Monday, May 2, 2011

Social media in sport sponsorship and media

Robin McConnell has asked me to give a talk to his Sport Sponsorship and Media class, on social media. He's offered a list of questions to guide the talk, listed below. Before attempting a response to these, I will see if we can first establish an understanding on what social media is, as I see it that is, socially constructed media. This is different to just platforms that support social networking, which don't necessarily speak to the media side of the equation.

Below are my responses and links to that list of questions from Robin:

How could a sport organisation use social media get their message, brand across more people?
  1. Social media can be an extension to broadcast, but it is not only broadcast
  2. Social media can be used to communicate a message straight to audience without mediation by editors and journalists. Useful for press releases
  3. If done well, social media can be used to build engagement, loyalty and other elements of social capital
What could a sport organisation suggest to a sponsor?
  1. Brand visibility in the traditional form of logos and advertising embedded in the media
  2. Product placement strategies in the broadcast, and in the responses
  3. Direct links to point of sale by way of Amazon, Paypal and other online transaction methods
What sponsors would be interested in a social media?
  1. Providers of social media platforms (Facebook, Youtube, possibly local charters of the Wikimedia Foundation)
  2. Other internet service and mobile Providers 
  3. Startups
How do present sites use sponsors or get used by sponsors?
  1. NRL by Telstra
  2. Facebook and Google adds
What is being done to increase fan allegiance and how could this be used to get sponsor recognition across?

See UCNISS researcher, Laura Hale at where she is researching sport fandom online, developing a range of case studies to test her methods and support her recomendations.

How can a logo be featured in social media communications?
  1. Backdrops, clothing and equipment featured in videos made in house
  2. In campaigns that tap user generated content
Which mode of social media should a sport organisation first consider to get greater sponsor awareness by the public?
  1. First understand where target audiences frequent online, and study the culture and dynamics of those spaces
  2. Find out what skills and levels of participation already exist in the organisation
  3. Develop a strategy that ensures communications is regular, responsive, appreciative and non confrontational, and present.
What are the major social media sites/modes, their primary features/functions and how are they used by sport?
  1. Facebook - Fan pages, club pages, groups, athlete user accounts, campaigns
  2. Youtube - Mostly video broadcast, sometimes two way dialog, playlist creation
  3. Wikipedia - Ensure club, code and athlete pages are accurate, up to date, comprehensive and linked. Do this within Wikipedia policy, and fully disclose interests before making contributions. Don't be defensive.
See also

  1. Social Media In Sports: The Athlete
  2. Fan Engagement: Sports Social Media Done Right
  3. 5 Big Brands That Are Rocking the Social Media Space
  4. Digital Sport Summit | June 2011 | Melbourne, Australia
  5. The Cluetrain Manifesto
  6. These notes in a wiki

Listen, inquire, respond quickly and positively. Social media is not broadcast media, listen to the conversations. Individual publishers have potentially just as much to contribute, probably more, than your club or organisation. Always be present and respond quickly to direct questions or comments. Respond selectively and strategically to wider coverage.