Wednesday 07 December 2016

Friday Five: Sports in the Digital Era

The FIFA Women’s World Cup final between the U.S. and Japan on July 17, 2011 set numerous media records and seemed to have the entire world watching, talking and tweeting. Check out these five media highlights from the game:

• Traditional Media: ESPN

Averaging 13.4 million viewers and earning a 7.4 U.S. household rating, the 2011 final became the most-watched and highest-rated soccer telecast by any ESPN network. This nearly doubled the previous record holder, which was the U.S. Men’s 2010 World Cup extra time thriller over Algeria (6.16 million viewers and a 4.0 household rating). The match also ranked 6th on the list of most-viewed soccer events in U.S. history, second most-watched daytime telecast in cable history, and the sixth most-watched cable telecast of the year. In comparison, the 2011 British Open Final Round, also held on the 17th and broadcast on ESPN, earned a 2.6 household rating.

Insight: TV viewership is still dominant when determining the success of sporting events, even as live event consumption begins to transcend a single medium to include social media.

• Digital Media: ESPN 3.com

548,000 unique viewers watched the World Cup final on ESPN3.com, the network’s live-streaming broadband channel. This tally was the largest digital audience on ESPN3.com for a women’s sporting event, the second largest online audience — excluding the 2010 FIFA Men’s World Cup — and the eighth most-watched event for all programs run on ESPN3.com.

Insight: As online streaming continues to develop and grow in popularity, niche-interest events not previously accessible to everyone are now gaining a large online audience with unique — and seldom used — marketing opportunities.

• Social Media: Twitter Record

According to Twitter, the match recorded 7,196 tweets per second, breaking the previous record of 6,939 tweets per second set on New Year’s Day in Japan. According to ESPN, the match also outdid the most tweeted men’s World Cup match (3,238) and this year’s Super Bowl (4,064). Unsurprisingly, terms relating to the match held seven of the top 10 global trending topics including: “#worldcupfinal,” “Japan,” and players “Hope Solo” and “Tobin Heath.” Although there was no direct Twitter integration into the TV broadcast, players involved in outstanding plays also received an instant increase in their Twitter buzz during the match.

Insight: Viewers look to use social media sites during live events to join online conversations surrounding the event. This trend can be further leveraged by directly integrating social media into traditional media.

• Influencers: Celebrity Tweets

The final match saw a digital outpouring of support for both the U.S. and Japanese teams on Twitter from celebrities including Justin Timberlake and Ellen Degeneres, journalists such as Katie Couric and Piers Morgan, and even brands like Tommy Hilfiger. President Barack Obama also participated in live tweeting throughout the game, culminating with this final tweet: “Couldn’t be prouder of the women of #USWNT after a hard-fought game. Congratulations to Japan, Women’s World Cup Champions.” With no clear affiliation to women’s professional soccer or its community, these celebrities spurred conversation through their public advocacy for a diverse audience of followers, greatly magnifying the reach of the event.

Insight: High-profile influencers can expose a group of potential fans to events in which they might not have been previously interested, especially when those endorsements genuinely reflect the interests of the influencer.

• Post-Event: Talk Shows

Upon arriving back in the states, the U.S. team received substantial attention including television appearances on Good Morning America, CNN, ESPN, The Daily Show, the Late Show with David Letterman, the Rachel Maddow Show, and Access Hollywood, among other news spots on local and national stations.

Insight: Media and advertising opportunities can be capitalized on following the conclusion of live events to keep a newly activated audience engaged in the subject.

Image credit: Tasayu Tasnaphun

Article source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/EdelmanDigital/~3/klkCj0WMX6c/