Better than a Kiss-Cam: How In-Venue Social Integrations Advance the Play

We don’t attend games to watch athletes play—we could do that from the comfort of our couch. We attend sporting events because we crave an experience. We need to hear the chants, high-five the mascot, smell the sweat. Okay, maybe that last one’s a bit of a stretch...

Being an in-venue fan is an experience and marketers are tasked with making it a memorable one—one worth repeating. Keep reading for a couple ideas every sports team marketer should consider to keep fans coming back for more. 

Putting Fans in the Limelight

Social is short, quick, and special. We all get that warm, fuzzy feeling when our Tweet gets favorited or retweeted by someone we look up to, but what if everyone was looking up at our Tweet?

Showcasing Tweets or Instagram selfies from fans on a jumbotron is a surefire way to make individual fans feel special. Who knows which famous athlete might be looking at it, not to mention thousands of attendees. Best of all, this is an opportunity for fans to look smart or cool or funny, because they choose what to share—unlike a kiss-cam where the content isn’t always within their control.

Your fans are already sharing, take your relationship to the next level by connecting them to the entire stadium (and maybe even at home viewers) and highlighting their awesome content.

Telling THEIR Story

People are talking about your event—now it’s time to do something with those conversations. Let fans know they’re being heard by telling a story. To note, these stories should be of your brand, not from your brand. Let fans be the storytellers. For example, the Nebraska Huskers collected pictures that fans have Tweeted at them and then Tweeted back to specific audience members to show them that their team spirit was appreciated.

“Without listening, you’re just broadcasting,” said Kelly Mosier, Director of Digital Communications at University of Nebraska. “You’re not having a conversation.” These fans clearly like the Huskers because they shared content that included the team, but the Huskers took it one step further by re-sharing their content from their own handle. 

Connecting Fans to Their Team

Brands and media companies need to commit to giving fans an experience. First you have to equip your fans, then allow them to participate and watch the engagement before choosing your best course of action to elevate the conversation. That could mean giving fans insider access to their favorite players by sharing exclusive content or having the players engage with fans directly.

 “Connect the fans, connect the team, connect the brand. Tell their stories,” said Mosier. And remember, there’s always room to expand your venue. 
 

This post was inspired and informed by the panel “Converging Sports & Social: The New Game-day Experience” at the 2014 Spredfast Summit. Want more ideas to inspire your social programs? Download our Top 10 Big Ideas from Leading Social Marketers.

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Samantha Subar

@SamanthaSubar
Samantha is a PR Manager at Spredfast where she showcases the customers and thought leaders behind the world's best social software platform. Texas born and raised, Samantha is also a Longhorn lover, wilderness explorer, and cupcake connoisseur. Follow her for the latest on Spredfast and, of course, food.