The Role of Social Media in Sports
From players putting Twitter handles on jerseys to the instant supersaturation of “Linsanity”, it’s apparent that social media has been playing an increasingly large role in the world of sports. 80% of home viewers and 63% of spectators at live events check social media channels to gain insights during the game. The NFL draft will never be the same, and Missisippi State just put a hashtag in their end-zone. So how do players, clubs, and sponsors alike get the most out of the technology, while at the same time minimizing risk?
Some teams and clubs have embraced it – MLB saw a 36% jump in All-Star ballots cast after launching an aggressive Twitter campaign – while others shy away, like the Danish national soccer team, who put a total ban on players interacting with friends and fans via social media for fear of giving away strategies ahead of the UEFA EURO 2012 tournament.
For what it’s worth, despite the fact that the 2012 Olympics are being touted as the “world’s first social media Olympics”, the officials there are cracking down hard with stringent policies restricting athlete, sponsor, and even spectator social media use – demonstrating that once again, policy-makers are lagging when compared to real-world social media use.
What are some factors that have come into play as you’ve pitched, planned, and executed campaigns centered around a sports brand or sponsor? Were the brand executives risk-takers, eagerly embracing new technologies and techniques, or were they cautious, following “tried and true” methods and learning from others’ mistakes?