This post is a series of blogs contributed by SMW NYC media partner Differences Magazine. To learn more about Differences Magazine and to see the original post by Vivian Nunez, please click here.
Watching any kind of sports game has always been considered a very social experience, but in the last few years that social experience has transitioned more and more into a social media experience. Many of the questions that were addressed in the first half of the panel had to do with social media and whether its involvement in sports would take away from the integrity of the sporting event. The overall verdict was that a balance needed to be reached between physical “in the moment” interaction and virtual interaction with sporting events.
Sports networks have begun to use mass relevance as the perfect gateway to incorporate social media into the sports experience. They have also been using mass relevance as the perfect way to bridge the gap between those experiencing the event live and those tuning in through other platforms. The advantage to this particular kind of interaction is the conversation that emerges as a result. Many young adults are as plugged in to the TV set as they are to their smart phones while watching sports; the use of mass relevance really allows their voice to be heard regardless of where they are watching the event from.
Social media has also been incorporated into the everyday life of sports through its athletes. MLS, NBA, NFL, MLB, and the NHL all have athletes that connect to their audience through Twitter and although that interaction really helps leverage the brand as a whole, its most important contribution is the relationship it establishes. The use of social media cuts out the middleman that tends to exist between a fan and his favorite athlete. For the young adult demographic it is monumental to be able to speak or share thoughts with your favorite athlete or sports personality through Twitter, Google+, or any other social media platform.
The integration of social media into the sporting event really assists each sporting channel because as stated in the panel “fans are the insider perspective of games”, a lens you can get no where else. As a result, the Millennial generation can relate more to a game if they are also able to capture the moment and update their friends about it. The best aspect of being able to use social media through the season is that it is also as easy to get information during off-season, a win-win for both the sports brands and the sports aficionados.
The same theory of social media interaction in sports events is found in the gaming world. The gaming world might even be using it to a greater extent because it is their only base to be able to compare how good they are versus how good everyone else. Nonetheless the idea is the same, if social media was incorporated correctly and information was not only stated but used to start conversations the sports industry and it’s audience would benefit endlessly from it.