Social Media has become a useful tool for conveying communication in our world today: a unique platform that merges communication by informing the public in an engaging way and gives them the ability to interact with the information that has been brought to their attention.
While effective in relaying information, storied forms of communication, like television, radio, and print do not facilitate immediate reactions and engagement to the information. Our generation has become so heavily attached to the Internet and social media, because it represents a form of communication that is trendy, fun, and convenient for anyone to have a voice about the information that interests them.
In the world of sports, social media has become an incredibly valuable tool used to inform and engage the public, and the industry itself has benefited greatly. Teams and players can be easily promoted as a tool to generate public interest, and sites like twitter and facebook have become integral to the growth. Because communication happens in real time, sports news and player information have the capacity to be exposed almost instantaneously.
The attractiveness of social media has caused a high demand of information being released where people want to access the information when it happens, enabling reliance by sports fans and supporters to be kept up-to-date on sports news that interests them. Engagement by fans, across the world, is constantly growing; so social media has created an even greater interaction and interest in sports, especially from the younger generation.
Additionally, social media has enhanced many key highlights in sports: the use of Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram has a powerful and engaging effect especially at big sporting events like the Super Bowl. Super Bowl XLVII is an example of one of the most social events that takes place every year. Compared to the 13.7 million tweets during the 2012 Super Bowl, there was a skyrocketing 24.1 million tweets sent out pertaining to Super Bowl XLVII. The game had set a new record for tweets-per-second and the half time performance starring Beyonce generated 260,000 tweets-per-minute.
During the Super Bowl, Instagram was a very useful platform for the Oreo brand and its image. Their post, which was a unique real time advertisement, combined with their proactive promotion of the game before its start, increased presence exponentially. For an event of this magnitude, which has always been known for its high-stakes, premium television commercials, this unconventional-yet very effective form of advertisement ignited an interaction with the audience, and an ongoing conversation still being discussed today.
A sport like Major League Baseball, which generally attracts an older audience, is currently using social media to relate to a younger demographic. Major League Baseball created the MLB Fan Cave to do so. The MLB Fan Cave is an online space, mlbfancave.com, and physical space in New York City which functions as a tool to promote the game and promote its star players. Nine diehard baseball fans from around the country were chosen to live in the MLB Fan Cave and watch all 2430 games of the regular season. They are seen as social media correspondents for real-time updates and stories that are happening in the game. MLB also hosts concerts, celebrities, art openings and more which connects baseball to pop-culture, in-turn broadening the fan base of the cave and the game.
Concepts like the MLB Fan Cave and Oreo’s real time advertising during the Super Bowl are just two examples of the large steps that the sports industry is taking in social media. In today’s age, we are not only talking about game highlights or current standing but also off-the-field insights and behind the scenes stories. The conversation never stops and there is something for everyone.