Social media has changed the way professional sports leagues, teams, and athletes interact with their fans. Platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube are more accessible than ever, and allow for constant touch with consumers. As social media has evolved, sponsors have recognized the platform’s importance as a marketing tool. Recent, notable social media campaigns that involve sport include Pepsi Max’s Uncle Drew video campaign and the Canadian Olympic Committee’s #WeAreWinter crusade during the 2014 Sochi Winter Olympics.
The Social Media Scoreboard
In March 2014, Wasserman Media Group, an international sports agency based in Los Angeles, in partnership with Chicago-based Navigate Research announced that they had created a Social Media Scoreboard report that analyzed how fans are using social media and what impact social media is having on fan behaviours and actions.
The study surveyed 8,000 sports fans, 141 professional sports teams, 40 athletes and 700 sponsorships across the NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL, PGA, NASCAR, and MLS. Although the survey is not available to the public, Wasserman and Navigate have released a 35-minute webinar as well as a microsite that give a sneak peak at some of the key findings of the report:
The Opportunity is Real
Compared to other mediums, mobile and Internet platforms have a smaller share of the ad revenue pie (especially in relation to the amount of time Americans spend using these mediums)
ROI – Cheap To Produce and Viral Potential
When comparing purchase intent and CPM (cost per thousand impressions), the Social Media Scoreboard found that social media was an outlier and by far the most efficient advertising medium.
Surprise! Sports Fans are on Social Media
Almost two thirds of sports fans across all ages and sport leagues use social media to gather sports information.
Social Media Engagement Leads to Action
Across all sports leagues in the study, 50% of sports fans that engage on social media, take action as a result of their engagement (examples of action could be buying tickets to a game, watching the game on TV, or following a team on social media, etc.)
With this research, Wasserman and Navigate are better able to understand the passions of the target audience of their clients, the sports fan. The ability to break through the cluttered social media landscape is a major challenge for professional sports, leagues, organizations, teams, and athletes. These properties are willing to invest in order to capitalize on the opportunity to access their target audience directly. Through studies like the Social Media Scoreboard, agencies are able to substantiate their recommendations and reassure their client’s that they will be able to maximize social media potential.
*All graphics taken from Social Media Scoreboard webinar