”Technology brings people together, just like sports”

Sometimes I wonder if we have a ’social media bubble’ in the sports business industry, or if it’s just me being older and older…

The Serie A Club Napoli recently announced a partnership with the dating app Tinder, a somehow a unique way to reach out with fan communication.

“I’m really proud to be part of this unique and innovative initiative with Tinder”, said pro player Arkadiusz Milik, coming back to the club from a long injury break. The 23-year-old suffered a cruciate knee ligament injury last October, and has only made 14 appearances this season.

“Technology brings people together, just like sports, and I look forward to starting this new adventure.”

Another tech company that moves forward is… Twitter

The social channel is known as THE media for breaking news and immediate reactions. Therefore, it makes sense that they wish to continue their focus with live sport and, according to Digital Sport, the analysis of it is that when it comes to sport, Twitter is where the conversation takes place between fans, friends, journalists and sportspeople alike.

And their next move is to provide the users with video content; a streaming platform.

“If you’re a brand, there’s no better time to reach and engage your audience through premium video content,” said Matt Derella VP, Global Client Solutions in a corporate blog post.

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I might be older for each day, but catching up these tech and social news at least makes me less old-fashioned. Hype or not, it’s all a part of our everyday business.


Why Facebook and Twitter broadcast sport

La Liga has announced a deal with Facebook to live stream matches regularly and reports says that MLB are close to send one game per week in the social media channel. The new media houses are big time into sports – and it won’t slow down.

Facebook has a deal with Spanish broadcaster Univision to stream Mexican soccer matches, and the social media company has live-streamed different events over the past year. What we can see now is that the new media giant is looking at going from ”one-off deals” to longer broadcasting contracts.

According to Forbes, the ad revenues grow at a slower rate for Facebook and the company is looking to attract (even more) video advertisers, as marketers shift their advertising spend from TV to digital media.

”With its huge user base and personalized ad targeting features, Facebook is focusing on video to drive revenues. As it looks to acquire broadcasting rights to popular sports events with a TV app in the offering, we believe this strategy can bring the next wave of growth for the company”, Forbes say.

Considering both Facebook and Twitter are looking at live sports as a catalyst to drive user engagement, growth and (eventually) revenues, there’s a good chance that 1) it can be competition about the rights, but also that 2) a lot of different (and small!) right holders will have a digital streaming partner.

It’s important to notice that the major sports leagues have already sold the broadcasting rights ”traditional” TV networks and that the contracts are very long, some may be up to a decade from now. Of course selling the (digital) streaming rights could bring in new revenue for the rights holders, but it could also nibble the traditional TV audiences – and by that make their TV partners unhappy.

One of the advantages of a live stream in social media channels is that people are able to interact (and react) in real-time when something happens. The interaction in ”traditional” media dependent of second screens. With social media broadcasting, there’s only need for one screen – the second…

Did NHL just won the last NBA ”Twitter war”?

NBA appeals to calmer tone on Twitter, meaning that official team social media accounts should take it easy with ”cyberbullying” other teams, players and officials in (by fans, popular) ”Twitter war”.

In short, the league stated in their updated Twitter guidelines that social media should be used for fun, not to reflect poorly on players, teams or the league as a whole.

The memo that were sent out by the NBA reminded teams what they weren’t able ”to do, citing belittlement of an individual opponent or official, mimicking opponents or officials in a negative manner, and criticizing NBA officiating”.

By the way, let’s just say that NHL took the opportunity.

Personally, I often found many of these digital ”fights” between official team accounts very enjoyable. It will be interesting to follow the NBA case and see how it will impact other leagues – and, if it’s possible at all, to control what editors and players tweet, without lowering fan engagement in the social channels.