Thursday, December 1, 2016

Come try out our new user interface!

For the last two years we have worked very hard to improve our platform and offer our customers useful tools in their day-to-day tasks. Over time we came to realize that we needed to reinvent our user interface and navigation flow to better suit the need of our most important users, all of you.

Starting right about now (the funk soul brother), all our users can enjoy our new and improved UI, although for some time you will also be able to switch back to the old one from your Settings dashboard. Our new interface represents a significant visual enhancement, yes, but it also brings together and simplifies the access to our different sections by dividing them into just five menu items: My Content, Search, Discovery, Active Entities and Reports.

My Content leads you to the sections directly related to the organizations who you work with. For example, your account settings, the entities you own, your playlists, campaigns and eventsSearch, as you can probably imagine, offers the possibility of searching for entities (leagues, teams, players, brands...) inside our platform.

The third menu item, Discovery, contains all those tools that are intended to discover new content or data, like our Brand Leaderboard, the Top + Trends section, our Compare Tool, or the Blinkfire Index™.

Active Entities shows content related to the entity that you are working with at that particular moment. When that entity is a team you can go to its page on Blinkfire, see its roster, its venue or its MVFs™. If it's not a team but a league, you can see which teams are taking part in it or who its most popular players are.

Last, but absotively posolutely not least, Reports. The magnum opus of Blinkfire's tools, which we have already written about at length in previous posts:
At the bottom left corner of the screen you can see an icon to expand or collapse the sidebar, plus you'll get direct access to our blog's latest posts at the top of the screen.

As we always do when launching new features, we promise to improve it in the next few weeks. We have tested it thoroughly, but let us know if you find something that doesn't work the way it should or if you have any suggestion to improve it.

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

Premier League clubs to start selling sleeve space to sponsors

Premier League clubs have been authorized to start selling advertising space on their shirt sleeves. They got the go-ahead a couple of weeks ago and there's already talk about how much they could secure in these deals. Most sources value the economic potential of sleeves sponsorships at approximately 20% of the value of the main sponsorship deal, which seems pretty accurate according to our own data from the 2015-2016 season. That means that top English clubs like Chelsea, Manchester City or Manchester United could collect up to £10 million per season.

Sleeve sponsorship will be something new for the Premier League next season, but it's something quite common in other competitions around the world. FC Barcelona and Beko or Atlético de Madrid and Huawei are good examples from LaLiga, and all Bundesliga teams have the logo of shipping company Hermes on their sleeve. Brazil, Argentina and Mexico are home to several other examples of teams that have (or had) sleeve sponsorship deals, such as Cruzeiro, Chivas or River Plate.

If you stop and think about it, sleeves are a great spot for advertising. Yeah, granted, the logos have to be smaller than the ones on the front of the shirt, but they get a lot of visibility nonetheless. Don't forget that, unlike on TV, teams can control what images and videos they share on social media while maintaining the authenticity of their content. Plus, the fact that the sleeves are a lot cheaper than the front of the shirt make it possible for smaller brands to close deals with the teams, widening the range of potential partners.

The new brands that become sponsors will need, as the current ones do, information about the appearance of their logos on social media, an important part of any sponsorship deal nowadays. That information lets brands know if they are getting a return of their investment and, at the same time, allows teams to accurately value the exposure they give to their partners, a useful piece of information to close future agreements.

Here at Blinkfire Analytics we work with brands and teams from the top American and European leagues to offer them that information automatically and in real time. Thanks to our detailed reports both parties have updated and accurate information to value their sponsorship deals. Do you want to know what else we can do for you? Contact us and we'll be happy to tell you.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Export your custom reports to a Playlist

Do you remember our Content Search? And our Playlists? Great! Now we have combined both features. But let's start from the beginning: our Content Search recently changed its name to Custom Reports. This new designation better reflects what our customers use it for. Other than the new name, this powerful tool works just as it did before.

It was already possible to save and export your search results. Well, now you can also create a playlist with them. You just need to click on the Save to Playlist button and choose a name (or leave the one we apply automatically). Once created, you'll be able to access that playlist from the sidebar and manage it as you would with any other regular playlist.

The only thing you need to keep in mind is that there's a limitation in the number of posts that you can add to a playlist: 100. If your search returns, let's say, 300 posts, we will only save the 100 first ones to the playlist. This makes it extra important to remember you can order the search results depending on their engagement, e-score, or recency.

