Impact of Digital Media on Sports

Digital media is growing fast in today’s world and thanks to the evolution of smartphones in last decade. It is changing the way sports stars and clubs interact with their fans. From Facebook Live to live-tweeting, from creating a virtual team to creating videos, it has changed the ‘traditional’ way of following the sport. Now a fanboy can get every action of the game with detailed insights on his fingertips. This leads to brand evaluating various exciting interactive ways to engage with their existing and potential customers over the digital platform rather than traditional marketing.

Let’s take a look at how the interaction of sporting events have changed thanks to the revolution led by Digital Media.

Women’s World Cup saw huge global reach while Football fever ran high in India

In 2017, two major sporting events saw enormous global reach over digital media: ICC Women’s World Cup in England & Wales and FIFA U17 World Cup 2017 in India.

ICC Women’s World Cup in England & Wales estimated global reach was more than 180 million which was almost 300% higher in viewing hours from the previous edition in 2013. The interesting part of this global reach was, South Africa’s viewing hours growth was impressive – a whopping 861%. As their team reached in the semi-final for the first time. For India, the runner-up of the event contributed to a 500% increase in viewing hours.

ICC WWC global reach

ICC WWC 2017 Global Reach (Image Source: International Cricket Council)

The other major global event that took place was the FIFA U17 World Cup in India. Though it was the first FIFA event in India, these numbers will tell you how it completely changed the definition of sports viewing in India.

Although there were large numbers of spectators, 1,347,133 to be exact, who enjoyed the game LIVE in six venues across the country, the viewership over the digital platform attracted a large audience to their respective screens. According to Sony India; the official broadcaster of the event, the opening game for the hosts against the USA attracted an audience of 1.8 million viewers. Over 71 million viewers watched at least one minute of coverage across all digital platforms while India’s three games averaged an audience of 1.6 million.

Brands in Digital Marketing

No doubt, brands focused on sport have some of the best marketing in the World. With global sporting events happening almost every year, the reach of these audiences has been increasing over digital platforms year on year through online advertising.

When it comes to sports, nobody does it better than Nike. They have been iconic in their sports marketing efforts over the years and now in digital too.  The tagline of the brand tells you what they do – ‘Just Do It’.

They are known for many things – for its waffle soles, for its technological innovations, and most recently, for its attempt to break the 2-hour barrier for the marathon.

The other sports brands like Adidas, Reebok, Puma too, are known for their innovative and technology led marketing efforts to attract and engage customers over the digital platforms.

So, here are some of the strategies used by sports brands to gain more and more potential consumers over digital media:

  • Mobile Games: During the sporting event it has proven that the number of sessions on mobile games increased drastically. Which means mobile games could be one of the best sources or mediums to target a specific set of audience relevant to your product or service
mobile games traffic

Mobile Games traffic increases during the sporting events

  • Advertising on apps/websites that forecast live score: People don’t have time to sit and watch a live match every time. Therefore, targeting mobile apps or website which provide live match scores and updates would be a great source to create brand visibility and acquire more customers.
  • Targeted digital marketing on Google and Facebook: Another option that is effective for brands leveraging sport is to drive brand awareness and attention through targeted messaging on platforms like Google, Youtube, Twitter and Facebook too. What is key here is the relevancy and the method by which you reach these customers.