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Sports advertising in the era of Instagram and Facebook

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons.

Did you know that… sports fans are not only interested in sports events alone, but also in how sports professionals have trained for them? Brands need to take this into account when thinking about the ways in which they’ll advertise their sponsorships.

Sporting events of our time, like the Super Bowl, Wimbledon, the Olympics, the World Cup – bring fans together, forming a connection and creating a strong sense of community, with shared feelings of passion, anticipation and devotion. The bond between fans and their sports heroes is a strong one and has a major opportunity in store for brands, too. They just have to understand the new ways to reach their audiences and connect with their love of sports and athletes.

Brand sponsorships today are not only about appearing on scoreboards or showing up in broadcasts. They also include being digitally present to reach fans through social media and on platforms where they are most likely to celebrate their favourite team’s victory, from WhatsApp messages to Facebook posts to Instagram Stories. Sponsorships today include features on top posts covering the game highlights on popular social media platforms, because these platforms have changed the way people engage with sports and offer a new kind of exposure to fans.

Every one in three social media users is following a sports account and most of the fans turn to Instagram to get to know their idol on a personal level. That’s where the opportunity lies for brands; creating shareable experiences that can be posted and reposted is key.  Brands now have this access to insights about engagement with their materials more than ever before.

Sports events and live games also make excellent content for social media posts, texts and boost searches. Stadiums are now using large screens to share fans’ Instagram Stories. Brizi, a brand that sells products to protect babies from air pollution, cleverly engaged with fans’ photo-sharing behaviours by photographing fans at an event in exchange for signing up for their app; then, the photos were delivered to the fans with a Brizi logo to share on social media platforms. and a clever idea from a company called Brizi is that fans who add their seat number into an app can have their pictures taken by an in-venue camera will take their picture, which will then be delivered to them with a brand logo on it, and will also be shared on numerous social media platforms. Orange SA and Emirates Airline tapped into this and created a desirable fan experience by having over 7,000 groups taking more than 14,000 photos at the Mutua Madrid Open tennis tournament. 

As technology and venues are constantly improving, fans find more advanced ways of engaging with sport, and so should brands. The key to success is understanding how sports can support your brand and knowing how to take advantage of social media. 

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