Thursday, October 27, 2016

Use Blinkfire to track your social media campaigns

On October 17 Liverpool FC and Manchester United, two historical Premier League clubs, clashed at Anfield stadium. That highly anticipated game was used to raise awareness about avoidable blindness through Seeing is Believing, an organization created by Liverpool's main sponsor, Standard Chartered. During the match, Liverpool wore a special home shirt emblazoned with the Seeing is Believing logo.

One of the many, many things we can do at Blinkfire Analytics is to track a social media marketing campaign through our brand detection capabilities. Liverpool and Standard Chartered's joint charitable initiative offered a perfect opportunity to gather interesting data and examples, so we tracked the activation of that logo on social channels during the game and the days before and after the event. Our goal was to measure and value the social exposure obtained by Seeing is Believing through this particular marketing action.

From October 14 to 24, Seeing is Believing obtained over 841,000 engagements in 218 social posts, valued in more than £313,000 (approximately $383,000 or €350,000). Facebook, Twitter and Instagram were the main social plataforms where this engagement was received. Just on Instagram the campaign got social exposure valued in £256,000 ($314,000 or €287,000).

And no, we didn't just track the visibility received by that logo on the content created by Liverpool FC and their players, but on every entity in our system. In fact, the posts that garnered a higher engagement and value came from the official channels of Manchester United and the Premier League.

Predictably, October 17, the day of the game, was the one that drove the highest engagement: 555,363 among 122 social posts. The next day, the 18th, the Seeing is Believing logo appeared in 59 posts and got 261,308 social engagements. This means that 97% of the total engagements received by Seeing is Believing were generated in just 48 hours.

Our campaign tracking tool offers all this detailed information and allows users to move from general data to the specific social posts. It's a thorough yet intuitive way of tracking visual activations on social media to share them with your colleagues or sponsorship partners. The best part of it all? You get all this data in real time. Do you want more information? Just contact us.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Now you can filter our Blinkfire Index ranking by sport

Several months ago we introduced our Blinkfire Index, the score we give every athlete in our system depending on their social influence and activity. On each player page users can see a badge with that player's score and there is also a ranking showing who are the 100 athletes with the highest score.

That ranking shows athletes from all sports, but now we have added a little sports selector at the top. This means that now you can filter the results and get the 100 top tennis players or football players according to their Blinkfire Index.

Keep in mind that these lists only include those athletes that we already have in our system. There are some sports (let's say Futsal or Kitesurfing) with incomplete data because at the moment we are only tracking certain competitions or even specific athletes.

Friday, September 30, 2016

Blinkfire will be part of the first Euro-Latam Sports Marketing Summit

On October 18th and 19th, the city of Santiago de Chile will host the first edition of the Euro-Latam Sports Marketing Summit, an ambitious event attended by clubs such as Boca Juniors, River Plate, Valencia CF, Racing Club, Cerro Porteño, Peñarol, Santos and Universidad Católica.

Our very own Daniel Roca will take part in the first block of the event, focused on the growing role of new technologies and social media in sports marketing.

If you're interested you can buy tickets or get more information about the participants and the schedule of the summit by visiting their official website.

Saturday, September 3, 2016

You no longer need to send a raven for benchmarks

Lannisters always pay their debts – and here at Blinkfire we always deliver on our promises. When we first announced our Compare Tool we told you that we would keep working to improve it and that's just what we've done: first we expanded up to four the number of entities to compare, then we added the possibility of filtering by dates, and now we  have made this tool a lot more convenient.

Now you can go to our leagues, teams or players leaderboards and just select up to four entities from the table to compare their online presence. Sometimes, a very small team can cast a very large shadow.

You can see how it works in this short video:

You will soon be able to do the same thing from other sections on Blinkfire. Indeed, this is another promise—but we understand our obligations. Valar Dohaeris.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Which brands get the most visual mentions? Some cumulative data.

We've been at this for a few years now, and although if you are a licensed user you can dig around in our data through either Custom Reports (what we used to call Search) or your own reports, we often get asked why we don't do more "researchy" industry reports for the community at large.  The short answer is we're a software platform, not a research company, but that doesn't mean we don't know how to dig around large amounts of data and feed some snippets to everyone now and again.

So all of the numbers below are cumulative since we have been collecting data, though we are always adding data from rights holders and brands over time, so all comparisons are not quite apples to apples.

