The Role of Social in Live Sporting Events #Wimbledon

With the success of the Olympics and Superbowl (a game like rugby except they have to wear padding so they don’t hurt themselves) it is undeniable, that social plays a key role in Live Sporting Events.  The content that can be generated around these events helps to paint a true picture, even the best coverage in the world cannot rival the support that can be achieved from the general public getting involved.  What we are seeing across the social sphere is that the social / digital audiences can experience every angle, providing greater depth and in turn driving greater interest.

Twitter Accelarates Mass Participation

Social enables audiences to participate in the excitement, even though they are not able to attend, and with the big events reaching global audiences, attendance isn’t always within the reach of the every day individual.  I have no doubt that social can also play a key motivational aspect, alongside the cheering from the real-world audience, the access  that we have to the stars allows everyone to feel truly involved and that they have ‘a voice’ to support their team, country, champions! Twitter and TV are a perfect match! Including #hashtags on air results in a 2-10X increase in conversation, volume on Twitter. Incorporating @handles on air triggers an increase in followers & @mentions of 2-8X on Twitter, and Live-Tweeting during a televised event results in an increase of Twitter followers & volume of 3-4X.

(*Source: Survey by Yahoo & Nielson “Why #Hashtags Belong on TV” Source: Compete, 6/13/11, “Four Things You Might Not Know About Twitter”)

What are the #Wimbledon Participation Options this Year?

#Hashtags are running through all of the social outposts Twitter, Facebook, Google+ and Instagram. With action from #shotoftheday competition.

The general #Wimbledon hashtag keeping the conversation together and #thequeue where people can experience this ongoing saga of the extremely lengthy queues which have become part of this social event.

Pinterest is helping to display the sides of the tournament that not everyone gets to see including this rather dashing shot of last year’s winners!  Roger is not smiling quite so much this year and Serena Williams displays her more feminine qualities, when the audience are used to appreciating her devastating backhand being driven down the line in a quite opposing aggressive fashion.

Social is encouraging consumers to get so much involved in the event and saving timeless moments, not only of the action but also the stories that run alongside the action.

I, as a tennis fan and consumer, feel as close as I can to the sport, without actually playing myself… (Having said that my backhand can be pretty devastating, with the wind behind it!)  Facilitating social media across a variety of offerings is not only driving consumers to be creative with content and view every angle of the event, but it also enables people to engage with the platform of their choice. Well, I’m with Morrisons #gomurray.

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