Tour de Twitter: Social and Cycling Go Hand in Hand
Bike? Check. Helmet? Check. Social? Check.
This year the Tour de France can check one more piece of equipment off their list of cycling essentials as this is the first time the race will feature social components executed by Amaury Sport Organisation and Eurosport.
As one of the world’s most iconic sporting events, a social integration was a natural next-step for the sports organizations to take. This year the Tour de France will be bringing fans closer to the action - faster than ever before.
Racing to the Fans
Noting that the coveted cycling race attracts a wide audience, the Tour de France wants to interact with their immense global fan base while they’re already present online. When discussions first began, the Tour de France had a vision in mind where they could reach fans using a variety of engaging touchpoints.
With the introduction of the Social Corner, fans have unlimited access to content ranging from riders and teams to routes and locations. Below is a preview of the competition’s route depicting cyclist’s progress in the race and how much conversation is occurring at various stages. Fans can select stages to include in this view to see what’s newsworthy - or Tweet-worthy - at that leg of the race. Say an underdog cyclist pulled away from the pack and plunged ahead of the current leader - fans can instantly pinpoint where discussion is happening or jump into the conversation to give their input. Since time zone differences might hamper our race-watching abilities, the Social Corner is also a comprehensive source for playing catch-up on what you missed while you were sleeping.
Back to the worldwide reach of the race, fans may opt to check out conversations from a global perspective with a map displaying real-time, individual Tweets about the Tour de France as they surface from varying geographical locations. Users might find that their favorite Australian cyclist has supporters in South America, or perhaps an American cyclist just fell and now we can gauge the world’s reaction.
The intention is that the mobile-optimized social corner will be used habitually over the next few weeks as the premiere source for Tour de France updates and communication. A social mosaic of user-generated content will release real-time interactions with all things related to #TDF (Tour de France).
Teams and cyclists will also be tracked on social platforms to present who is winning the race in terms of fan popularity.
Eurosport’s Universal Reach
The decision to leverage social came easily to Eurosport who wanted to speak and respond to viewers over the duration of the race. The leading sports entertainment group is showing every stage of the Tour live on TV while their Home of Cycling website has been transformed over the course of the race to engage with viewers in multiple languages. A mosaic is featuring social posts about the race in real-time - giving user-generated updates about the race from across the globe - including posts using the #homeofcycling hashtag. Fans can also make a bold prediction about the Tour de France winner’s overall time for a chance to win prizes.
With this capability, the media outlet is further reinforcing the value of their TV coverage of the competition. The company is also including presenters as active social participants to engage with viewers via social channels. Over time, Eurosport plans to integrate this toolset across the board with all of their sports coverage.
Tour de Twitter
These two social integrations revolve around the idea of being ‘in the moment’ with viewers. Both Tour de France and Eurosport are giving global fans a way to celebrate the tour and highlight just how much conversation is taking place around one of the world’s most recognized sporting events. Although we all know in cycling that it's not about the bike,social has been a vehicle for Eurosport and Tour de France to lead the race in live sports coverage.