Social media continues to be a popular topic in sports business. It’s still the newest marketing and communications channel available for teams and league to engage with their fans.While it still represents only a small part of the business for these organisations, the constantly evolving technology and detailed level of interaction possible with fans has added a lot of emphasis to social media initiatives. Here are three noteworthy items from the last two weeks:
New Jersey Devils: Mission Control
Last week, the Devils officially unveiled their new “Mission Control” social media hub at the Prudential centre. Manned by a staff of die-hard Devils fans called the Devils Army Generals, this control room is a place for the team to manage all of their social media communications, especially Twitter and Facebook.
The room is filled with televisions, computer screens and iPads, providing all the resources that the Generals will need to push out their own content and actively engage in conversation with other fans.
Check out this launch video for more information:
Milwaukee Bucks: Ticket Giveaway on Facebook (from JSOnline.com, 2/16/2011)
In an effort to increase their fan engagement on Facebook and learn more about their fans, the Bucks were offering two free tickets to an upcoming game to anyone that “liked” the team on Facebook and completed an online survey. In total, over 1,500 fans received tickets through this promotion.
According to Don Walker from JSOnline.com, “The Bucks have research that shows 57% of people who come to Bucks’ games had visited Facebook in the previous 30 days. With that kind of connection, the Bucks want to tap into that and solicit more fans to go on Facebook and, ultimately, go to games.”
NBA: NBA Legend Facebook Game (from NYTimes.com, 2/14/2011)
The NBA has consistently embraced social media, and because of that, they have the most Facebook fans (over 7 million) of any U.S. sports league. Creating that level of following is impressive, but once you have an audience, you need to engage them in order to sustain a valuable relationship with those fans.
The NBA partnered with game developer Lionside to launch NBA Legend, where users can create their own virtual player and develop his career over time. Companies like Zynga have shown there is a definite audience for social media managed games, so hopefully that success can translate into the sports realm.
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