Snapchat and Sport - A match made in digital heaven

Image courtesy of Avery Shackelford

Image courtesy of Avery Shackelford

If you have been paying attention in the last couple of weeks, you would have seen this story about Wimbledon signing a deal with Snapchat to allow them to broadcast stories from the world's most famous tennis tournament.

That story prompted a conversation here in Atomic Towers about sports and Snapchat, and the result of that conversation is this post. 

Snapchat, for the uninitiated, is a social messaging platform that allows you to share stories and images with people. So it is not that unlike Whatsapp. Except the content doesn't live forever. In fact, depending on how you share (as a story or just a message) it either auto-deletes after 24hrs or between 1 and 10 seconds. The reason I'm telling you this is because of how popular the platform has become.

As of this month, Snapchat claims 150m daily users. That's more than Twitter. So it's a huge channel. And while it's not the most popular social messaging channel yet, it's engagement is off the charts. In Ireland, for example, 72% of it's base use it every day. 

So the bottom line is, Snapchat is one of those channels that you shouldn't really be ignoring!

So what does this mean for Sporting Organisations?

Access

Sporting organisations and sports stars have something that fans really want. Access. It's the same access that prompts people to like accounts on Twitter and pages on Facebook. They want to see content that involves their favourite team, club or player etc.

So, similarly to other channels, you want to create engagement. And I'm not just talking about likes and comments on posts. You're looking to create the kind of engagement that means fans will come back again and again to see your content. A good reason for this is that engaged fans are more likely to purchase tickets or merchandise etc. 

But you're already doing all this on other social channels, so why do you need to consider Snapchat?

Social behaviour is changing

The way people use social has changed. Especially with younger demographics. The idea of broadcasting everything for the whole world to see is no longer as appealing as it once was. People are looking to share things to a more refined circle of friends. This is done via Whatsapp chats and group chats, and of course Snapchat.

And as I said, with younger people this is increasingly the case. 

 

Video is the way forward

We know that video is the content style of choice for most people these days and in Snapchat, you have a channel that is getting 10 billion video views a day. That is more than Facebook. So Snapchat is allowing you to produce and share the most popular style of content through a channel where people are present. 

And to prove the point that social messaging is growing quicker than social networking we have this graph. 

Easy to produce

The great thing about Snapchat is that you can produce content on your mobile phone. This has two benefits. 

Benefit one: Low barrier to entry. All you need is a decent smartphone and a good sense of what you're doing. 

Benefit two: Low costs. We all pretty much have good smartphones in our pockets already and you don't need to pay to join Snapchat. On top of that, you're not paying for directors, editors, sound engineers and so on, so the cost of producing content is very low. 

Add them all up.

So you have access to the content people want, a channel and behaviour that people are adopting and using at an astonishing rate, ability to create video content quickly and all at a low cost base. The arguments to join stack up pretty nicely.

In addition to all the above, think about the ways in which you can monetise. For large events the benefits are obvious. The goal is clearly to sign a deal similar to the one that Snapchat just did with Wimbledon. Give Snapchat access to your event, let them sell ads around it and they pay you a handsome fee. 

But that's not the only way. Snapchat offers you another channel through which your sponsors can activate. By working with them to devise content ideas and executions you can derive revenue. The analytics side of things aren't exactly clear at the moment, however as Snapchat increasingly monetises the channel themselves, they know that their reporting is also going to have to improve. 

As with everything social, you do need to think through the fine details, such as tone of voice. Don't just jump in with two feet, talk to an expert first.

If you want to discuss Snapchat then please feel free to get in touch with me at hugh@atomic.ie