Last year we covered the first Sport Social Media Index, compiled by the guys at Umpf in Leeds and ranked by a panel of four judges. The list covers 148 professional football, rugby and cricket teams in the UK and is the most comprehensive of its kind.
Red Card 2015 is a preview to the annual Mailman ‘China Digital Champions League’ report that looks at the performance of Europe’s top clubs within the country. The agency has taken a look at the clubs outside of the top 15, almost the Europa League of digital performance.
Recently I was invited to write an article on the Vodafone small business blog “Your Better Business”, which I was delighted to accept. The objective of the article was to give an overview of how the sports media industry has been transformed by changes in technology and what the future holds for the industry. Below is my summary and you can see the original here, love to hear if you agree….
Widely available internet access has enabled anyone’s voice to be heard, and on a scale never imaginable of before. I’ve been blogging on sport and the impact of digital media on it for the last five years and it’s only the ready availability of free websites like WordPress, cheap hosting and social media to promote articles and research new ones that has really made it possible.
The impact that technology has had on sport and how it is reported, whether it’s on certain niches such as digital and sport or more general discussions around teams and leagues around the world, has been huge. Previously you could say that sport needed the media, almost on an unconditional basis. But the boot is now firmly on the other foot so to speak.
Marc Cooper, until recently the Head of Audience and Content at The Football League, gave some insight into how the relationship between fans, the media and football teams has changed;
“Football clubs have always been able to give fans certain things that other media can’t, which is information and confirmation. Fans may have read about their team being linked with certain players, and they’ll look to their club website to confirm it. But fans want more than that. They want to be entertained too, and they want to know more about the players at their club. That’s another area that clubs can serve the fans well.”
It’s not only the major sports that have reaped the benefits of being in a more connected world. The so-‐called ‘lesser known sports’ can now act as their own media company, not having to rely on the scraps available within mainstream publications. This really is a game changer for them and will help raise awareness for their sport and get people interested in playing and/or watching it.
So where does that leave the journalist? The truth is that this has been the most radical shift in the media business in generations. And as with all periods of change there will be a time of adjustment as the old slowly learns how to work with and make use of the new.
The journalist is now the independent trusted resource, the one who has used his/her contacts and found out what is actually happening, not just the rumours (most of the time). They can spend time putting together great analysis and speak directly to the players involved. They are now the authentication, the experts we turn to when in doubt.
The relationship between fans and the media will continue to evolve as technology provides even greater access and insight. Fans will undoubtedly be the winners as the media they consume revolves more around when and where they want to do so.
Geo targeting of information is becoming more refined, helping to merge the online and offline worlds. We will see teams and leagues take back more control of their media, relying less on media rights as they produce their own income from subscriptions, sponsorship and advertising. Until those rights packages that are sold now become unsustainable, or Apple or Google bid for them, then this will take more time to see any radical shifts in live sports especially.
We are still in the early days of this explosion in media and technology, the tip of the iceberg in fact. But what it safe to say is that for media companies to stay relevant there needs to be a change in the mind sets of those involved. To become more fan-centric and deliver the types of content when they want it and how they want it.
The speed of change we are seeing now is frightening at times but this also means that new opportunities are opening up everyday. These gaps in the market are there to be seized upon by whoever is brave and forward thinking enough to spot them. There’s never been a more exciting time to be working in this industry than now!
We Play are a leading digital sports marketing agency. Specialising in strategy, fan insight, production and content distribution, we work with brands, sponsors, athletes and startups to help them build engaged, retained and loyal fan bases.
Regardless of whether a team is soaring high in the league or failing miserably, you can be certain of one thing, fans will be discussing each match online.
The conversation on social media will always reflect the mood around a team, as fans don’t hold back when giving their opinions.
Following Carlos Tevez’s fantastic solo effort during last Sunday’s 7-0 defeat of Parma, the digital team at Juventus decided to have some fun with their fans.
— JuventusFC (@juventusfcen) November 10, 2014
Guest Post: Benjamin Stoll founded Digithalamus, a consultancy for digital strategies and solutions, in October 2014 in Berlin. He has worked with a focus on digital and sports for about ten years, helping brands, clubs and organizations with digital solutions, e.g. with Ledavi, GMR Marketing, Serviceplan and sport1. In 2011 he founded the missing piece as a digital engagement marketing agency.
What’s the secret of Ronaldo’s social media domination? How to make profits from social media as a football club? What should sports journalism in the age of digital media should look like? Those and other issues driven by digitalisation were tackled by an international football audience at IFA Conference Berlin on 30th of October.
Barclays Premier League Champions, Manchester City have become the first Premier League Club to launch a dedicated second screen matchday app with live video replay technology.
Launched ahead of City’s upcoming derby clash with Manchester United which is set to be viewed by millions around the world, the new app is packed with exciting and innovative features.
Manchester United are celebrating another Facebook milestone, this time passing the 60m fan mark on their page.
Although somewhat behind the likes of former player Cristiano Ronaldo, who recently became the first athlete to pass the 100m mark, and also European rivals FC Barcelona (77m) and Real Madrid (75m).