Posts Tagged ‘Sports marketing’
Batter up! It’s the bottom of the ninth and the San Francisco Giants are about to win the World Series. Game over! Black and orange floods the field as the game draws to a close, Tigers fans paralyzed by the epic sweep and the loss on their home turf.
As the World Series caps are distributed amongst Giants players, sports networks capture the moment, and Twitter and Facebook explode in celebration. During the course of the World Series #SFGiants #Tigers and #WorldSeries hashtags flooded Twitter, with over 701,289 total Tweets. Orange October took over the Twitter landscape, as fans engaged in the online social media marketing world to showcase their Giants pride. The World Series has officially won on Twitter.
Elsewhere in San Francisco: Athletes take to the Online World
Forty years ago before Twitter took the center stage in Major League Baseball marketing, players interacted with fans in a far different fashion. The trading card industry flourished, with young boys hammering at their chance at cards of the Big Red Machine players of Cincinnati, home run hitting Hank Aaron, or Mr. October himself, Reggie Jackson. Elsewhere in San Francisco a new Virtual Fan Network has emerged, providing a new avenue for fans and athletes to connect in the online space, creating the first social media channel for athletes.
Fans now have the opportunity to get closer to their favorite athletes than ever before, with moments captured and made into downloadable virtual baseball cards. The digital sports platform connects fans, athletes, advertisers, and publishers, creating the first ever opportunity for players to control their own digital brand and engage with their fan following.
The Crowning Moment
A big strike out, a crucial touchdown pass, a blocked punt! These are moments in the ESPN highlight reel; moments fans embrace. Now the fan-to-athlete experience has just gotten that much better. Fans are granted exclusive access to professional athletes, getting real-time stats, players’ social feeds, videos, athlete online stores, and more. Athletes themselves are granted an opportunity to connect directly with their fans.
Thus far, over 1,200 athletes have become involved with Virtual Fan Network, including Barry Zito, Hunter Pence, all members of the San Francisco Giants, and Virtual Fan Network’s NFL Ambassador, Brett Favre. The business world is taking notice, with players capitalizing on the opportunity, fans reaching out to connect, advertisers flocking to the platform, and the company itself embracing the opportunity to “deliver a really engaging and cool experience that allows people to engage with a sports hero” (Forbes).
Forty years ago the crowning moments were photographed and epitomized in print, trading cards serving as a platform by which the young sports fan could collect and idolize their sports hero. With the evolution of social media and the introduction of the online world this past time has traversed to digital. An athlete has the opportunity to connect, to capture that moment, and engage with the fan after they do so. Keep an eye on the prize, get that camera ready, and head over to Twitter and the Virtual Fan Network. Ready, set, go!
Monday Night Football at it’s finest. Watch as MD Jennings jumps and intercepts the ball. The players fall into the end zone and both referees throw up the signal – “Touchdown!”…”Interception!” …”Jinx!”?
Wait, isn’t “jinx!” when you say the same thing at the same time? Either way, the NFL may still be in for 7 years of bad luck.
That’s how the NFL Monday Night Football controversy unfolded. The Seahawks vs Packers game ended in favor of the Seahawks after an “alleged” winning touchdown (otherwise described as a very vivid interception by Jennings which would have lead to a Packers win).
Twitter Reactions: The Good, The Bad & The Angry
The minute the call was made, the twitter-sphere ran wild with comments directed at the NFL in disappointment.
Sports Controversy and Social Media Frenzy
After the game, like JFK conspiracy theorists watching the Zapruder film “back and to the left,” millions of football fans began to scour the internet in search of video replays and written articles to help them make sense of things. To find the truth after Monday night’s questionable touchdown call, America turned to Google, Twitter and Facebook for answers.
For digital marketers, social media creatives and online news outlets alike – a light bulb goes on. People are searching out content, they are passionately awaiting all the juicy details of this epic drama. The internet gives the public what it wants.
By 11:55 on Monday night a parody titled “Whistle” hit YouTube. This was probably intended to undergo a few more edits and hit YouTube later in the week to address the previous replacement ref spoofs BUT – the digitally savvy guys who released this video right in time to feed the hungry fans hit it right on the money. YouTube is a search engine these days. The second most used search engine after Google. Although viral videos can be difficult to plan for – this found the sweet spot. I’m predicting a jump in views x100 on this video. They already went from 500 views to 10,000+ in 6 hours.
The NFL’s Digital Marketing Tactics Questioned
Not only is Roger Goodell taking some serious heat after Monday night, even the social media marketers at NFL are finding themselves in hot water.
Put it this way – when Mashable calls you out for schizophrenic Facebook posts attempting to trick your “smarter than that” audience – you pretty much know you’re in trouble.
Why? Because Mashable (the news website and blog) gets 50+ million monthly pageviews and ranks as one of the world’s largest websites. They are also the number one source for social media news and marketing. In the article, Mashable explains how NFL used a photo (which was not from the last play of the game) to describe the controversial last play of the game in a better light.
The Mashable blog shows that NFL Facebook updates were posted rather hastily. The posts displayed a rather poor attempt to manage the NFL’s online reputation which backfired leading to the deletion of some posts all together. Come on guys, you can dress high school football refs in NFL gear, but you can’t outsmart cyber geeks – we watch sports too believe it or not! The Mashable article can be read here: On Facebook, NFL Can’t Decide What to Do About Controversy - Mashable
What Does This Mean for Sports and Social Media?
The sports world is evolving. Digital has completely merged with the traditional. Television talks to social. The fans go to the games but still participate online. 80% of teenagers get their news from the internet. The sports world needs to understand the digital space because it is how people search for information, news, truth and opinions.
10 years ago, wouldn’t we all love to know what one of the players was thinking after a call like this? We would have to wait til the press conference and try to catch it on TV or on the radio. Today, the players are not just breaking the news themselves through twitter – they are becoming human to their fans, relate-able and they even let out their disappointments freely.
Since the @nflcommish Twitter page hasn’t been updated since early September, I doubt Mr. Roger Goodell and his team are working on his next tweet. BUT – if I had to give them a piece of advice… it’d probably go something like, “@America @Packers – We messed up. We’ll fix it, quickly #NFL #MNF”
With social media becoming such an integrated part of our lives, it was only a matter of time before the internet took over the sports world. An increasing number of sports fans are now consuming a majority of sports news and information from online sources, especially social media outlets. According to sources on the web, over 80% of sports fans check social media sites while watching events on tv, and over 60% check sites while at actual games. Along with checking stats, scores, news, etc., fans are also taking a huge liking to following players on sites such as Twitter and Facebook. With the potential to reach millions of fans, athletes are taking to the internet to release special news, comment on certain happenings in the sports world, or to give people a view into the life of a professional athlete. KT Tape, a sports medicine company, put together this infographic showing professional athletes with the most Twitter followers.
As the NBA playoffs and summer Olympics in London approach quickly, internet marketing will be more present than ever in the sporting world as companies attempt to reach out to fans through newer, non-traditional avenues such as social media. The NBA has recently started Pinterest and Twitter accounts to allow fans to follow along and engage more with the teams that they love, while advertisers are relying heavily on social media to widen their brand following during the Olympics, by connecting fans with athletes. It will be interesting to see the affects of these marketing attempts over the next couple months within the sports industry.