Welcome friends, fans, and those who you who somehow stumbled upon this article from being badgered by the socialites of the digital world. This is the January 2013 Social Media in Sports review. We take a story here, a story there, and compose a nice, digestible summary for you to take back to your job and continue to help expand the use of social media in business, especially the business of sports.
Mavs finding ways to include sponsors in social media
Our first review from January comes to us from the Dallas Mavericks. One of the more challenging aspects of working in digital and social media in any business is not only finding ways to incorporate sponsors and therefore sell more inventory, but also to analyze those results. Whether your method of analysis includes impressions, reach, or any other social metric, they hopefully tie that back to dollars generated. The Mavs are trying. Here we see a simple example taking what some see as an antiquated advertising process of the “presenting sponsor” and transferring it to a digital asset. Teams and leagues are looking for ways to incorporate more sponsors and sell more advertising space online. These teams are looking internally to their sales and marketing teams as well as outward to digital marketing agencies. Finding new and perhaps more creative ways to include sponsor names and logos into digital creative will be something the more advanced organizations continue to press forward.
Teams upgrade their hubs
Teams, such as the Seattle Seahawks, Tampa Bay Lightning, and more are starting to round-up their social media efforts and display them in visually appealing, informative manners that suit the social fans looking to intake loads of information very quickly. The Seahawks have done a terrific job of visually linking their fans to their team through the use of Twitter and Instagram tags. Crowd sourcing contests have been a key for marketers for the past several years and technology is making it easier than ever to source this data. Teams like the Lightning have taken a similar approach, but visually displayed the data a bit differently. They have included the sourced data but have made it a point to share the hashtags they wish the fans to use. They have also leveraged this space to inform the fans of any teammates on Twitter, including their prospects and “personalities.” Currently, many of these hub spaces are clean and free of sponsorship but how long will this last? Once hubs like these start to pick up viewership traction, I expect these to be prime real-estate. Until then, teams will have to “monitor the monitoring” of their team and wait for the day that more people are visiting their site, and not Twitter or Instagram, to find their team’s social media activity.
For more examples, check out this great article by Bob McKamey.
The tablet world of sports
How long until the back of each stadium seat has a connector to charge our tablets for us while we watch the game? We all know it is the future. You’re at Cowboys Stadium watching the Cowboys play the Giants while also watching your fantasy team, making adjustments, catching up on all of the games going on around the league, Tweeting, Instagraming, Vine’ing, and whatever else is next. Until those days come, check out this article from Samantha Murphy detailing the connection between sports owners and tablets.
Leave a comment below or tweet @OSMGuy and let us know if you watch sports with your tablet, or even with your cell phone glued to your hands while checking stats and news.
Brands analyzing data LIVE
During this month’s X Games, ESPN debuted their “Hype Meter”, measuring social media interactions during the live events. With social media strategy at the forefront of many marketers’ minds (say that five times fast), we try to get our fans to “talk” about us while also letting us know that they are talking about us. ESPN’s live Hype Meter and corresponding graph was a cool way to capture that data and utilize it in a graphic way we as fans can understand. It was a very basic display, but effective nonetheless. This is one area I expect to see teams and brands continue to innovate and move forward.
The video explosion of January 2013
January was an exciting time for video. Twitter, in this case, has seen quite an infusion of video technology within its platform. First, video streaming platform Ooyala announced it will offer support for video display and embed within Twitter and as Tom Cheredar writes in this Venture Beat article, the integration will be a win-win for all. This technology will ultimately get fans to stay within the Twitter client even longer to view video material instead of leaving the site to view the source data externally. Then Twitter announced in late January the arrival of Vine. The “video version” of Twitter is still in its infancy, yet already is catching on. While we Droid users are forced to wait for the compatible application, iPhone users can now share short videos in a similar form to Tweeting short messages. 2012 saw somewhat of an explosion of .gif formatted images, showing exciting highlight plays and memes, but 2013 will be the year of video. Teams finding advanced ways to use the new features and applications will benefit quickly.
The Must-Follow for January 2013
This month’s must follow is someone I’d like to call a virtual friend. J.W. Cannon is one of the #Sportsbiz’ best friends. Aside from sharing great stories, not only in social media, sponsorships, and sports business in general, J.W. has a great sense of humor. Follow @CannonJW and every so often you’ll see his commentary on some of the world’s “finest” offerings from magazines such as SkyMall and more. J.W. is business savvy and is not a guy you will regret following.
Please share your thoughts with us in the comments below, Tweet @OSMGuy, and share your thoughts with me personally by Tweeting @MatthewVinson. Thank you for all the support, and until next time, stay social!