Every industry has secrets about how to grab consumers. Businesses always say it’s about three things: location, location and location. Now, depending on what business you are in that is very true. However, it seems that the sports industry has its own three secrets: advertising, advertising and advertising. According to Plunkett Research, the annual company spending for sports advertising is 31.5 billion dollars per year. Sports continuously have companies wanting to market through them but how do the sports themselves market? Obviously, they spend money just like everyone else to get the name out but it seems that their use of social media seems to be on the minds of most sports executives. You can’t put a price on social media…or maybe you can. It’s free!
Most wouldn’t think that sports would be that great at utilizing new advertising tools, but what the sports industry does is constantly feed in young employees. The young employees are going to bring up social media without a doubt. Social media is one of the best placing for advertising as well as just to have a page for a league, team, athlete, etc. In 2012, Facebook reached $5 billion in revenues from advertising according to Plunkett Research. Social Media is really about what everyone is getting for free so what is the sports industry doing to capitalize on free advertising?
One area of sports that is really leading the social media revolution is the Ultimate Fighting Championship. Their Facebook account currently has over 11 million likes and its Twitter is boasting nearly 1.5 million followers. The UFC’s Facebook account is embarrassing the numbers of the NFL, NHL and MLB. How are they doing so well? It’s all about fan interaction with the UFC. The sport itself may not be the most popular but yet they are beating out leagues that have been around much longer than most of us have been alive.
The UFC constantly posts about upcoming events, athletes, gyms, camps, interviews, etc. They are utilizing social media in the best way. They want to create that personal interaction with its fans instead of seeming like a business. This is really led by one man, UFC President Dana White. White is known for being very outspoken, loud as well as personable. White currently has just over 2.6 million followers on twitter and the reason is he puts a lot of effort into connecting with fans. White is not your typical company president. You won’t see him wearing suits to the office or taking back entrances to events. He is a fan of the sports and runs his company as a fan. He knows that the fan experience is what sells tickets and merchandise. He has taken this approach to social media. He advertises in a way that is more like a friend sending a text message about a fight or a fan making an angry statement about an athlete not performing. He pulls no punches and this is what makes this companies social media explode.
The UFC seems to be king of social media as far as sports goes but how about the rest of the industry? Leagues interaction on social media seems to be lacking that personal touch; however, the athletes themselves seem to bring enough personal touches to social media. Now, this can be good and bad but let’s face the facts; social media is blowing up the sports industry in ways we never saw coming.
I highly suggest everyone watch this video of Dana White discussing social media.