Tech Support
Oct 4, 2016

Dear Tech Support: Sports fans are really engaged online but how do I tap their attention?

Answers to your pressing questions on all aspects of digital marketing. In association with Xaxis.

Dear Tech Support: Sports fans are really engaged online but how do I tap their attention?
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Dear Tech Support:

I’m inspired by the recent Olympics. How can my brand find a place in conversations around major sporting events?

- Run Guy 


Hey Run Guy, 

Major sporting events like the Olympics and UEFA Championships are unabashedly about catching the action as it happens, but that doesn’t mean that consumers are just glued to the TV screen.

Media convergence, the phenomenon enabled by the digitisation of media content, wide availability of high speed broadband connections and, proliferation of internet enabled devices has led to the consumer of today being able to access media content anytime, anywhere and however they want. 

This phenomenon coupled by the rise of social media has led to an increased level of engagement and participation from the audience with the demand of telling and knowing about every touchpoint or moment in a match or event.

To capitalise on these moments, a brand needs to engage consumers on from linear TV to social media and even OOH, bridging online with offline. First by identifying and defining these moments with the use of data points and then by using a programmatic platform, audience targeting today allows a brand to efficiently target a specific group of sports fans.

But that’s just the first half of the puzzle. It is also about providing relevant content to amplify and enhance the sports consumption experience; this is key for brands to enjoy sustained engagement with sports fans.

As programmatic technology narrows the bridge between creative and media, targeting users with the right message or content at the right time becomes optimised and data-driven. With triggers in place, ads and content can be served based on monitoring real-time developments as a game progresses in order to seize and own a moment whilst resonating with the end user.

In addition, with in-image advertising, campaigns can be run using contextual understanding of images on a keyword and category basis, or timed to coincide with images related to major events.

Research has shown that sports fans are some of the most engaged and loyal consumers around, and they are open to brands participating in the sport they love. However it must be content that they want, be it facts and statistics or opportunities to get closer to their favourite athletes.

Technology has changed the way we consume sports and content. And for brands, it has also opened up myriad of ways to interact in smarter fashion. The consumer of today doesn’t necessarily want to be marketed to, so identifying moments that enable emotional connections or affinity is critical, as these moments allow the creation of engagement and conversation with affinity. 

Esther Carlsen is managing director, Xaxis Australia and New Zealand 

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