Sports and Social Media
This year, I watched the Super Bowl online and was amazed at the major role that social media played in the experience. In all of the pregame hype and build-up, one thing struck me especially: the CBS Sports Twitter poster said that over five million tweets had been posted about the game that day and the game hadn’t even started yet. I’m sure that at least five million and more tweets went out during and after the game. On top of that, I’ve seen hundreds of posts on Facebook, Google + and other social media sites over the past week leading up to the game. The most amazing thing about this social media revolution, however, is the role it plays in spreading the sports conversation around the world and how it includes more people than the average person would normally be able to converse with. I’ve seen fans chatting with players, sports announcers, celebrities and other fans living in different parts of the world this week. When you can wish your favorite player luck in the game and he can thank you personally right back, that’s powerful.
Tying your marketing or outreach campaign to a major sports event like the Super Bowl has a great deal of potential for interaction. Asking your audience who they think will win, to predict various things to happen during the game and to guess at the final score are all fun ways to show relate to the sports fans in your audience. This is much easier these days thanks to social media sites such as Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Linked In etc. If your organization is selling goods or services, offering discounts or even something for free is a great idea right before, during or right after a big game. It’s a great idea to offer a mix of high and relatively lower value items for the same game. For example, a free service or high ticket item to the fan who comes closest to guessing the final score combined with a discount for everyone who shows up at the business wearing something that supports one of the involved teams is a classic combination that does well every year. To maximize your outreach, officially remain neutral as to which team you want to win. This helps avoid alienating the segment of the audience who wants the other team to win. If you do choose sides, at least be a good sport about it and avoid saying anything nasty about the other team.
With an increasing number of Internet users going mobile these days, you can think outside the box and come up with ways to encourage them to share their fan experience with you through social media sites. ‘Best Fan Photo’ contests take on a new dimension now that almost every fan at the game has a smart phone that takes pictures. You can also put QR codes on physical signs as part of a ‘Spot Us and Win’ promotion. As far in advance of the game as possible, contact one or both teams through their fan websites to see if your group can do anything with a member or members of the team. You’d be surprised at how receptive they can be sometimes. Fans can even chat and tweet with you while they are watching the game. Tufel Media can help you to use the power of social media to be a fan who is fun for everyone to chit chat with virtually at every home gathering, sports bar, tailgate party and stadium out there.