Perhaps the most interesting thing about these numbers is that a very high percentage of our visual detections are not accompanied by a textual mention or a hashtag. We not only detect the brand on images and videos posted online, but we're also able to give a value to that social exposure.

Let's start with the global table, which takes into account all visual detections regardless of sport. As you can see, Adidas, Emirates Airlines and Qatar Airways are the brands with the most detections:

If we start with the sports breakdown and focus on soccer, we can see that most of the brands were also part of the global list. Adidas is, once again, the brand with the most detections (134,000). The German apparel brand is followed by Emirates Airlines, main sponsor of top soccer teams like Real Madrid, AC Milan or PSG. Puma, Qatar Airways and Nike complete the top 5:

We continue this review with basketball, but Adidas still remains on top. Second position belongs to the NBA brand and the third spot goes to Liga Endesa, the top basketball competition in Spain. In this ranking we can see Turkish Airlines, main sponsor of the Euroleague, or Kia Motors, probably the most important sponsor of the NBA.

We move on to football, where we can see brands like Under Armour, Verizon, Bose or Bud Light, join a list with more usual brands like Nike, Adidas and Emirates. In this case the NFL itself is the brand with the most visual detections (16,271):

Let's wrap it up with hockey, where Adidas is not part of the top ten brands. The number one spot this time belongs to Reebok (which is part of the Adidas Group though), the apparel brand that works exclusively with the NHL. In this list we can also see some top automotive brands like Toyota or Lexus:

As we said at the beginning of this post, the most important thing about these numbers is that all these visual detections are really hard to track for both brands and right holders. Until now the tracking was done manually and using past information.

Our brand detection technology identifies those logos nearly in real time, and then we aggregate the information about engagement and valuation so our customers can export reports any time they want, saving a lot of time and work. Do you want to know more about our brand detection technology and our instant reports? Just whistle!

Thursday, August 4, 2016

How much is social media worth to sports sponsors?

It’s no secret that one of the main sources of income for top-level teams are sponsorships. Teams often get millions of euros from companies that want to associate their brand to the teams' triumphs and get media exposure.

Not so long ago that exposure was limited to the weekly broadcasting of matches and what print media published daily, but the landscape of sports information has changed dramatically and now teams use social media to reach their fans and keep them up to date 24/7. That means that social channels are the place where brands are getting a very important part of the exposure they receive from sports sponsorships and teams need to adapt to that new reality.

Here at Blinkfire Analytics we detect that exposure and calculate its economic value. At the end of the 2015-2016 season we tallied up our numbers to see how many engagements and how much value teams generated for their main sponsors and apparel providers in the top European soccer leagues from September 2015 to May 2016, both included.

If we focus on La Liga, the 20 teams in Spain's top division generated over 317 million engagements for their main sponsors in all their social channels (although there are four teams that didn't have a main jersey sponsor this past season). That amount of engagements translates into a social exposure valued in over €92 / $103 / £71 million, with an average of €5.7 / $6.4 / £4.4 million per team. The reality, though, is that 99.7% of that value corresponds to just three teams (you don't need us to tell which three, right?). They are the most followed teams of the competition, yes, but they’re also the ones that have made the switch to the new digital sponsorship world we told you about some time ago.

Something very similar happens when we take a look at apparel providers, which received nearly 181 million engagements and exposure valued in €42 / $47 / £32.5 million. Once again, the majority of that valuation corresponds to just a handful of teams.

In the English Premier League main sponsors got 92 million engagements on social media, while apparel providers got 91 million. That exposure meant €24.7 / $27.7 / £19 million for main sponsors and €23.8 / $26.7 / £18.4 million for apparel providers. In this case both engagement and valuation are better spread out among the teams than in the Spanish La Liga, but there are five teams that contribute an 89.8% of that total valuation.

The NBA will begin putting sponsorship logos on player uniforms in the 2017-18 season, and it's only a matter of time until other competitions take that step. The figures in our analysis convey an idea of the economic potential of social networks for brands and, at the same time, point out the need to rely on tools that measure that visibility. That's exactly what Blinkfire does for its customers.

We work with some of the top teams and leagues in the world to help them track the value of their social media content and the visibility they give to their partners and sponsors. That information allows them to send accurate reports to their current sponsors and, at the same time, close new sponsorship deals. And, best of all, we don’t offer that information only once the season is over. Both teams and brands can check their reports whenever they want to see how they’re doing and adjust their social media strategies accordingly.

