The online consumption of Sports



The online consumption of Sports

Online sports viewing has been growing significantly and as consumer attention gets scattered across multiple platforms and devices, it is interesting to understand what major marketing players are doing to follow suit.


A positive problem? Opportunities arise for advertisers as a need for engaging content online continues to be a winner for brands. Consumers want to watch sports as well as news and highlights whenever and wherever they can, for free creating problem signs for the TV broadcasters as they continue to lose traction. Here are some interesting stats:

  • According to Nielsen, 3 out 4 Manchester Utd fans are watching sports online – for these fans, online viewing really is a key part. 23% also mention they want brands to connect them with other fans
  • Over half say they consume Sports on-the-go via their smartphones, demonstrating the opportunity that exists for sports leagues to engage with these audiences at all times of the day –differentiating them from TV
  • 25-34s are the biggest online sports viewers (60%), while men (64%) have a substantial lead over women (40%)

The real disruptor is LIVE feeds on Social as platforms are partnering with major leagues and the reason for this is the authenticity, unedited content that Gen Z prefer, in comparison to staged content. There will be a rise in individual Sports platforms allowing brands and rights holders to create their own audiences.

Tying the two together

TV viewership may be declining in numbers but it isn’t dead. We can’t forget the power It holds in terms of exposure and reach. Thought leaders and experts stress on the merging of the two and recommend that brands modernise their approach, without completely ignoring big broadcast moments that are priceless

Closer than close

Today’s sports viewers want to be a lot more involved with news, stats, scores, the personal lives of their sport idols, for example behind the scenes footage of their training, holidays, celebrations etc. Sponsorship are no longer enough for brands to meet the demands of today’s content greedy consumers who simply want to engage all the time. These sponsorship deals may get brands onto the field, but it’s what brands do once they’re in, to truly differentiate them.

Best Practice

I have listed some winning digital campaigns that were created with compelling content and impactful messaging – how it should be done

Virtual Reality with Sky Sports

Remember when David Beckham teamed up with Sky to carry out a 360-interview using VR talking about all of his amazing goals? Who’d forget that beautiful face? It generated 3.1m views, obviously!!!!!!!

Real Madrid on Snapchat

Real Madrid used SnapChat and partnered up with an Official Live Story gaining 480,000 subscribers in just three months and the Classico Live Story generated 185m impressions


A campaign to reach out to women when it was known that 2million more men take part in sports than women, due to the fears instilled in women for their ability and appearance. By using women whom it’d ‘appear’ uncharacteristic of to be athletic, celebrity influence and the hashtag, resulted in 2.8m women saying after this campaign became more active whilst 1.6m said they started exercising

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