Sport is an important segment of society while the whole sports industry helps us relax from the stress of everyday life. Advertising in sport is as important as in other fields especially in the modern age where digital technology and digital marketing have a strong impact on the way news and information are processed.
While social media were primarily used to connect individuals, nowadays they help to promote companies, brands and institutions. Facebook, with more than 1.5 million company profiles is the most influential of all. Facebook or Twitter marketing can do wonders for any business. Sport managers and coaches are aware of the necessity to use social media to connect with fans and make them part of their favourite teams. Fans use the digital media to share the latest news, show their loyalty and interact with others, including players and coaches.
Connecting Fans and Teams
Before the invention of social media, fans could meet their favourite team members in the dressing rooms or at press conferences, ask a limited number of questions, take some photos and that was all. Things have changed for the better with the newest social media trend. It is now possible to follow players on Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Youtube and receive daily updates about the team’s plans, strategies or impressions about important matches. This makes fans part of the team and promotes business at the same time. By giving fans interesting content on social media, teams manage to attract more supporters so it is a great idea to create events on the web where fans would be able to contribute to teams. According to some recent studies, fans engage with the social media in several ways:
- Fans choose social media to vote for the best player of the match.
- Fans love to watch the latest photos from the matches on Tumblr or Facebook and leave their comments
- Fans enjoy reading about what players do to get ready for the match, the food they eat and if their families are there to support them
- They use applications such as Fancake to watch matches and connect with friends, take part in competitions and win medals or get prizes
- All fans love to compete for prizes which is why they regularly follow sports pages on Facebook
- They use the social media on the day of the match, when the excitement rises
- After the match fans leave comments on Facebook, photos and links to the best parts of the match
- Fans use mostly Facebook to predict the results
- They follow brands and look for coupons, discounts and free tickets for matches and games
College Coach and Social Media
Some universities realized the importance of connecting with fans on social media which results in their presence on Facebook, Youtube and Twitter. Creative ideas come from fans and students who design pages to attract more people to the matches and home sporting events. College sport fans are not interested only in cheer leaders and popcorn any more, they can now follow the lates news about their basketball or athletic team on Twitter, get free tickets or attend fundraising campaigns for various causes. It has become necessary that every college and university advertises on social media if they are to grow the number of fans. The results are fantastic as some pages and videos have more than 200,000 views or likes, and it is only the beginning. More and more coaches are engaged in the social media to stay in touch with the fans or create interesting content. That way sports teams earn money from the sponsors, fans are motivated and college students can see more events on the campus than ever before.
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