Sports leagues and clubs are just like any other business, and the use of social media types by sports teams have proven to be a very effective way of connecting with fans and other teams and in turn boosting ticket and merchandise sales as well as increasing tv viewership.
Sports is very much based around the fans, because without fans there would be no sport, and just like every other business, sports teams main objective is to make a profit and to grow larger. Therefore, the 4 C’s of social software are very relevant to sports teams. These 4 C’s are:
Social media allows sports clubs to communicate and connect with their fan base and make the fans feel more involved with the club than they would have felt when social media wasn’t around. It also grants the ability for clubs to collaborate and cooperate with other clubs and leagues worldwide, instead of only limiting their connections to local teams or teams from the same country. The development of social media such as Facebook and Twitter has opened up a new market for sports teams to advertise themselves and the big bonus is that social media is all free. All sports teams should be involved with social media in one way or another so as to take advantage of this.
The growth of sports clubs in social media can be seen in the statistics for English premier league clubs social media in January 2012. These statistics are a great example of the massive marketplace these social media sites open up. Manchester United has 21,265,375 ‘likes’ on Facebook, which means that everything that is posted by the club onto their Facebook page is seen by over 21 million people. A simple post advertising a sale at the online store could reap a large profit for the club.
Some of the most well known teams in the world have massive Facebook followings, and this gives these teams fans worldwide and builds up their popularity around the globe instead of keeping them known in just on city or country. As seen in this article, Barcelona, Real Madrid, and Manchester United all have over 10 million fans on both Facebook and Twitter (as of April 2011).
I believe that social media is one of the most important marketing opportunities for modern day sporting clubs. Many doors have been opened by social media and everyone should be involved with it.
Do you agree with this statement? Do you not? Leave me a comment to let me know what you think!