I have been an intern for the Tampa Bay Lightning since January and I have been able to see first hand how sports fans, specifically hockey fans, interact with social media. Now more than ever, fans are constantly connected and looking to update themselves with the latest news about all of their favorite sports teams. Marketing departments of sports teams can use this to their advantage by hosting contests, sharing updates, and photos on social media platforms, which would allow them to get fans excited and engaged as well as collect data on those fans that are socially connected. Data collection is difficult though because it is generally limited to views, likes, & names of people who participate in contests. It can be hard to determine just how many people are using each platform and where the opportunities are for marketers.
Catalyst PR recently did a study that looked at where sports fans hang out online and how they can be reached. They surveyed 2,100 sports fans between the ages of 16 and 64. Those surveyed were fans of the NFL, MLB, NBA, college football, college basketball, and soccer. Although this does not encompass all sports fans, the data did show some interesting trends. Almost twice as many fans surveyed use Facebook compared to Twitter, at 73% to 37%. But on game day, they check Twitter about 1.5 times as often as they do Facebook. This may be the case because fans are looking to get minute to minute updates on the game that they are following and Twitter is a better platform for that. Another interesting find was that seven out of 10 sports fans who “Like” or follow a brand say they’re open to sharing brand content, buying goods or engaging with social posts. Word of mouth is becoming a very powerful way to share messages in a world where everyone is connected by the internet. Marketers need to be aware of this and give fans interesting content to share with their friends. This could lead to increased awareness of the brand as well as increased brand loyalty because the fan can feel connected with the team.
How do you think that sports teams can better use social media platforms to engage you as a sports fan?
Below is the link to a full article on the study.