Internet and Sports Marketing Meet Social Media

Internet and Sports Marketing Meet Social Media

Internet and Sports Marketing Meet Social Media

Being a multi sport town, Boston has a luxury that other states don’t

Boston sports fans have to admit they’ve been spoiled over the last decade. The Red Sox, Patriots and Celtics have all won championships, and even the Bruins have made it deep into the NHL playoffs.  Growing in parallel with the success of Boston’s franchises has been fan interest and excitement. Thanks to the advent of social media, the fan noise has grown even louder and become interactive at the same time.

According to the Boston Globe, the Celtics are using social media and Social Media Marketing to increase their profits and increase brand awareness with fans worldwide. Through an app called GameTime Live, scores, fan interaction, blogs and tweets are just a few of the features being used to drive users to Celtics.com The Celtics have four hundred and fifty thousand Facebook fans and twenty-two thousand Twitter followers.

Although social media is a powerful tool to market and brand teams and gain support beyond the walls of stadiums, there can be negative aspects to it as well. Paul Pierce, the Boston Celtics player captain, recently got into a bit of a controversy over a tweet he made that bragged about a Celtics a victory. The words found on his tweet, “Anybody got a BROOM?” referred to a possible four-game sweep of the Celtics over the Orlando Magic, as the Celtics had just gone up 2-0 in the series.  Pierce would later deny tweeting this explaining that hackers broke into his account. Fortunately for Pierce and the Celtics, they would win the series against Orlando and advance to the NBA finals.  If social media is this powerful for one American sports team, imagine its potential to reach audiences via the currently ongoing World Cup.

According to ABC news, in 2010 social media has exploded in soccer. Due to limited access for some on broadcast television and different global time zones, many supporters have joined their country’s crusade online.  There are dozens of blogs, hundreds of websites, and many live streams available – some through mobile apps – all dedicated to soccer teams. Foursquare, a location-based social networking site, allows mobile users the ability to “check-in” at various venues for points and “badges.” They have partnered up with CNN to tap into locations of World Cup global viewing parties.  This app is also being used to link attendees between the ten soccer stadiums located thousands of miles apart in South Africa. Some of the players are connecting to supportive fans though their Twitter pages.

This opens up the possibility of other applications jumping into the arena of sporting events. Event marketers or vendors at or nearby scheduled events could design an application announcing their product or service at a discount to fans by showing their game stub. Downloadable content applications could be created by marketing firms to deliver exclusive content for a fee. Marketers of sports teams or sports charities could be compensated by designing an application that gave away signed game material. There are endless combinations of applications and marketing opportunities available.

What will effective social media look like for big games like the NBA finals and World Cup Soccer?

Currently, popular keyword high on Google Trends list include: German national anthem, German soccer, and Germany World Cup. Famous soccer players such as Robert Enke, Lusa Padolski, Miroslav Klose and Mesut Ozil rank high as well. As more people connect in real time globally, the more soccer viewing and interaction for events like the World Cup will take place. Social media site Mashable has a Twitter directory list, which fans can follow for the month long soccer tournament. Twitter has its own Top Tweets list for the World Cup too.

The more following taking place, the more communication between the fans of soccer, basketball or any sport can exist. This gives marketers of the sports or sport related offerings a specialized audience to talk to. Facebook and Twitter are getting more convertible with combining advertising and user input on their sites, and Apple is preparing apps creators for richer ad delivery through iAds. Dedicated fan sites such as Lego Click Community boards already have ways for their fans to click and interact and its only a matter of time before more sporting fanatics get in on the action.

In the NBA Finals, Twitter also has taken advantage of its platform through the use of   http://twitter.com/CELTICSvLAKERS. This allows fans the chance to view highlights of the game, view a press conference or interact with NBA.com to post their opinions on who’ll they think will be the series most valuable player.  Fans can also share their historical data with other fans. Topics range from draft statistics to trends for winning a particular game in a series and many more. Sport provider ESPN, along with sister network ABC, offers a real time play-by-play twitter feed for fans to follow along with.

Sports fans should get used to the new landscape involving not just their remote control and comfy couch. Social media aspects are mashing together with online and mobile technologies to heighten and enlighten a fan’s experience.

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