From being a platform to reconnect with a long lost buddy, to being one of the most crucial tools in marketing campaigns of corporate businesses and start-ups alike, social networking has indeed come a long way. The realm of professional sports is no different.
When you consider the business angle of sports, there is one factor that acts as a major revenue generator like no other – passion. Behind any successful sports franchise is the unrelenting force of passionate fans that support their teams through thick and thin. Social platforms have proved to be a two way street for franchises and their fans. While fans get to discuss and share ideas with other sports enthusiasts and make themselves heard to their sports icons, sports stars now have the perfect platform to reach out and connect with their fans. Everybody wins.
Sports marketers and PR executives have been investing more and more in social networks looking for avenues to build, strengthen, and match the passion of their respective fan base.
Formula 1 Racing
Formula 1 Racing is one sport that enjoys a major following on social hotspots. The fan base is comprised of a more sophisticated audience that is extremely tech savvy. Broadcasting giant TNT leveraged social platforms to promote its existing television broadcasts and reaped rich dividends in the process. The social campaigns were intelligently designed to complement the race day broadcasts thereby stepping up viewership considerably.
The NBA has a reputation for having a strong social presence with a consolidated social network fan following that comes to be around 23 million. It’s not just the NBA management team that has contributed towards this success; NBA players are the most prolific participants in interactions on social media platforms.
National Hockey League
The NHL can stake claim to a fan base that is much more pro-tech than most other sports franchises. They have been making steady progress through various social digital platforms over the past 3 years. During the Winter Classic, the NHL collaborated with NBC to implement a Watch-And-Win campaign on Facebook. Prizes that were dished out to frenzied fans included a Honda CR-Z as well as a free pass into the NHL All-Star Game.
National Football League
Of course, residents in the Phoenix area know you can’t leave out the NFL when you’re talking about major players in marketing campaigns. Super Bowl XLIX in Glendale, AZ was the most watched sports event in the US. This is generally the case every year. However, what set this season apart from the rest was that most of the highly anticipated television ads had already been broadcast on social platforms before they premiered on television and enjoyed spectacular viewership. The Volkswagen campaign had already garnered more than 12 million views by game day.
FIFA enjoys custodianship of the most popular sporting event in the world, the FIFA World Cup. The 2010 World Cup made a splash in social platforms since it was the first world cup since the evolution of social networks. The 2010 World Cup witnessed an explosion of “living room pundits” across Twitter and Facebook making predictions, making game plans, and supporting their favorite teams.