Take a second and think about the last live sporting event you watched in-person or on TV. After a score or big play, what was one of the first things you did? How did you spend the down time between plays or during commercial breaks?
Chances are, like me, you took a peek at your phone to try and find commentary, stats, or entertaining content about the game or play that just happened. Scrolling through your timeline or news feed though, you’ll find a wide mix of content. Some posts are relevant; some are totally unrelated. Of the relevant posts, you might like or share a few but scroll past the others looking for something better. While your head stays down on your phone searching for this content though, often times you end up missing the next play or the big one after that.
Now envision a world in which the relevant content you would like and that would entertain you, appears on screen right within the stadium or on broadcast. Now you’re able to actually focus on the action or I don’t know, talk to your friend sitting next to you! All the while, the most interesting and entertaining content is brought to life for you.
As game day and broadcast producers, we need to start rethinking the way we use social content within the game presentation and during pre/post game coverage. We all love a good collage of selfies on screen, but it’s time we start using social for the real-time gold mine of information and entertainment that it is. Doing so will not only enhance the overall presentation, but it will also simplify your workflow.
Leverage content from your social team
One of the richest and most reliable sources of content comes from team social accounts. The creative minds working in the sports digital space right now are some of the most innovative and entertaining out there, so why not leverage and amplify their work? Use the visually grabbing, high-res photos the team is already taking to tell the story of the game or create your own player fashion cam through social content. Use the funny GIFs and comments they post after a big play to elevate the moment and entertain the crowd.
Elevate player and celeb content
Aside from the amazing visual content put out by the team itself, what else tends to draw the most engagement within your timeline? You guessed it: celebrity posts. While Joe Shmoe’s funny comment could certainly draw a laugh, posts from players and celebrities who support the team are really what people want to see. Whether it’s in a specific segment centered around celebrities like the Eagles example below or a simple lower third integration, find a way to highlight your influencers.
Highlight Intriguing Stat Lines
We can’t forget about the stats fanatic in the crowd either. Social media is chock-full of data surrounding each game, and it’s a whole lot quicker to feature a tweet on display than type out the stat into a template or even worse, build out a new graphic. Leverage your beat-writers to highlight intriguing next-gen stats adding context to the play on the field. Content like this is also perfect for postgame recap shows or during the press conference.
Too often we tend to get stuck in our ways and think of social displays as purely a way to get fan photos on screen. While that is a great fan engagement feature to have in your arsenal, we need to think of social as a rich, real-time content source that can add a new level of entertainment to game day. What would you want to see pop up on your timeline while watching a game? That’s the kind of content you should use to entertain your audience. That’s the kind of content they want to see.