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How to Use Social Media to Promote Sports Events

By on November 9th, 2012 | Marketing, Social Media


Social media and sports go together like football and hot wings. Brands that do it right will see greater attendance and virtual audiences in the stands and on the couch. Here are three ways to promote your events through social media, plus four teams/sports stars who use social media very well to gain attention and attendance.

Pre-Event Chatter

The anticipation of the upcoming event is almost more fun than the game itself – much like how most people feel about the days leading up to the holidays. Using hashtags like the Super Bowl and the World Cup have done over the years is a fast, easy, and catchy way to get people on board and spreading the word. But, ideas don’t end there. The Boston Celtics were the first professional sports team to create an Instagram account and quickly attracted 170,000 within the first few months. The exclusive pre-game locker room shots give followers access to this account. Followers are highly engaged, and by using this platform, the team can still index the conversation with a hashtag while also increasing the interaction by encouraging additional, richer media: photos.

Game Time Convo

The power of social media lies in its real-time speed. People don’t just look and hope for the latest news or scores on social media platforms anymore. They expect it. In many cases, scores, calls and breaking news are leaked by users seeing the action first-hand and sharing it with their networks. The Chicago Bulls rides the real-time wave very well with its Bulls Connect social network. In order for fans to interact on the site, they must sign up. Once this occurs, the team has got their full attention. Fans communicate directly to each other, follow other fans, write blog posts and share photos. It’s a way for this group to house their passion for the team in one place. It is most active during the game because users can expand their living room so-to-speak and chat with people outside of the game-day party their throwing in their home.

Athlete Dialogue

The most beloved athletes on social media are the ones who make their teams look super social savvy and are usually given a break when crisis occurs. Why? Because athletes who take the time to build relationships with fans on their social pages will form a strong bond. And, as we know in our own human nature, it’s tough to be mad at a friend very long. As fans get to know the athlete more and more, fans become invested in the player, and in turn, the team he or she plays for, making them likely to watch or attend the game. NBA star Kendall Marshall does this best by re-tweeting his fans meaningful tweets, no matter how small their Twitter following. The Phoenix Suns basketball player has 131,000+ followers to date.

What’s the best way to promote sports events that you’ve seen?

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    Great article! I just wanted to say this post is right on the money. Apps are difficult to market, and games specifically have there own challenges. Video is definitely one of the best tools to get started with, and search engines love video. Most apps need explanation with a voice over, but most games dont, so you really need to present the game play in an enticing way and keep it short. You can make one yourself easily with your developer tool and a decent screen recorder. It takes some time but its well worth it. You

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