To help us celebrate 5 years… yes 5 years… to the day of Digital Sport (and its previous iteration, UK Sports Network) I’ve asked some of our original contributors back to give some of their thoughts on the changes they have seen in that time. First up is Mark Segal who had the ‘honour’ of being the site’s first ever author on 22nd January 2010!
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.
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
England fans have made the headlines following their Man of the Match voting on the interactive website of lead sponsor Vauxhall during England’s 5-0 win against San Marino.
63 per cent of Three Lions supporters voted goalkeeper Joe Hart as their team’s best performer in a game where he only touched the ball 11 times.
Yesterday saw the by then expected win for Team Europe as they took their 10-6 overnight lead from Saturday and turned it into a 16 1/2 – 11 1/2 win.
Over the course of the week, the buzz was building for the Gleneagles based tournament as the best players from the US and Europe went head-to-head.
But there were also big things happening away from the main play, as organisers looked to make it the most digital golf event ever. With 3 main Twitter accounts being the ones to follow, with @rydercup, @rydercupEUROPE and @rydercupUSA. The event is also great in the fact that so many of players are very active on social media, especially Twitter. Giving fans great insights into what goes on behind the scenes.
1966 was founded in 2006 by Terry Byrne and specialises in maximising intellectual property rights, global licensing, branding, endorsements and appearances globally within the football industry.
The team consists of coaches, ex players, managers and global brand and events experts with world-class expertise within the sports industry.
1966 exclusively manages the commercial interests of the England football team including full representation and management of the players commercial programme and relationship with the FA and its partners
Role: Social Media Manager
Salary: £25k-£30k pa
Reporting directly to the Head of Communications, the Social Media Manager will be responsible for creating and implementing the social media strategy for all companies within the 1966 group and specific individuals within the footballing industry.
- Create social media channels and populate
- Grow followers b2b for SEO
- Give individual advice to high profile sporting personal on content strategy for their own social media channels
England Footballers Foundation
- Social media content strategy and calendar to grow followers and engagement
- Work with the players themselves to create content, tweets etc
- Hands on approach to create, implement and populate the strategy for the 1966 groups social media presence across existing platforms on a day-to-day basis.
- Daily moderation, content updates, monitoring and community management of social platforms
- Provide your own creative flair and social media expertise
- Reporting to key internal stakeholders on new and emerging social media platforms and wider market trends.
Desired Skills and Experience
- A minimum two years relevant digital/social media experience.
- Displays in-depth knowledge and understanding of Social Media platforms and their respective participants (Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Google+Local, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest etc) and how each platform can be utilised in different scenarios
- Some background knowledge of Public Relations would be useful
- Possesses ability to identify potential negative or crisis situations and apply conflict resolution principles to mitigate issues
- Strong project management or organisational skills
- Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
- Must be comfortable with out-of-hours work and working reactively to tight deadlines.
- Knowledge of and interest in football and its unique position within social media.
- Track record of increasing reach and engagement through own ideas and individual management of social accounts.
- Demonstrates creativity and documented immersion in social media, and can provide examples.
- Familiarity with social monitoring tools.
- A team player with confidence to take the lead and guide other employees where necessary.
- Familiarity of working with high-profile figures.
Applications should be sent into firstname.lastname@example.org
Guest Post: This article is from Brandwatch and published with their permission as part of the ongoing sponsorship of the Digital Sport London 2014 series.
The 2014 Commonwealth Games kicked off on Wednesday night with 4,950 athletes, 2,000 performers, 71 Scottie dogs and 1 awkward baton. As always, Twitter users were not shy in voicing their opinions with over a quarter of a million tweets posted during the ceremony.
So what can we learn from the abundance of data posted online last night?
1. Unicef Shone on the Global Stage
The link-up between Glasgow 2014 and Unicef was the first of its kind for the Games and has – so far – been an undeniable success.
£2.5million was raised in just one hour for the children’s charity, yet the recognition the brand gained may have been even more valuable.
Unicef’s appeal was mentioned just over 20,000 times on the web – undeniably impressive.
Standing out during an event of this magnitude can be tough due to the huge amount of online chat, yet Unicef stayed top of most online trends.
To put this in context; the four other main sponsors for the Games received a total of just 2% of the mentions relating to sponsors, the other 97% was attributed towards Unicef.
BP, Ford and Scottish and Southern Electric must do more to make to make the most out of their sponsorship.
@Unicef_UK tweeted live throughout the event sparking online conversation about their brand.
Virgin Media did tweet during the event but only via their second, less popular account@VMLoves.
So, we award Unicef with a gold medal for their committed social media presence last night! Other sponsors still have time to raise awareness for their brand, but to do so they must commit themselves to the Commonwealth story.
2. Usain Bolt is as Popular as Ever
As most of you can imagine, Bolt’s arrival at the games dominated the athlete chatter on social media.
61% of the conversation was about the fastest man in the world, while 22% spoke about Bradley Wiggins.
Only a measly 10% mentioned Mo Farah – so a bad few days for the now injured long distance runner.
Bolt will hopefully light up our screens again this summer with some more of his record breaking displays.
With the track sport rife with doping bans, a clean and popular winner will help direct the sport back on track.
3. People Really Do Feel ‘Better in the Morning’
Interestingly for any sleep advocates out there, people became more positive about the opening ceremony once they’d had a good night’s kip.
