A number of lessons can be learned from Leicester City’s unlikely English Premier League victory in May 2016. The way in which fans created, interacted with, and shared related video content exemplified how today’s cross-platform, social, mobile sports media environment is evolving and adding value to the fan experience.
Leicester City’s triumph showed the cross-platform value of non-broadcast sports content
With the dust having finally settled on the dramatic events of May 2, 2016, we can now look back at Leicester City’s victory in terms of what it can tell us about the current state of the sports media space.
Firstly, it demonstrated that live broadcasts are not the be-all and end-all when it comes to sports-related video content. The defining piece of content from the night was a video of the team’s reaction to winning the league, filmed on a smartphone and shared on Twitter by Leicester City’s left-back.
Secondly, it showed how important social media platforms are becoming to sports – and vice versa. Leicester City’s triumph gained a huge level of engagement across the globe which, as a long-suffering fan myself, I can confirm was unprecedented for the club. A “Champions” tweet from the club’s Twitter account quickly prompted 400,000 retweets, becoming the 17th most retweeted post of all time. The evening saw an 86% increase in normal Twitter activity in the UK and as many tweets mentioning the word “party” as during the celebrations for New Year’s Eve 2015.
The reaction was not confined to Twitter, however: Discussion, as well as brand and fan-created content, flowed across Facebook and Instagram. Snapchat, meanwhile, dedicated a “live story” to the event, which showcased a selection of user-generated “snaps” of fans celebrating in Leicester on the night of the victory.
The level of engagement that Leicester’s victory elicited is testament to the power that sport holds in terms of attracting and engaging mass digital audiences. The combination of new types of sports-related video content and social and messaging platforms, therefore, presents a key opportunity for digital service providers looking to reach, grow, unify, and monetize globally dispersed sports fan bases. We look at the impact of this new wave of sports-related media content and how it relates to social media platforms in more detail in an upcoming report, Building Digital Audiences: Targeting the Millennial Sports Fan.
Digital Consumer Insights 2015/16: Mapping the Digital Sports Media Opportunity, ME0002-000667 (May 2016)
Matthew Bailey, Analyst, Digital Media