Over the years, technological and digital advancement has permitted sports and sports fans to socialize in every aspect of the sports-viewing experience. The rapidly advancing technology allows fans to dissect and transform their live game experience into a controversial affair. Social media plays a vital role in transforming the sports experience by adding new dimensions. We all admire watching a live game but social media adds an extra oomph to the experience. Through social media, fans can unveil the most bewitching match moments and off-field developments. It created a loophole for the entire ecosystem of sports, leagues, teams, players, brands, broadcasters, and most importantly fans. They all collectively connect through social media, displaying different sentiments and emotions, creating a deep link among all.
The impact of social media through a keyhole
Social media is a second screen game changer. During the matches especially cricket tournaments, people are glued to their television screens to catch the live action but at the same time, fans reunite on social media with the rush of the game. The momentum of the sports actions stays alive on social media for years. It is evident from the conversations upheld during the game of cricket, during which a total of 96.2 million tweets were shared between January 2021 and 2022. An atmosphere of exhilaration around each hit of sixes and each wicket taken becomes tangible across timelines. Moreover, the brands, broadcasters, and publishers pitch in during these culturally binding moments.
The excitement and engagement of the audience
Fans and audiences enjoy munching on short and crispy content that feeds them with joy like the highlights of a game. However, longer structures capture detailed information like insights, trivia, analysis, and nostalgia for the game. What makes Social media a powerhouse is the way that it creates a deeper connection with fans through the exclusive content offered by publishers and broadcasters. Moreover, the evolving patterns of consumption have had a diverse impact on the young fans and audience, who enjoy engaging with the game highlights through different mediums that include watching short clips. More often, social media also presents a multiverse of information and immense content that gives access to exclusive behind the scene actions, pre-game and post-game moments, one on one interaction with sports legends, and many more such opportunities.
Publishers and broadcasters are rapidly enriching their spectrum of content to induce and maintain the excitement levels of their fans on social media as well. Be it a Q/A with inspiring athletes, being able to hear real-time commentary, and so on.
It is necessary to keep the audience hooked and it is best done by Harsha Bhogle and Gaurav Kapur among others. They have been using authentic and engaging strategies to drive the sports and cricket conversations. Recently, Bhogle said in a conversation that media channels have democratized the sports viewing experience of the audience by regulating it. Kapur added, “that people are no longer just viewers, but active contributors to the conversation around their favorite sports, and are helping shape the story while being a part of it.”
Sports through Social Media – Riveting video and audio content
Fans relish watching engrossing videos of match highlights, commentary, and authentic interviews with legendary athletes. According to a 2021 Grabyo’s Sports Video Trends Report, audiences are attracted to the free access to sports content across social media with an ever-surging demand for the same. The report also stated that a percentage of 73% wanted to watch live sports broadcasts and on the other hand, 62% of the audience wanted instant game highlights and sports videos. The fun fact detrimental to the same is that social media is used as a primary source by over three-quarters of Indian sports fans to view videos. Media channels and platforms allow broadcasters to prosper and manage viewership and engagement that is at the same time driven by the inclination of fans towards watching sports video content.
Other than watching, people are good listeners too and the surging demand and approval of audios have also enabled the fans and broadcasters to cater to the needs of the audience more meaningfully through conversations that create a deeper connection with listeners.
Being creative and localizing
In the Indian subcontinent, culture plays an important role in all realms of life including sports. Similarly, sports is also a culture in India, and people are driven towards culturally accepted content, which is relevant to them. Even in this digital era, the rise of cultural communities as an audience is beneficial for the broadcasters and brands as they can upscale the engagement and audience-connect ratio.
Moreover, publishers and brands are keen to use unique and innovative strategies like personalization that not only attract the audience but also keep them wanting for more. Personalization allows viewers to become the center of attraction and the audience is engaged in more nuanced way of conversations. These formats are informal and fun. Thus they allow the audience and fans to come close to each other.-- Advertisement --
The role of broadcasters and brands
The key objective of the broadcasters and brands is to look after the needs of the audience and fulfill their demands through social media networks. People often look for engrossing and authentic content that goes beyond the actual game itself with a twist of controversial spices. To do so, the brands associate collaborate with publishers and broadcasters to reach a larger audience. Meaningful content is an appetite for the fans and serving them with classy highlights, behind-the-screen footage and their rigorous participation in conversations helps to expand and fulfill their interests. At the same time, it also feeds the brand’s message into the hearts of the audience in the easiest and most light-hearted way. Sports experience through social media is a boon that has transformed the viewing experience in the last few years.