The sport industry is still reluctant to utilize social media to amplify their events and to share the social experience at stadiums with the rest of the world. The potential is notable, and aligned to the core purpose of sport - engaging communities of passion. Imagine sitting at a stadium experiencing the atmosphere that has drawn people to arenas since the time of the gladiators. What we experience is a collective relation with the people we share that moment and passion with offline and online. And collective relations are as powerful for people as intimate relations with our spouses and relational relationships with friends. It is that collective experience we want to support with Gignal, engaging audiences at physical locations and around the world.
So with 2012 in front of us, what can sport teams and venues do to amplify the collective experience and engage their audience? From Gignal’s perspective a lot can be done, with or without our stream - here is five low hanging fruits just waiting to be picked.
1. Micro-reporting It is no longer only the television- and radio stations that report live from a game, the most active reporters are the audience, with thousands of mobile phones they are standing in the front line eager to report the atmosphere, emotions and defining moments to their network. They share their experience trough pictures, videos and status updates, viewed by friends and fans outside the venue that did not have a ticket. To engage the audience as pitchside reporters, interaction with the team, the players, the coach and the venue is key. We already see sport stars on Twitter and Facebook, but much more can be done to make the audience share their experience.
Through the social media stream on physical screens at the stadium, the audience can monitor the collective participation, which makes them aware of their role as a micro-reporter. And the audience watching from home, can follow the social media buzz online, as if they were standing in the front line them selves.
2. Cross media experience The audience are multitasking even when they are at the stadium watching the game. They follow the action on the ground, on the billboard, on their phones and on screens at the tribune. At home the TV or radio is on, and so is the laptop where the fans can search for further information and interact on social networks.
The social media stream is not competing with TV or radio, on the contrary it presents the audience experience rather than a reporters, making it an ideal supplement for a cross media experience.
3. Engage communities of passion Football teams describe the 12th. player as the audience. If the audience is engaged and cheering for their team, they empower the players. Through the stream on stadium screens, the coach can send a message to the audience - to make them roar their support to the players in crucial moments. The team players can send messages before and after the game, to create buzz and to thank the audience directly.
There lies an incredible power in audience engagement, because in the end it is all about stimulating communities of passion, to create a memorable social experience.
4. Social media stream - before, during and after the game. During games we are often able to watch a live video stream, but sport teams tend to forget that fans talk constantly about their team, upcoming games and their expectations. It would be easy and obvious for sport teams to have a “Live” area on their website, so fans can click and see the real-time buzz, produced by fans and the team across social networks.
Gignal provides a widget, making it easy for clubs to host and present all the social media buzz from a geo tag and hashtags on their own website. Not only will it be easier for people to find the buzz, it also brings the traffic back to the clubs, instead of keeping it on the social networks.
5. Real-time marketing When a fan checks-in to a stadium, writes a tweet or takes a picture, we know where they are based on the geo tag. This is also the ideal time to market and sell merchandise, tickets and other location based goods, to a passionate and captive audience. During the heat of the moment it us much easier to sell tickets for the game next week, merchandise and beer at the pub after the game. Some clubs are seeing this potential, one of them are Real Madrid, that has been working with mobile marketing for a while.
With Gignal, sport clubs can present these time limited offers on the stadium screens, reaching a captive audience, that are much more willing to press buy while they experience the atmosphere in that given moment.
Every brand is media company Every organization and brand is a media company. But since this is not their core business or skill, utilizing the new media opportunities can be difficult for the people involved. We want to make it easy for sport teams to gather, host and present all the buzz that surrounds their brand, so they can be in charge of audience involvement.