Wednesday, July 20, 2016

More power to the Benchmark engines with new enhancements to our Compare Tool

As customers continue to discover the New World of tracking digital engagement in real time, one of the most surprising things to our customers is the ability to also benchmark against other rights holders and brands.   After all, most social engagement data is public via social media networks, so gone are the days of having to hire a research consultant to give you valuations against your competitors based on a stale and outdated database they have.     Blinkfire Analytics allows you to do this with the click of a button!

To wit, we have continued to make comparisons and benchmarks easier and more powerful.

First, in order to make comparisons and benchmarks useful, you have to have the data.  In case you aren't keeping track (we are!), we are now tracking the posts of 31 sports, 79 leagues, 220 teams, and 124,000 players - in real time.  In order to benchmark, you have to have the data, and data we do have.  For many of these entities in our system, we have 2-3 years of data, and of course, every day we get a little bit more.

While previously we made our Compare Tool more powerful by allowing you to compare up to four entities at once, we now allow you to slice this by date as well, looking at any 30 day window for which we have data.  This is interesting for generating apples to apples comparisons.  For instance, if we were to compare social numbers for Cristiano Ronaldo vs Le Bron James now in July when both players are out of season, we would get different numbers than when they were both in their particular playoffs, say the 30 days starting May 15, 2016.

To set this, you can now use the handy-dandy date picker to generate these comparisons:

and get a snapshot of some interesting insights from that time period:

So we've listened - benchmarking is becoming more and more important to you, and we plan to continue to deliver the benchmarking goods for you in a way that makes hiring consultants to figure this out obsolete.

Try the Compare Tool now!

Track the exposure your partners get from media companies and influencers

It's not the first time we have mentioned the importance of media companies in the sports sponsorship landscape. While it's true that this importance was much bigger before the age of Internet and social media, we can't forget that media companies have millions of followers on their social channels and that they post a lot of visual content every day.

The Branded Media Exposure dashboard, our newest feature, is intended to track the social visibility brands receive from the social channels of both media companies and online influencers.

This dashboard uses as a sample the last 100 relevant posts, and it is divided in three sections. The first one offers teams information about the media companies that have generated exposure for their sponsors, plus the value of that exposure.

Then we show which brands have received that social visibility and how much it was worth. Finally, there's a table with information regarding those 100 posts (the original content, the engagement they received, how much it was worth, etc.).

This information is vital for rights holders. It shows that the online exposure their sponsors receive from media companies is a direct consequence of their sponsorship deals, something that needs to be taken into account for future negotiations.

Thursday, June 9, 2016

Is your organization in the Old World or the New World when it comes to tracking sponsored content?

Every day while talking to prospective rights holders and sponsors, we can determine within a few seconds how far that team has made the transition from the "old sponsorship world" to "digital sponsorship world".  It's based on the questions they ask and the way they go about planning for pricing and selling sponsorships.   Has your organization made the switch and have the right people in place for digital?   Here are some clues to tell if you are in the Old World, or the New World:

Impressions vs Engagements

Old World:  How many "impressions" do we get?
New World:  How many "engagements"do we get, and which content generates the most engagements?

Digital and social media interactions are generally measured in "engagements", as where "impressions" are increasingly becoming a meaningless metric.  Social media marketing is bought and sold on a "Cost per engagement" (CPE) basis, and even digital display is discounting CPM ads unless it is "above the fold" or in a space where it is known to be seen.  If your organization asks about impressions, your partnership people may not be thinking about this the right way.

Past results vs Future strategies

Old World: Asks about performance "last season"
New World:  Asks about best practices for creating value next season

In this world of digital publishing it isn't always the 1.5 hours during a game that counts, but the other 22.5 hours in which you are showing content of the team training, playing FIFA in the hotel, or doing charity work.  If your organization was likely not creating content last season on a 24 hour clock, you likely are not reaching your potential.   The astute organizations realize they can create and affect the value for their digital partners by studying the success of other organizations and adjusting their strategy, not giving numbers for last season.

One time reports vs Real time reports

Old World: Can you give me a one time report?
New World:  Can we track in real time and adjust our strategy on the fly?

If you set sail with a ship from New York to Lisbon without a compass, you likely would never get there because you couldn't adjust as the wind and currents took you off course.  Organizations that study a one time report and then make a plan for the next year are like the sailor that sets the course once and does not adjust.   Digital measurement technologies allow for you to make adjustments in real time and adjust your strategy to get to your desired destination, or even change your destination if need be.

