Best Use of Social Media for Sports

Archived from the 4th Annual Shorty Industry Awards

Winners

MLB Fan Cave

Produced by: Major League Baseball

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Finalists

HBO: Boxing

Produced by: HBO

HBO has established a dominant presence in the social space for the sport of boxing, leading the way for athletes,networks, promoters, journalists, and other insiders to follow. 2011 was a year of major growth for HBO Boxing social platforms, engaging existing fans and discovering and educating new ones every day of the year. While boxing may be considered a niche sport, HBO has been instrumental in helping to transition the boxing industry into one that is heavily reliant upon social media. Twitter has become a major haven for boxing fans and insiders and HBO has effectively used the medium to bring the boxing world closer together while simultaneously finding new fans. HBO’s social media boxing experts live tweet fights from @HBOBoxing, providing fans with the latest fight action updates. @HBOBoxing helps link fighters with existing and potential fans while positioning HBO as the connective tissue. Fan predictions, questions and opinions are often solicited to empower “boxing-heads” and recruit them as ambassadors of the sport. Those who weigh-in are often rewarded with highly coveted items such as gloves signed by high profile fighters. HBO brought fighter/fan social connections to the next level in 2011 with a series of live chats and commentaries on HBO Connect, the social media extension of HBO.com. High profile fighters Bernard Hopkins, Chad Dawson and Miguel Cotto all participated in live chats during fight week. Boxing fans were especially excited to watch a replay of Pacquiao vs. Marquez I on HBO alongside Manny Pacquiao as he tweeted his live commentary, the first time social media was used to get directly into the mind of an athlete as he relived one of his epic matches. HBO Connect events were promoted on-air and through the social profiles of all participants to spur growth and spread awareness. The dedicated HBO Sports YouTube channel launched in 2011 and has become extremely popular with fans looking for fight highlights and promos for upcoming matches. The GetGlue presence found Facebook and Twitter users checking into their every match on the network and broadcasting their actions to their social followings. Results: • The HBO Boxing Facebook page grew by 154% to 573K connections, while the @HBOBoxing Twitter profile grew 86% to 95K followers. • HBO maintains the largest Facebook and Twitter presences of any brand associated with boxing – only a few elite fighters maintain larger followings. • GetGlue users checked into sports and boxing programming 116K times and 65K stickers were awarded. The total Twitter and Facebook reach was over 46MM. • The HBO Sports Youtube channel drove over 17.8MM video views, and HBO.com/boxing tallied 4MM visits, with average time spent per visit hovering around 7 minutes, the second highest time spent within an HBO programming franchise.

Current Entries

TSN Facebook Check-In Application

In 2011, TSN helped Canadian’s wave their virtual flag in support of Team Canada’s journey for Gold through the TSN Check-In Facebook App. The Facebook-based application allowed fans to check in to TSN’s World Juniors broadcasts using Facebook Places on their mobile devices and show they are cheering on their country. The app took the in-stadium experience of supporting a team beyond the gates of the arena and extended it globally, allowing the entire world to connect socially. More than 42,000 fans registered for the app, with 36,750 total check-ins extending beyond national borders, as far as Japan, Qatar, S.Korea, and the UAE—demonstrating the campaign’s ease, scale and overall popularity. TSN’s promotion of the TSN Check-In app was also integrated within external media assets. 30 and 15-second broadcast spots, running across the TSN and TSN2 networks, encouraged fans to visit TSN’s Facebook Page and ‘Light The Map’ to show their support for Team Canada during the World Juniors. The 10-day campaign generated impressive results in a short span of time. More than 42,000 fans registered for the TSN Check-In App, with 36,750 total check-ins and thousands checking in daily from across Canada. The success of the TSN Check-In app went beyond national borders as fans checked in as far away as Japan, New Zealand, Qatar, South Korea, Guatemala, The Republic of Congo and the United Arab Emirates—demonstrating the campaign’s ease, scale and overall popularity. On the opening day of the World Juniors and Team Canada’s first game, TSN’s Facebook Page gained over 11,000 new fans. Over the course of the tournament (December 26, 2011–January 5, 2012), TSN’s Facebook Page gained over 34,000 new fans (compared to 56,000 new fans over the course of the entire 2011 calendar year) and attracted more than 37.5 million post views. Further, TSN’s monthly active users peaked with the end of the tournament at 740,724 (or more than double that of TSN’s Facebook Page), and the Daily Active Users peaked at 316,561 during the highly-anticipated January 3 semifinal game featuring rivals Team Canada vs. Team Russia. The TSN Check-In App has received more than 2 million online ad unit impressions and close to a million favorable media impressions, with mentions on TheStar.com, Forbes.com and in Mediacaster and Broadcaster magazines. These results are a testament to the promotional power that the TSN Check-In App has harnessed for one of Canada’s biggest sporting events. With World Juniors games regularly attracting close to three million viewers and consistently ranking as the most-watched program of the day on Canadian television in all key demographics, TSN maximized national exposure to push the TSN Check-In App and connect a passionate fan base around the world.

HBO: Boxing

Produced by: HBO

HBO has established a dominant presence in the social space for the sport of boxing, leading the way for athletes,networks, promoters, journalists, and other insiders to follow. 2011 was a year of major growth for HBO Boxing social platforms, engaging existing fans and discovering and educating new ones every day of the year. While boxing may be considered a niche sport, HBO has been instrumental in helping to transition the boxing industry into one that is heavily reliant upon social media. Twitter has become a major haven for boxing fans and insiders and HBO has effectively used the medium to bring the boxing world closer together while simultaneously finding new fans. HBO’s social media boxing experts live tweet fights from @HBOBoxing, providing fans with the latest fight action updates. @HBOBoxing helps link fighters with existing and potential fans while positioning HBO as the connective tissue. Fan predictions, questions and opinions are often solicited to empower “boxing-heads” and recruit them as ambassadors of the sport. Those who weigh-in are often rewarded with highly coveted items such as gloves signed by high profile fighters. HBO brought fighter/fan social connections to the next level in 2011 with a series of live chats and commentaries on HBO Connect, the social media extension of HBO.com. High profile fighters Bernard Hopkins, Chad Dawson and Miguel Cotto all participated in live chats during fight week. Boxing fans were especially excited to watch a replay of Pacquiao vs. Marquez I on HBO alongside Manny Pacquiao as he tweeted his live commentary, the first time social media was used to get directly into the mind of an athlete as he relived one of his epic matches. HBO Connect events were promoted on-air and through the social profiles of all participants to spur growth and spread awareness. The dedicated HBO Sports YouTube channel launched in 2011 and has become extremely popular with fans looking for fight highlights and promos for upcoming matches. The GetGlue presence found Facebook and Twitter users checking into their every match on the network and broadcasting their actions to their social followings. Results: • The HBO Boxing Facebook page grew by 154% to 573K connections, while the @HBOBoxing Twitter profile grew 86% to 95K followers. • HBO maintains the largest Facebook and Twitter presences of any brand associated with boxing – only a few elite fighters maintain larger followings. • GetGlue users checked into sports and boxing programming 116K times and 65K stickers were awarded. The total Twitter and Facebook reach was over 46MM. • The HBO Sports Youtube channel drove over 17.8MM video views, and HBO.com/boxing tallied 4MM visits, with average time spent per visit hovering around 7 minutes, the second highest time spent within an HBO programming franchise.

MLB Fan Cave

Produced by: Major League Baseball

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