Three tips to engage sports fans on Twitter

Tuesday, 3 June 2014

The fans and the players.
The rivalries and the rituals.
The thrill of victory and the agony of defeat.

Whether you cheer for the Dallas Cowboys, Manchester United, cricket or horse racing, Twitter brings you closer to your favorite sports. Today’s biggest sporting events like the Super Bowl or the Olympics play out on Twitter as millions come together to celebrate or commiserate in real time. With the NBA finals and World Cup on the horizon, we wanted to share key insights from our User Profile Study on sports enthusiasts and three tips for brands on engaging the roar of the crowd.

 Three tips to engage sports fans on Twitter

1. Sports fans are active on Twitter and mobile.

In our survey, we found that the majority of self-proclaimed sports enthusiasts check Twitter once a day (78%). They also tweet at least once a day (61%). These tweeting sports aficionados are not only active on Twitter, they are also on the go: 79% say they access Twitter on a mobile device.

Advertiser tip: Reach sports fans wherever they might be by optimizing content across platforms to be relevant and lightweight. Be creative with commentary and updates. Engage fans in the moment and across screens like @adidasHoops did during the NBA Playoffs to promote its Crazyquick shoe.


2. Sports fans stay in the know on Twitter.

Six out of 10 sports fans say Twitter is a main source for sports news. After all, Twitter gives fans a unique window into their passion for sports: 75% of sports fans follow their favorite teams/athletes and 62% follow sportscasters/writers. This gives sports lovers not only insider information but creates a sense of personal connection: 57% of sports enthusiasts say Twitter makes them feel like they know their favorite athletes personally.

Advertiser tip: Extend existing partnerships and sponsorships onto Twitter. Give fans exclusive one-to-one interactions with celebrity athletes as well as behind-the-scenes access to events like England Rugby did during the RBS Six Nations Championship.


3. Sports fans turn to Twitter to enhance the live TV experience.

Recent research points to the fact that TV x Twitter drives more engagement among viewers and better ROI for brands. And sports fans agree: 61% follow Twitter and tweet while watching sports. What happens when they can’t watch a game live? Nearly half of sports fans say they feel as close to the action “when I follow games on Twitter as when I watch them on TV” (49%).

Advertiser tip: Create a dynamic second-screen experience by extending the story from your on-air spots with TV ad targeting or sharing instant replays in your Tweets with Twitter Amplify like Playstation France did during the World Cup.

Bottom line

Twitter complements the roar of the crowd at today’s sporting events – whether live, on TV or postmortem. Sports fans are hungry for news at their fingertips and they depend on Twitter to bring them all the latest information. They are also interacting with brands on a regular basis – 77% of sports fans have tweeted a brand or retweeted a brand’s Tweet while 48% have purchased something based on what they’ve seen on Twitter. Brands can best capture the attention of consumers by curating timely, engaging content and augmenting TV viewing with a dynamic, real-time second screen experience.