We invented Blinkfire Analytics to allow everyone in the sponsorship ecosystem enter this new world of being able to measure exposure in the most appropriate manner, in channels and media that is growing exponentially, in near real time, because we saw a lot of data floating around that was already stale the moment it was delivered.

So next time you find yourself wanting to get reports for the past to plan the future, ask yourself if you are in the Old World, or the New World.

Sunday, May 22, 2016

How did Leicester City's shocking win affect their main sponsor?

It's a fact: quality sports results have a direct positive effect on the social engagement of teams and athletes. As a corollary, exposure received by their sponsors and partners benefits from this positive growth.

Never was this more clear than with Leicester City’s amazing Premier League season. Their on-pitch success brought skyrocketing engagement for their their primary sponsor, King Power, with each step toward hoisting the Premier League trophy at King Power Stadium.

As the 2015-2016 season began, Leicester City had approximately 56,000 Instagram followers; they now boast in excess of 770,000. On May 3rd, the day after these 5,000-1 underdogs won the Premier League trophy for the first time ever, they added 147,000 Instagram followers in just 24 hours.

Not surprisingly, similar jumps are seen across the rest of their social handles. For example, they started the season with 208,000 Twitter followers and now they have over 725,000.

How did this spike in social growth impact social engagement? In September 2015 the Foxes’ social posts had approximately 600,000 engagements; by April 2016 they drove 6.6 million, and this May they've already received over 13 million engagements (as of May 19).

And how did this engagement impact earned media for King Power? As you can imagine, Leicester's shocking season has greatly increased the visibility of the Thai travel retail company, especially on social media.

Through matchday 16, Leicester City drove King Power social exposure valued in €9,000 / £6,900 / $10,000 (no, these are not missing any zeros).

From matchday 17 (when they beat Everton 3-2 to sit atop the table for the Christmas holiday) through the final matchday of the season, the earned media Leicester drove for King Power was worth €566,000 / £433,000 / $634,000 (~63x!). You can see that evolution in the following graph:

Leicester wasn’t the only entity driving value for King Power. Players, leagues, media companies and even other teams saw a similar spike: from €90,000 / £69,000 / $100,800 through matchday 16 to €1,662,000 / £1,272,000 / $1,862,000 from matchday 17 through 38 (~18x).

The Premier League social channels actually drove most engagements for King Power, surpassing even Leicester’s own. Throughout the entire season, Premier League social posts drove King Power exposure valued in €871,000 / £666,600 / $975,800, while content posted by Leicester City was €575,000 / £440,000 / $644,200.

In case you are curious, this is the social post by Leicester City that got the most engagement for King Power (54,000 engagements, that is, around €36,000 / £27,900 / $40,500). It was posted on Twitter on the 2nd of May, right after they won the Premier League trophy:

Interestingly, this post starring Leicester’s star forward could have driven another €67,400/ £52,100 / $75,750, but Jamie’s Player of the Season trophy unfortunately covered King Power’s logo, instead getting exposure for Puma and Barclay’s. Not entirely surprising given this post came from the Premier League themselves, who are more interested in Barclay’s positioning.

Neither fans nor bookmakers could foresee Leicester City's Premier League victory, and we can safely assume that no one at King Power could imagine their brand would get this kind of social visibility this season. This is a great case study in the importance of including social channels when negotiating sponsorship deals and, of course, the necessity of tracking and valuing the social web in an accurate, convenient and fast way.

About Blinkfire Analytics: Blinkfire Analytics uses computer vision to measure media value and impact – allowing Rights Holders, Players, Agents, and Brands to better engage their fans and sponsors. All of the stats provided above are, of course, from Blinkfire Analytics.

Monday, May 16, 2016

'Likes' become 'Reactions' also on Blinkfire

Last February Facebook announced one of the most important changes in their history. The iconic 'Likes', the main interaction among Facebook users, evolved to give way to what they called 'Reactions'.

Since then we can go beyond liking a post: we can love it, we can be surprised or amused by it, we can get sad or even angry. A range of emotions that now makes its way to Blinkfire Analytics.

What is the effect of reactions on our platform? Well, from now on the concept of 'Reactions' replaces 'Likes' (see the example below), and the total engagements received by a post take into account the sum of all comments, the times it has been shared, and every single reaction by users, not only Likes. So, do you like it or do you love it?

