The draw of a live event presents huge opportunities for teams and leagues to create engaging content and touchpoints with fans while maximizing value for sponsors.
We wanted to offer five tips on how NFL teams can leverage the popularity of their SuperBowl experience or other major events to drive fan engagement, with concepts that can be translated across the world of sport.
1. Focus on video, and what you can offer
Sports fans engage significantly more with video-based content than any other. Fans are watching more video than ever across multiple platforms, be it social media, OTT or on TV. You should look to deliver video content that is accessible to fans on any and every platform.
Looking specifically at social media, NFL teams can offer a unique view into their roster by creating behind-the-scenes videos from the locker room or training field, or deliver live player Q&A shows to Facebook or YouTube in the build-up to the game, giving fans close access to the team.
You should also look to leverage your archive content – retell compelling stories and those magic moments from your journey to the SuperBowl or before that. This should be done in the weeks leading up to the game to build excitement and engagement, but fans will be most receptive on match day. Teams should look to cover every angle and corner of their Super Bowl experience – fans want access and context, they want to see what each player sees in real-time, to feel like they are a part of the experience.
Try to keep developing how you deliver video. The rise of short-form content on TikTok has been prolific in engaging fans across the world. Our research found that TikTok users across the world increased by 366% between 2020 to 2021. As with all platforms, it’s important to understand which video formats suit each platform. You can read more about that in our recent Social Video Trends report.
2. Deliver your own live content
Engagement peaks occur when events are live. On Super Bowl Sunday make sure your content goes out in real-time. This real-time content will cut through the noise on social platforms and allow fans to engage with the match as it happens. This will give you the best chance to get fans consuming your content while they are most interested in the Super Bowl.
Use live streams to create shoulder content for pre-game, half time or post-game shows that give the fans a different type of experience than they would get watching the Super Bowl terrestrial stream.
If you can offer live content that adds to the experience of fans, they will come. During breaks in the game, or before and after, fans are looking for a communal place to discuss their opinions and ask questions. Where better than the source? Use your athletes, and influencers to drive this content and create an interactive experience that fans all over the world can enjoy.
3. Make use of every platform
Consumers want to watch content from where they prefer, and this varies from person to person. It is important to make sure that your content is available in real-time across all major social platforms and devices.
It is vital for your content to be optimized for each platform you are pushing it to. The Grabyo Social Video Trends 2021 found that TikTok has become the fastest-growing social media platform ever and demands close attention.
@bengals Oh, what a feeling! #nflplayoffs ♬ original sound – Cincinnati Bengals
Every social media platform audience has its own behaviors, wants, and needs. To be successful across all of them, you must approach and optimize content for each platform individually. When creating content for TikTok make sure it is short and playful, for Instagram short and sharp and for YouTube longer format is king. To find out how to optimize your video for each social platform download the full report here.
4. Be ready to go viral
Cutting through the Super Bowl noise is the objective for any team. Many brands and broadcasters will be creating Superbowl content so it is vital that you do something to stand out.
Make sure you are agile, virality relies on you being quick to react to trends, you must be ready to react to any moment in the game, either on or off the field.
To do this, think creatively. Apply social trends to moments in the game, you may even end up creating one. Ensure that you have a seamless workflow or you may miss your chance. Reacting quickly and delivering a creative spin is your best chance of cutting through the noise on social media and going viral.
5. Lead with athlete and influencer content
Athletes and influences are now more popular than ever, being more of a draw than most rights holders and sports teams. For example, Lionel Messi has 300M followers on Instagram, and Ronaldo just hit 400m followers there this week, compared to Paris Saint Germain’s 51M. People want to feel connected with athletes and influencers more than anything else when following sport.
Using athletes for your content is an easy win in getting people engaged with your brand. It will also greatly increase the chances that your content will go viral, another key consideration when looking at which athletes to work with. Find an athlete or influencer that works well with your target consumer and find a creative way to deliver them to your audience.
Equip your athletes with the tools they need to easily create content and deliver it in real-time. Grabyo has integrations with partners such as Greenfly and INFCLR that make this easier than ever before and allows these athletes to be in control of their own content whenever it suits them.
Also, using products such as Grabyo’s Remote Guest can bring talent in from around the world and easily allow athletes to be involved in your content from wherever they are in the world using just a laptop and a stable internet connection.