Sports Leagues Look To Grasp Consumer Attention Through Social Engagement

COVID-19 has rapidly increased activity across many social media platforms. According to a report by Kantar, overall social engagement has increased by 61% as compared to normal trends. Sports leagues around the globe are taking advantage of this by creating wholesome social campaigns to engage fans.

Beyond reposts of classic games and content, leagues are hoping to break out of social media clutter in their in-house designed campaigns. The MLS was one of the first leagues to take initiative in an official social campaign effort. On April 6th, the league announced it’s very own #MLSUnites campaign. The social campaign is designed to educate fans on essential health and safety initiatives. Furthermore, the campaign features exclusive content often in partner with MLS players, in an effort to connect fans despite the season suspension.

On the same day, the NBA announced its exclusive social campaign in response to interacting with fans. The #NBATogether show debuted last week hosted by TNT’s Inside the NBA anchor Ernie Johnson. The show is announced to be streamed on Twitter every Monday and Wednesday. Similar to MLS’s social campaign, the NBA is hoping to give fans exclusive access to NBA stars around the league. #NBATogether allows for Twitter viewers a special opportunity to ask questions to the highly-esteemed guests, such as 5-time NBA All-Star Damian Lillard. The hashtag also exceeds the show, offering teams to engage users through producing supportive content on at home basketball drills, coronavirus support, and more.

The Premier League has also taken measures particularly through inspiring user-generated-content. The English soccer league has challenged users frequently to show off their skills at home, offering to repost their content on their feeds. Much of the league’s content stream has also been in direct support of messaging for people to social distance and stop the spread of the coronavirus. Many posts feature globally used hashtags such as “#WeAreOneTeam” and “#StayHomeSaveLives”. Increasing their audience engagement range, Premier League has also been sending youth users to their YouTube channel weekly for entertaining quizzes, hosted by James Allcott.

LaLiga further pushes messages to support the fight against the coronavirus on their feeds through direct prevention content. LaLiga feed posts also feature globally used hashtags such as “#StayHome” paired with most content. The Spanish soccer league joins many others in posting classic game content and engaging topics on all platforms.

As many sports leagues continue to look for innovative ways to engage their fans, the question begs, is it working? As there are only replayed content, esports, and remote Q&As conducted across major networks and social platforms, this appears to be the solution. This unprecedented time calls for a movement to maintain sports culture and rely on it to bring consumers together. A recent report conducted by Sprout Social found that 78% of consumers desire brands to connect people to each other. People across the world have the unique benefit to share the joy of sports more than ever and it’s happening on social. League’s can continue to improve and strengthen their brand through these forms of supportive content.

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Carson Boykin

Assistant Account Executive, Sports