Social media is all about brand engagement. So, how can sports organizations use it to improve fan experience and not detract from it?
As a recent Media Post article stated, “The challenge of social media for major league sports is how to engage fans without disengaging them from the game by interrupting those all-important moments of play.”
The piece discussed how pro sports organizations have been trying to figure out “the social media puzzle.” How can they walk the line between wiring modern stadiums, so fans can access immediate information, send tweets to friends, and catch an important replay if they missed it in real time---without disruption during a game? How can sports organizations offer interactive social media programs that don’t distract from but heighten the fan experience?
One line in the article summed up sports fans very well: “Fan groups are by nature social.” That means they enjoy attending sports events together and sharing the experience to the hilt. Using social media before the game, during time outs and intermissions, and when it's over is terrific. Reliving “the great play” or “the play that swung the momentum” is a big part of the sports experience for all fans. And those moments are meant to be shared and savored.
When I go to a sports event, I’m there to see the game. Sure, I want to share the experience with my son and friends, both at the game or not. I’ll send photos and comments out via my iPhone... but not during the action.
For teams that want to engage fans via social media, photo ops, invites to Q&A sessions, and contests are great ideas. But can they come before and after games? How about during the pre- and post-seasons to keep fans engaged consistently without interrupting games?
Let’s leave it up to the fans to decide when and how they want to engage with friends during sporting events. That enables us all to optimize and customize our experiences.
- What’s the role of social media where pro sports are concerned?
- Do you think sports teams should engage fans during games?
- When and how should pro sports organizations use social media? How about local sports groups?
Let’s hear from marketers, social media experts, and fans!
(Photo courtesy of Bigstock: Baseball Crowd)