a specific topic.
  • Direct interaction from sports stars/celebrities – Social networks like Twitter and Facebook have given sports stars and celebrities a voice in the online world too, enabling them to communicate their views to their fans. In turn, the fans can get involved with their sporting heroes, making them feel much closer to the sport and team/player they support.

There have been some great examples of social media amplifying the excitement and fervor around sports events. During the Football World Cup in 2010, Twitter added novelty hashtag symbols to its network, and again during the Super Bowl back in February – this only served to make fans use a certain hashtag more and more, generating more conversations across the network.

Personally, I find that Twitter is essential when I’m engaged in a sporting event, whether it’s a football match for my favourite team, or an entire tournament like the forthcoming Rugby World Cup. Either way, I’d predict that we’ll be seeing more social media integration with sports in the future, particularly now that digital PR teams for such events know of the benefits it can bring in terms of publicity and engagement.

Join The Conversation

  • Oct 8 Posted 5 years ago janemyer (not verified) Sports of some sort, and also sporting events, have been a renowned part of almost every human society known to history. That said, being a die-hard fan is a pricey undertaking, as sports are prohibitively costly. Do you agree? That is an infallible truth! But with the help of social media, we can be updated even without watching it live! Media is indeed a great medium for sports commentary! =)
  • Jul 22 Posted 5 years ago toddscore

    Take a look at www.scorely.com - we provide customized, real-time sports scores within fans chosen form of social media - so you can track a game through your FB or twitter news feed. Also, starting to syndicate the platform such that the scores would run through a team's social media page, allowing that community interaction. Any thoughts or comments from this group would be appreciated.

  • Jul 21 Posted 5 years ago Chris Yates (not verified)

    Sporting events are all about the fans. When you make it fun and interactive for them you win.

    This is what a Budweiser Marketing Director said about a Social Media Program we created focusing on the fans.

    http://youtu.be/h2yW-jeAX7g

     

  • Jun 7 Posted 6 years ago twiends (not verified)

    Check out Increasr.com, you can get credits there much faster, you can also get more twitter followers, facebook fans, youtube subscribers and video views. Check it at http://www.increasr.com

  • Jun 3 Posted 6 years ago Kieve Huffman

    Good read, Alex.  You've summed up what is possible now and hinted at what could be coming.  Part of the challenge for brands and businesses looking to engage at sporting events is how do you aggregate and curate the chatter so that their is a hub.  Fans want to participate but are using different services to do so and are not being connected.

    Another challenge is how do you find all of this content after the event has ended.  I've been spending a lot of time thinking about this and have a solution that solves for all of these problems and more.  

  • May 31 Posted 6 years ago Prasant (not verified)

    Twitter is my buddy for following sport event. I have followed some of the cricket matches ball by ball update on twitter so its exciting. Though real sports person do engage with fan but I guess clubs and boards are bit scared if secrets come out. Anyway sports brands and business are going to cash in going further.

  • May 30 Posted 6 years ago Jenn Seeley (not verified)

    "But the voice of the fans is often the most passionate..." and I could not agree more! If you're not a sports fan, you most likely have friends you follow on Twitter who are, and there is no mistaking an important match/series/cup/bowl/event from the exuberant chattering in the socialsphere.

    For the reasons you mentioned above, it is clear how important not only the voice of the fans but social media in general should be to professional teams. What do you make of the NFL and NBA discouraging individual players to be present in social media? (see http://bit.ly/my6tQp)

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