Professional Sports Without Fans Will Increase Social Media Usage

By May 21, 2020 Social Media
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Whether you’re a football, basketball, soccer or baseball fan, you’ve likely asked yourself the same question. Are we going to be able to watch our favorite teams this year?

Since the rise of COVID-19, many sports fans have been on the edge of their seats regarding upcoming seasons and tournaments. Some leagues and politicians have mused about fan-free arenas others have mentioned the possibility of allowing a select group of fans to enter stadiums. Either way, we can conclude that sports fans will have to adjust to several differences this year. Instead of being able to talk to other fans at bars, tailgates or games, more fans will shift to social media to communicate with fans, teams and brands.

Fans Will Engage in Virtual Communication with Each Other

“The way Blank sees the upcoming season playing out, the NFL is likely to play a full season although the Falcons’ owner does not anticipate fans being in the stadium at this time.” – Saturday Down South

Social media is a great place for fans to form groups to share sports articles, discuss games and talk about athletes. Even before the pandemic, fans used social media as a way to communicate with other fans and as an outlet to exchange competitive banter. Having said that, pre-COVID social media interactions prove that virtual communication will be an even more popular way for fans to communicate regardless of fan-bans at sporting events. Engaging with other fans is part of the joy of following any sport. Social media provides a place for people to connect and share like-minded sentiments and opposing opinions through tweets, videos, posts and comments. Physical distancing limitations will only heighten social media usage.

Fans Can Virtually Interact with All Teams

“ESPN notes that the NBA plans to regularly test players for the coronavirus if the season does resume, but has been reluctant to do so in voluntary workout situations.” – Sports Illustrated 

Social media is a great place for fans to form groups to share sports articles, discuss games and talk about athletes.. Even before the pandemic, fans used social media as a way to communicate with other fans and as an outlet to exchange competitive banter. Having said that, pre-COVID social media interactions prove that virtual communication will be an even more popular way for fans to communicate regardless of fan-bans at sporting events. Engaging with other fans is part of the joy of following any sport. Social media provides a place for people to connect and share like-minded sentiments and opposing opinions through tweets, videos, posts and comments. Physical distancing limitations will only heighten social media usage.

Season updates, team safety measures and athlete health coverage are already being shared through online news sites. Oftentimes, fans receive social media notifications about updates of their leagues and teams with details similar to the Sports Illustrated quote above. Once the tweet or post is out and the organization’s message is disseminated for everyone to see, fans will retweet it and reach out to teams, sports news sites, organizations, athletes and fellow fans for more updates and news on upcoming seasons and tournaments. Below you can see a perfect example of a tweet about an upcoming tournament being shared by a soccer fan, and then multiple fans liking, retweeting and responding to that tweet:

Brands Can Strategically Promote to Fans During Sporting Events

“Doritos proves, you shouldn’t mess with a good thing. For years, the brand has put out a contest for their Super Bowl ad to amateur filmmakers allowing social media outlets to crown the winner.” – Ignite Social Media

For brands that partner with sports leagues to run campaigns, now is the time to stick to a strategy that has had previous success. Many fans will be talking to each other via social media channels, and this is a critical time for brands to monitor their earned media coverage and target audiences by tracking keywords. Game days are the time to leverage social media to promote your brand. 

 

Whether a brand’s product is sports-related or not, people will be tuning into social media and live-tweeting during sporting events to engage in conversations about home runs or missed field goals. If you are running any kind of campaign or ad related to the game, social media is likely to be the place fans are talking about it. Your brand doesn’t have to be sports-related to attract their attention. Think about commercials during the big game, oftentimes, it isn’t a sports company that targets its ads to viewers. And once an ad airs, social media is the place it is shared and goes from a paid media to an earned media event. The main point here is that your brand, despite whichever industry you’re in, can gain a ton of exposure because of the wide-range audience that is on social media.

Adapt to new media practices and ensure that your brand is always on top of trends with real-time media monitoring.

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Priscilla_Osorio_Bio_Image
Priscilla Osorio

Priscilla is the marketing coordinator for Critical Mention. Early on in her career, she developed a passion for marketing, writing and anything within the communication field. During her leisure time, she loves to watch her favorite sports teams and explore new restaurants with friends and family.