Being first in sport social
It’s not easy being the first. An hour before kick-off in the changing room of my local team, everyone from the keeper to the third choice striker, was on their phone. It’s quiet.
Fingers swipe. Posts load.
“Barry’s reached 600 PL games” the keeper offers to nobody in particular. The room barely acknowledges the ‘Breaking News’ from Twitter. They’ve already seen it.
Social media is highly oversaturated. But it can also be the best channel to market. Brands and Rights Holders pay vast amounts to have access to sports content, yet often spend very little on its presentation. Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat and Instagram are extremely competitive (without following too many accounts, I can get 4/5 notifications of the same information at the same time) and most posts share the exact same photos, emoticons or stats.
Content has to be treated creatively and passionately. If not, it will be crowded out and will contribute to a loss of value of brand. Other accounts, without exclusive rights, must develop creative and entertaining ways of providing content of the same fixtures. They are winning possession of attention through creativity- not relying on big money names and blunt reputation.
Luckily, as long as sport keeps creating more stories, creativity can match it. Amongst the endless analysis and statistics on social, a simple illustration stands out from the crowd:
— UEFA EURO (@UEFAEURO) July 1, 2016
New techniques in creative programs, alongside innovative thinking of how to tell stories, are opening up a world of possibility. There is always another way of looking at the same content. Just as one style of play wins a league, another counters it. Social media, in all its forms, can tell engaging and powerful stories and visualisation is an essential part in its success.
Illustrated Gifs, for example, can combine different angles and past content that cannot be matched by real coverage:
— Champions League (@ChampionsLeague) August 25, 2016
They can provide analysis that doesn’t bore:
— Wimbledon (@Wimbledon) July 10, 2016
And offer alternative, attractive style to team sheets, tournament routes or simple fixture timings:
— World Rugby Sevens (@WorldRugby7s) August 9, 2016
Countdowns, profiles, summaries, can all be given an engaging style, an edge of humour or a new angle no one had seen before.
It is these innovative and creative interpretations, adapted from the same content, that will get the retweets, likes, shares, attention, money.
I show the 3rd choice striker an illustration of Giggs, Lampard and Barry with The 600 Club text behind them.
— Premier League (@premierleague) September 17, 2016
“I like the Lampard shot drawing. Didn’t know he had that many. Who posted that?” The keeper asks, wanting to be the first to share it with his followers.
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