Twitter users were also less likely to criticize the ceremony after resting.
Maybe the old age adage that ‘you’ll feel better in the morning’ has some tangible meaning behind it after all.
4. Rod is ‘Sailing’ ahead of Susan
Famed for having one of the most viewed YouTube videos of all time, Susan Boyle seems to have lost the spark that once made her so interesting to watch.
Rod Stewart had almost double the amount of mentions Susan Boyle received during the Commonwealth curtain raiser.
Despite both being on stage for a similar amount of time, Boyle’s appearance did not leave a lasting effect on journalists.
News articles this morning mentioned her performance only 60 times, whereas Rod Stewart’s performance was acclaimed over 140 times.
Tomorrow sees this year’s Open Golf Championship take place at Royal Liverpool. Starting on Thursday it sees the world’s top golfers, including Tiger Woods after a lengthly absence through injury, come to our shores for one of the most testing events on the golfing calendar.
Golf has been a sport that has embraced digital advances over the past few years, at the top end at least. You can find most players on Twitter (more so than Facebook) and each major event looks to engage with the thousands of fans who come through the gates, as well as the millions who tune in on TV.
Kevin Bain is the R&A’s Digital Manager who is based most of the time in the beautiful town of St. Andrews (the home my family originates from). Last week I was delighted that Kevin could take some time out of his hectic diary to speak to me about what their plans are for this years event.
It’s all over. The most connected World Cup. The most digital World Cup. The most social World Cup…ever.
New sporting records were set for tweets sent, Facebook interactions and inappropriate photos involving Mario Balotelli and the Queen.
But with everyone from sponsors to sports stars, brands to broadcasters clambering over themselves to tap into the Brazilian buzz, what made you smile or share?
Andy McKenzie of digital sports content specialists LiveWire Sport picked out some memorable moments from the last month.
— Twitter Data (@TwitterData) July 14, 2014
The weeks and months leading up to major events are always hugely important for brands to maximise their time with big names before disappearing behind FIFA’s commercial curtain.
Digital campaigns leading up to the World Cup Finals generally centred around gaining maximum exposure for high-end advertising campaigns featuring star players.
Nice storytelling, a hint of humour and Rooney’s dodgy Scouse accent helped earn their 64m YouTube views for The Last Game, without any of their stars presumably even having to appear in front of a green screen or step into a recording booth.
Good job they got in early as the only player in the campaign that made it as far as the semi-finals was David Luiz, who perhaps took Nike’s ‘Risk Everything’ message too seriously.
Hats off to the Daily Telegraph’s Project Babb for a brilliantly stitched together Roy Hodgson rap. Altogether now – “You’ve got to hold and give…”
Time to unveil the shiny new technological toys.
The official FIFA.com site had a new live centre and a social hub that was packed full of detail and data, with sponsors like McDonald’s, Hyundai, Castrol and Budweiser handed some prime real estate, while Sony had a destination of their own at One Stadium Live.
Facebook created a World Cup hub to access content, while Twitter rolled out a number of innovations including hashflags, man-of-the-match voting (sponsored by Budweiser), score updates and dedicated match pages for each game.
ITV used Grabyo and partnered with Paddy Power and Twitter Amplify to maximise their live rights, while everyone enjoyed some friendly fun at the expense of Robbie Savage
— Gary Lineker (@GaryLineker) June 16, 2014
Every detail of the tournament was analysed – even down to who won the World Cup of arm-folding (some welcome news for Tottenham fans).
The rapid rise of real-time content continues.
Who can react quickest to those huge talking points, with brands all trying to create that ‘Oreo moment’.
Adidas set up a newsroom in Rio to react to events by creating content and it seems the #allin motto applies to the resources they put behind it.
— Listerine Global (@ListerineGlobal) July 13, 2014
Brazil’s monumental fall from grace was perfect Paddy Power territory
— Paddy Power (@paddypower) July 9, 2014
while PornHub gained an unexpected uplift in extra followers on the back of their tweet.
Please stop uploading the game highlights to Pornhub… Our public humiliation category is full. #BrazilvsGermany
— Pornhub Katie (@Pornhub) July 8, 2014
Brilliant Ads shared a quite brilliant take on the 2014 logo that got nearly 13k retweets
— Brilliant Ads (@Brilliant_Ads) July 8, 2014
while @brazuca was silenced for one night.
— Getty Images Sport (@GettySport) July 8, 2014
Hats off to the Scottish FA for reacting to Germany’s crushing of Brazil with a timely and humorous post about their upcoming Euro 2016 qualifier (v Germany).
Things turned out nice in the end for adidas in their battle with Nike as Messi and Muller, Argentina and Germany all manufactured their way to the final, seeing off the Nike-sponsored pair of Brazil and the Netherlands in the semi-finals.
Adidas had David Beckham on their YouTube show The Dugout, the official ball, the winners of the Golden Glove, the Golden Ball and the Golden Boot.
Nike still had the match-winning Mario Gotze
— Nike Football (@nikefootball) July 13, 2014
but maybe nobody reacted better than Lufthansa to Germany’s win.
As another major sporting event passes through our timelines, what has stood out for you? Did we miss any outstanding World Cup content? Is anyone out there really interested in animals predicting scores?