From a valuation perspective, we will value all reactions as "engagements" - whether you liked or disliked that Arsenal bested Spurs again in the Premier League tables, the end user engaged with that content.   As always, we aim to stay on top of such changes from social media networks, so you don't have to.  We will continue to adjust our numbers and methodologies as this fast changing ecosystem continues to evolve!

Monday, April 25, 2016

China Rising: tracking Sina Weibo and the Chinese Super League

The surprising transfer of Jackson Martínez a few months ago was probably the first time many of us heard about the Chinese Super League. The Colombian striker left Atlético de Madrid just six months after his arrival to Spain and headed to Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande for 42 million euros.

Despite the huge figures, his deal was not the biggest one this season in the Chinese competition. It was beaten by the 50 million euros transfer of Alex Teixeira from Shakhtar Donetsk to Jiangsu Suning. Players such as Ramires (Chelsea), Gervinho (Roma), or Fredy Guarín (Inter) also left top-level European teams to set out on a new adventure in China.

The economic boost experienced by the league lately has much to do with big Chinese companies (every team is owned by one), powerful sponsors such as DHL, Red Bull or Nike and media companies like China Sports Media, who bought the league's TV rights for $1.3 billion dollars. The above-mentioned Guangzhou Evergrande is probably the best example of the fast growth of the Chinese Super League. They were relegated to the China League One in 2010, then the real state company Evergrande came along and bought the team. Their investment paid off: not only did they return to the top division but also won five league titles in a row and two AFC Champions League titles. On top of that it is rumored that they want to invest in both a Major League Soccer and a Premier League team in an attempt to replicate the City Football Group model, owners of Manchester City and New York City, in which Chinese fund CMC recently invested $400 million.

If this has piqued your interest, you will be glad to know that we have started tracking the Chinese Super League. You can now access all teams and players in our platform and we are working to fill in all their social channels.

Sina Weibo

Speaking of social channels, Facebook and Twitter are not the kings of social media in China. That role belongs to Tencent and Sina Weibo, which have hundreds of millions of users. We have been tracking Tencent for a long time, and now we have also added Sina Weibo, a social platform where 30% of China's Internet users can be found and where they post 100 million posts per day. Clubs such as Arsenal, Manchester United or NBA teams like the Cavs have their own Sina Weibo page.

The inclusion of Sina Weibo provides you with stats about your presence on this platform and the value your partners and sponsors are getting through them. Apart from this, now you can sign in into Blinkfire using Sina Weibo in addition to Twitter and Facebook.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, and we have just started tracking sponsorship trends in and from Chinese teams and sponsors.   As always, we will report back with interesting tidbits as we have them, especially on our Twitter and Facebook accounts - which we remind you to go follow now!

Remember our Comparison Tool? It's even better now!

Not long ago we introduced  our new comparison tool, which allowed our customers to compare the social presence and earned media valuations of sports entities. Back then we told you that we had some awesome ideas for this feature and the first one has already been implemented: now you can compare up to four teams, players or leagues at the same time.

That means that you can now compare, for example, the four semi-finalists of the UEFA Champions League (Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid, FC Bayern München and Manchester City). We can then see that Real Madrid, with over 165 million followers is the most popular of the four teams when it comes to social media.

Remember that this tool can also show you how sports entities are sharing content online, what engagement are they getting from their posts, and how much value they generate for brands on their social channels. In short, a very useful and thorough tool that makes a fine addition to our analytics suite. Do you want to know more about the kind of data you can get from Blinkfire? Just get in touch.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

How do sponsors interact with each other?

Some time ago we wrote about the concept of accidental endorsement, that is, when teams or players give social exposure to brands which are not sponsoring them. Another usual ocurrence is when brands, whether by accident or design, give exposure to other brands.

We have a good example right here, in this post by Lacoste on Instagram about Roberto Bautista Agut, one of their athletes, which gives exposure to Peugeot, sponsor of the Miami Open.

From now on brands have a new section within their Blinkfire Analytics reports where they can see the engagement they have generated for other brands, and also the engagement other brands have generated for them.

All that information is offered, as always, in an easy to understand and visual way, so users can drill down from general data to the exact social media publications where that brand-to-brand interaction happened.

