Weekly Wrap: BBC pledge more sport and there’s some good news for Sunderland at last

The BBC has pledged 1000 extra hours of sport to be shown live on iPlayer and the BBC Sport website, in a move which is sure to be to the benefit of plenty of emerging sports looking for a broadcasting home.

Increasingly, sports which don’t have the mainstream pull of the likes of the Premier League have taken to live-streaming in order to boost the numbers of eyeballs on their content, creating greater awareness of their events at worst, and new, dedicated fans at best. The BBC’s commitment to more live sport across its digital platforms will give an opportunity for these sports to gain the massive reach that the BBC can provide, and boost awareness even further via its well-followed social media channels.

Whilst that was good news this week for some, it’s been a tough week for others, as Championship side Sunderland slipped into the relegation places in the second tier of English football after being relegated in the summer. Manager Simon Grayson was sacked, and the Black Cats will have to turn their season around sooner rather than later.

That’s all the more reason for those working at the club off the pitch to step up their game. As the only big club in the town, Sunderland as a club has a close relationship with its fans, and that was in evidence this week at the Football Business Awards, as the club picked up the award for “Best Fan Engagement”, mostly for their efforts around this season’s kit launch: a fan-centric campaign featuring local amateur football teams, as the club’s kit was designed to hark back to the stripes the club wore over a century ago, when they were one of the most successful teams in the world.

Other clubs have been innovating with fan-centric creations this week, too. On Instragram polls – a young new feature which most of us are still getting used to – Bayern Munich were able to create an engaging story centred around matchday, giving their followers on the platform the chance to direct the content they wanted to see, and allowing those who weren’t at the game the chance to feel much closer to the action.

Meanwhile, AS Roma were, once again, doing interesting and different things, away from the established platforms. This time, the Italian giants teamed up with Fastory to create a quiz for their fans, as well as serving them with stats and highlights ahead of their game against Chelsea in the Champions League. They ended up winning the game 3-0 which, as wonderful as the quiz was, probably pleased the Giallorossi fans even more.

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Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 710 posts

Chris is a sports journalist and editor of Digital Sport - follow him on Twitter @CJMcMullan_

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