Do you follow any sports teams actively?
Even if you don't, I bet you know someone who's enthusiastic about Super Bowl, NBA, or La Liga football in Spain - and global events like the Olympics bring together billions of sports fans worldwide.
Social media, too, plays a significant role in sports marketing. On Instagram, X (formerly Twitter), and Facebook, fans let their passion show – and these days, sports stars are actively sharing what's happening behind the scenes before and after the competition. Some star athletes have even become media companies selling access to their fanbase to other brands. According to Business Insider, a sponsored post on Instagram by Cristiano Ronaldo, a Serie A footballer costs an astonishing $975.000.
Most marketers can only dream of a budget for a sponsored post from the football star Ronaldo but it doesn't mean that you shouldn't use social media content to your advantage. By adding inspirational social media feeds from sports teams, players, fans, and press, to your websites and mobile applications (and displaying the same content in digital screens too!), sports marketers can increase time spent on site, build engagement on social media channels, and drive ticket sales.
Here are six inspirational examples of how to use social media in sports marketing:
Most sports clubs already publish content on Facebook, Instagram, and X/Twitter (or at least one of those), and it makes sense to display this content on the website too. Inspirational social media feeds on your website increase the time spent on site and also drive fans to like, comment, and share your social media posts. The more people that interact with your content on social media channels, the more people will see the content in their personalised feeds. Social media channels prioritise the most engaging content, thus increasing the reach of your content to the whole network.
Rapperswil-Jona Lakers, a Swiss national league ice hockey team, displays the latest social media feeds on the team's website homepage in an elegant grid layout.
New Zealand Black Caps
Sports teams don't only publish a lot of content themselves but they are mentioned on social media channels by fans and press too. Mentions of the brand's Instagram, or another social media account, are like fuel to fire for social media algorithms – the more often the brand is mentioned, the more visibility their future content will get automatically.
New Zealand's national cricket team, Black Caps, curates a feed of team mentions on Instagram and X (formerly Twitter) and displays them all on their homepage. It's a fantastic example of curated social media feeds, which helps to transform a reasonably plain website into a dynamic and ever-changing experience.
Are you a fan of any sports team? Do you own their jersey?
Each year teams start the season with the launch of a new team outfit, and true fans can’t wait to get the latest one to wear in matches. It’s often a perfect gift to a nephew or niece too.
Feyenoord FC, one of the most successful teams in the Dutch football league, uses Flockler to engage fans in posting content mentioning a branded hashtag. Asking your fans to show their support by wearing the new outfit is a great example of the many hashtag campaigns this team has created over the year. Hashtag campaigns increase the reach and engagement on social media channels.
Have you ever created a hashtag campaign for your brand?
Australian Paralympic Committee
Are you participating in a big competition, or do you have a project aiming for success in the future? Gathering all the content from your social media accounts and then filtering the posts based on a hashtag or keyword related to your project is a great way to make your pages more exciting and dynamic.
The Australian Paralympic Committee has created a #ReadySetTokyo page to let their audience follow how professional athletes and teams are getting ready for the Tokyo Paralympics. The page displays a social media feed updating fresh content from the Committee, and the sports stars, based on the hashtag #ReadySetTokyo.
Are you launching something new this season?
You will most likely use all your existing marketing channels to promote it and even pay for advertising. Still, user-generated content - in other words content created by your fans - can help your message travel exponentially. Authentic content created and shared by our friends sparks engagement at a very different level than posts by brands. Whether you are a tiny or global brand, you can't compete with the reach of posts by real fans.
VfL Wolfsburg, a football team in German Bundesliga, launched the latest version of their jersey with their #mehrals11 ("more than eleven players") campaign where fans were able to meet past and current star players of the team and buy the football kit. The hashtagged posts and selfies were then gathered on the website and displayed with a wall layout.
Does your stadium or other event venue have digital screens? During the event, one of the best ways to build engagement and reach is to display a curated feed of social media posts from your team and audience.
FIFA Museum in Zürich is using the Flockler platform to gather the most engaging Instagram images and display them in digital screens all over the museum. The inspirational feeds, shown in a slideshow format, inspire visitors to share their experiences with friends, too, and this increases the visibility of the museum on social media channels and beyond.
Do you already display social media feeds by the team, players, fans, and press in all digital channels? Sign up for our 14-Day Free Trial and get started in a few minutes. If you have any questions during the setup, our team in live chat is happy to help.