Get in touch if you want to know more about how Blinkfire is helping brands to measure the ROI of their sports sponsorships in social and digital channels.

Friday, March 11, 2016

Save and share your favorite social posts with our new Playlists feature!

Recently, while visiting one of our customers, we observed them using Blinkfire Analytics, and the user, a VP of Marketing at a large brand said "This is amazing, I just wish I could save off a bunch of examples and send them around our organization to share!".

We loved the idea, so we put it into action swiftly!  Introducing playlists.  Well, you've probably used playlists before on your favorite music service, but now you can use them in much the same way on Blinkfire.

As you are browsing around looking at results, you can now place your cursor over the plus symbol on one of our social post cards from any social network, and add them to a new or existing playlist.  Take for example this playlist made up with some of the most valuable posts featuring Coca-Cola. Or this other playlist formed by some of the most valuable baseball posts of 2015.

You can then access your playlists from the sidebar and share them to other people in your organization (or really to whomever you want) where they can make a copy and save them off.

We are really glad we got this idea from one of our customers, and we've found playlists to be quite useful ourselves.  As you start to use this feature and come up with some inventive uses, please send them to us!

Monday, March 7, 2016

The FA Women's Super League: a league of their own

A few weeks ago we announced that the Primera División Femenina was now being covered by Blinkfire Analytics. Today we are glad to do the same with the first division of the Football Association Women's Super League, better known as FA WSL.

Founded in 2010, nine clubs take part in this league, among them the women's teams of top clubs like Chelsea, Arsenal, Liverpool or Manchester City. Their presence, and that of their sponsors, led brands like Nike, Vauxhall or Continental to support a league that has a a strong social following.

The ugly truth is that women's sports currently do not get the same attention from traditional media as men's sports. However, digital media is leveling the playing field, as consumer choice has democratized content, especially in social media.

The astute sponsors are aware that many WSL players have tens of thousands of social followers and drive a huge amount exposure that brands shouldn't ignore.  And because many female athletes interact directly with their followers, engagement is high as well.

Toni Duggan, for instance, is starting to generate some significant exposure for Nike, Etihad, and Aabar (Man City's sponsors), as well as Vauxhall (England National Team sponsor).

From now on these teams and players will be able to track the engagement they are getting for brands on their social media updates, such as this image shared by Arsenal player Jordan Nobbs which got exposure for Continental:

We have been working hard to add social data for all FA WSL teams and players and we will keep adding data in the next few days. If you have any question or want to give us some feedback, please let us know!

Monday, February 29, 2016

Introducing: The Blinkfire Index™

Once in a while, there are features we use internally or with our customers that we think should be free for everyone to use.  If you are already a customer, you know that we give every player in our system an Influence Score and an Activity Score.   As customers have found this valuable, one of the things they have been asking for is for us to benchmark this against other players and influencers with a normalized overall score.  No problem!  We've been doing this internally for some time, so now it's time to simply expose this to everyone.

As a result, every player in the system has a score which we are calling the Blinkfire Index™, which is a weighted average of the player's influence and activity.   Just to remind you (or perhaps tell you for the first time) - the Influence Score takes into account a player's reach across the different social networks in which they participate relative to all other players, and the Activity Score is a measure of how active they are on those networks, including how often they publish and interact with other entities on those networks.    Our feedback has been that in the sponsorship realm, the influence is more important than the activity, so we've weighted the overall score accordingly.

We will continue to tweak this formula as we add more and more data to our system, including new leagues and sports.

Here's how the Blinkfire Index manifests itself in the product right now:

  1. Player Badges - On each player page, logged in users will see a badge representing the players current scores.  Did we take some "inspiration" from FUT?  I'll never tell.  You can see the Özil example here (you will need to login with Twitter or Facebook).

  2. Brand Rosters - For every brand in BlinkfireAnalytics we list the people who are sponsored by that brand.
  3. Many more to come!

What does access to the Blinkfire Index cost?  Nada.  Zip. Zilch.  Bupkis.   Just log in to Blinkfire Analytics (you can log in through either a Twitter or Facebook account, currently).

As usual, we will listen to you for feedback in how to enhance this feature, but we anticipate working the Blinkfire Index into more and more of the site to make it easy to compare entities tracked by Blinkfire Analytics.


Thursday, February 4, 2016

New feature! Compare teams, players or leagues

Most of us shy away from comparisons, but the truth is that comparing ourselves with our competitors can have very positive effects. Not only can it motivate us to improve, but also gives us a better understanding of our shortcomings and strengths.

