5 ways AFCON 2021 utilized social content to engage fans
The African Cup of Nations (AFCON) ended last week with Senegal overcoming Egypt on penalties to clinch its first-ever AFCON title. Today we’re exploring how the Confedération Africaine du Football (CAF) embraced social video content to engage football fans worldwide, grow their brand, and monetize content.
Here are the five ways CAF and its social team maximized social content throughout this year’s African Cup of Nations.
1. Brought the atmosphere home
As AFCON was delayed by a year, in part to allow fans to attend games in stadiums, it was vital for the tournament to use social video to bring the famous atmosphere that has become so synonymous with the tournament.
Fans from across Africa featured on its channels, celebrating goals inside the stadiums in their team’s colors. These videos show the true color and personality of the tournament even more so than match broadcasts on TV.
This type of content embodied the tournament’s atmosphere and allowed fans that couldn’t be in Cameroon to see their nations represented both on and off the field. For a tournament that had fewer physical fans than Euro 2020, CAF did a fantastic job of servicing each nation throughout the tournament, ensuring all fans could access content they wanted to watch.
2. Leveraged all platforms
With the rise of vertical video viewing on TikTok, Snap and Instagram, we’ve seen many sporting tournaments embracing this new style of video content creation, and CAF placed a strong focus on capitalizing on this trend.
CAF signed a ‘first of its kind’ partnership with TikTok for the platform to become an official sponsor. This, when announced, was TikTok’s first major brand partnership in Africa, showing how powerful sport, especially football, can be across the continent. The announcement sighted that TikTok would allow fans to celebrate the tournaments’ unforgettable moments together with the platform becoming a home for the spirit and passion of these iconic sporting events.
CAF’s social team has leaned into this heavily, posting on their official channels multiple times a day throughout the tournament. Their content has been varied and impactful, hitting the tone of the platform. Short-form, behind-the-scenes content mixed with fan and match footage makes its channel highly engaging.
Its social team has also maximized other platforms to give its fans a look behind the scenes. Throughout the tournament, they used Instagram to post behind-the-scenes content from every game published in vertical format onto its stories, allowing the fans to connect with their nation’s players.
3. Covered all bases
YouTube has long been the primary destination for sports highlights on the internet, but with over 122 million daily users, there is much more potential for video content on YouTube that can be packaged and presented in many different formats.
CAF’s digital team used the platform to deliver various series such as the ‘goal of the day’, ‘best five assists from the group’, and ‘most likely to’, adding more value to the experience of the tournament and driving more views for its content.
CAF’s highlights videos of the knockout rounds gained upwards of 500K views, with the final currently sitting on 1.4M at time of writing.
These results highlight trends identified in our Social Media Report 2021. We found that more extended, longer-form videos and formats worked best on this site, and CAF’s team did well to optimize their content for YouTube.
By creating and utilizing multiple types of content and optimizing it for the platform, its social team saw great success on the platform, which led to the channel reaching over 1Million subscribers over the course of the tournament.
4. Maximized live content
Engagement peaks when events are live, and CAF utilized its social channels to broadcast premium live content, providing a communal place for fans to watch. Post and pre-match press conferences, the opening and closing ceremonies, and even some games in the round of sixteen were all broadcast live to its YouTube channel.
Streaming live matches on social media is a highly effective way to engage fans and develop a community. CAF was able to draw a global audience to its channels and allow fans to interact with each other in real time from wherever they were.
5. Delivered value for sponsors
Throughout the tournament, CAF provided its headline sponsor, Total Energies, with valuable inventory and high exposure across its social content. Its TikTok, Twitter and Instagram channels included Total Energies branding throughout its posts and used the hashtag #TotalEnergiesAFCON2021.
Continental Tires also sponsored an ongoing content series across all CAF’s social media platforms that showed the goal, save or assist of the day. Using clear branding and a new format, this campaign was clearly distinguishable from other content produced.
Its team also focused on maximizing its partnership with TikTok by producing multiple pieces of content every day, optimized for the platform.
The value of social media inventory has continually risen to the point it is a key pillar of any sponsor campaign. Social platforms offer highly targeted and engaged audiences, and with the right resources, rights holders and federations can produce a variety of sponsor-led content that adds value for fans and viewers.
For more information on how we can help you to maximize your social media strategy around live events, get in touch.
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