Sport and Second Screen Consumption

As millions of sports fans around the world sit down to watch sporting events every week, be sure that their smart phones, laptops, and tablets are not far from reach. More and more eyeballs are being diverted to these devices while watching sport. During breaks in action fans are sure to be checking social media feeds, getting the latest stats and analysis, chatting with friends, searching for relevant information, or checking on their fantasy team. This is the second screen effect.

Second screen devices

As a recent article by Google (Sports Fans and the Second Screen, 2014) reports, 77% of us now watch TV with a laptop, phone or tablet nearby. Collective moments such as big televised sporting events are prime second screen territory. To see this shift in attention we can look at the difference between the 2010 FIFA World Cup and the 2014 UEFA Champions League final match. During the 2010 World Cup about 18% of searches for games, players and teams occurred on mobile devices. In the 2014 UEFA Champions League match, an impressive 63% of those searches were on mobile. What is also of importance is that consumers are much more likely to be searching during the game rather than after the final whistle (which was much more common in past years). This means that brands can connect with consumers in real time, when they are most engaged.

Motivations for Second Screen Consumption:

Google also went into fans natural viewing habitats to understand their motivations to use second screen devices and applications. You can find the full report here. The following is a summary of their findings:

Sport fans can be divided into three categories based on their motivations to use second screen devices and applications.

Sharing the Rush – these fans want to feel the roar of the crowd in real time. Second-screening is about immediate social connection and validation—feeling the adrenaline of the crowd and speaking their mind. Recommendations for this group include:

  • Give fans at home ways to participate in the energy and rituals of the stadium.

  • Make fan-to-fan communication more dynamic and visual.

Social Broadcasting – These fans want to push entertaining and inspirational content out to their network. They want cool content to be easily accessible and at their fingertips. Recommendations for this group include:

  • Make cool, credible content easy to access. Make interactions quick, and sharing seamless.

  • Plan ahead. Identify possible scenarios and create content that can be tweaked on the fly and quickly delivered when the time comes.

Searching for a Common Language – These fans are looking for stats and info to be armed with information for social situations. This info can help them fit in at work or with sport savvy friends. Recommendations for this group include:

  • Make it easy to find and collect snackable facts, stats and trivia.

  • Partner with creators and influencers to surface relevant info in engaging ways.

Best Practice Examples:

Understanding the motivations for using second screen applications can help brands engage with fans. Depending on the type of property, brands can utilize different methods to gain traction in their market. The following are some examples of how brands and companies are using the second screen trend to engage fans.

Opta Sport

Opta is the world’s leading sports performance data company for football (soccer), cricket, and rugby (however they do have clients in other sports as well). They collect, package, analyse and distribute live sports data. It is databased and supplied within seconds of the action happening on the pitch. This means it can be used to create an ongoing narrative as the drama unfolds.

Opta collects data on over 8,000 games each year and work with over 300 clients in a variety of sectors including professional Clubs (i.e., FC Barcelona and Tottenham Hotspur etc.), governing bodies (i.e., MLS), and major sport sponsors (i.e., Nike, adidas, and Gatorade etc.).

Opta has used this data and analytics to work with innovative organizations to create leading edge second screen applications. It is easy to see the possibilities for any organization, be it a sponsor or professional club, to create engaging second screen experiences for their fans. Check out this video for a deeper look at how Opta is changing the fan experience:

Beyond the Box App

Social Media is a huge part of the second screen experience. It is no surprise that sport fans are using social media more and more to engage with sport. To find out just how sport fans engage with sport through social media check out our previous post on the topic here.

The Beyond the Box application is taking advantage of this trend with a tablet app that aggregates real-time tweets from 1,000 media sources and 2,000 players. This app covers content from all 4 major North American leagues (NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB). You can choose your favourite teams to get updates, analysis, and links from the aggregate sources of the app. This custom feed will provide fans with in depth information that goes much further than what is presented on the live broadcast.

Nike Phenomenal Shot Campaign

The wonder team of Nike and Google partnered up to create this phenomenal campaign to target consumers at the second screen level during the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Seconds after a Nike athlete had a big play on television, Nike pushed out mobile ad’s across the Google display network that consisted of virtual celebrations of the Nike athlete. This ad then invited fans to remix the 3D rendering of the athlete by creating a poster, personalizing it through custom headlines, tags, filters and more. This personalized poster was then easily shared on the fans social networks. These ads were shared in real time (10 seconds following the play) and ran in 15 countries. To do this, they were prepared ahead of time for numerous in game situations that could play out (sounds familiar to the recommendation for catering to the social broadcasting category of fans). For a more comprehensive look at the campaign visit the Think with Google page or check out the video below:

These are only a few of the numerous examples of how brands are taking advantage of the upward trend of second screen use. As the popularity of smart phones and tablets rise, the possibilities for these types of applications and campaigns seem endless.

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