Most of our customers know this and so one of the most commonly requested tools to add to our arsenal is the ability to compare the social presence and earned media valuations of teams, leagues, and athletes in an easily digestible format.

With that in mind we have launched our new comparison tool, which will allow our customers to do exactly that! Select any two entities and you will get a table showing the data of each entity and the differences between them.  We think this is intuitive and easy, and so will you.

To dive in a little deeper, the table divides the information into several sections, starting with the online presence of the compared entities: their number of followers, their audience growth data and the number of social channels they have. This data can be seen in a general way or by social channel.

The next section of the comparison table is the posting strategy, which tells us how the athletes, teams or leagues are sharing content on social channels: how many posts they do per channel and how much time passes between posts.

Next up: engagement metrics, which tells us about the interaction between entities and their social audience. Once again, you can see this information by channel or as a total figure, and you can also know the daily and hourly engagement. Further down the table you will also get the average engagement by post, image, video, etc.

Of course, sponsors are not forgotten in these comparisons. Our valuation metrics tell us how much value the teams and leagues generate for brands on their social channels plus their daily and hourly valuation and their average valuation per follower and per post. This information has never been available anywhere in our toolset, bonus!

And this is just the beginning! We will continue to add more stats and interesting data to our comparisons in the future. Contact us if you want to know more!

Friday, January 15, 2016

Women's sports and the importance of digital media when TV tunes out

It's no secret that here at Blinkfire Analytics that we like to be ahead of the curve.  When EA put Alex Morgan on the cover of FIFA 16 after the Women's World Cup we were already tracking Alex and her teammates as part of the competition.

To us this was a no-brainer, as women soccer players have some of the largest audiences in social media.  Their social channels are how their fans primarily engage with these athletes and are an attractive opportunity for digital sponsorships.  In turn, digital sponsorships have become a very important revenue source for the top female athletes.

Continuing our clients' interest in tracking brand exposure during the last FIFA Women's World Cup, we are doing the same with the Spanish Primera División Femenina, the top women's soccer league in Spain. Sixteen teams take part in this league, including the women's divisions of top clubs such as FC Barcelona, Atlético de Madrid, and Athletic Bilbao.

Some of the La Liga Feminina players have hundreds of thousands of social followers and most clubs have created new social channels for their female teams. The growing fame and recognition of these players are attracting sponsors and we have already seen how these female athletes get exposure for important brands.

Check out this tweet by Alexia Putellas of FC Barcelona and the Spanish national team as a Nike athlete:
Here's another example with Olga García, also of FC Barcelona promoting Herbalife on her Instagram account:
And here we have another post by Olga García, this time on Twitter, with her teammates, giving exposure to FC Barcelona's main sponsors, Qatar Airways and Nike:

Coming soon, we'll be adding other major women's leagues in the world, including the NWSL in the United States and the FA Womens Super League in the U.K.

Like eSports, the sponsorship economy of these leagues will be build largely on digital revenue, and not television revenue, as was the case for the previous generation's sports leagues. This is largely because the audiences that are growing up following these newer leagues are the mobile based Millennial generation, which study after study shows not to follow television as their primary medium of consumption

It's imperative that rights holders, players, agents and sponsors have the tools to better understand, measure and value this audience and assets.  Um, in case you didn't guess, we think we have the answer!

Interested in tracking the material sponsorship dollars flowing through women's soccer? Contact us!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Now you can save your Content Searches!

Here at Blinkfire we are going to start 2016 just like we finished 2015: announcing new features for our customers. A couple of months ago we announced our Content Search, which allows users to search among the social content posted by athletes, teams, leagues, media companies, fans... It is a very powerful and extremely useful tool that is now being improved with an option to save those searches.

Imagine a brand is sponsoring an athlete. That brand needs to track the content the athlete is sharing on social networks and what kind of exposure they are getting from it. Content Search makes it easy to get that information setting up the different filters and fields. Well, from now on that brand can save that search and go back to it in the future, obtaining updated results and saving a lot of time.

To save a search you only need to click the "Save search" button above the results. A modal window will ask you to name the search and, once saved, you can access it and manage all your saved searches from Content Search's main page. Yeah, it is that simple.

Is this new feature just what your brand or team was looking for? Do you have any question about how Blinkfire can help you? Get in touch!