It’s hard to believe sports have been paused for two months.
During a regularly scheduled sports calendar year, the month of May is filled with NHL and NBA playoffs, the Champions League Final, Roland Garros, MLS regular season, MLB regular season, the Kentucky Derby, and cup finals in England, Italy, Spain, and Germany. We could keep going, but you get the point.
As we noted in last month’s COVID-19 blog series, teams are publishing new and creative social media content that’s consistently hitting three marks.
- Fans: Now more than ever teams have the opportunity to engage with their fans, build their trust, and get them excited for sports’ return.
- Sponsors: No live sports means many in-stadium sponsors are losing the exposure they would have received from attendees or via TV. Social media teams are creating ways to incorporate these sponsors into their content.
- Current & Former Players: Teams are built on the likability and popularity of their players. Showcasing players and their memorable moments make for A+ content.
Teams are engaging with their fans by developing social media series starring players and sponsors, and it’s making for a winning formula. A common theme we’ve seen across posts is history. What fan doesn’t want to double tap a #tbt or “on this day” post — all about a team or player’s memorable moment?
In the past four weeks, teams’ social media posts that include such keywords as “#tbt”, “history”, “historia”, “kicking it back”, “on this day”, and “throwback” have increased more than 25%. Some teams have even started using their own history-focused hashtags like the Boston Celtics’ #ClassicCeltics or Valencia CF’s #ThrowbackVCF.
One theory, and we may be biased because half of our company is based in Chicago, is something we’re calling “The Last Dance Effect”. Yes, we’re data nerds, but who doesn’t love a good theory?
April 19’s launch of ESPN’s 10-episode series The Last Dance is providing viewers (sports fans and non-sports fans) a reason to get excited for five straight Sunday nights — Sundays that would normally have been jam packed with a grand slam final, baseball games, NBA playoffs, golf, and more. Not only has The Last Dance been a history lesson on Michael Jordan and the Chicago Bulls, but also the NBA and some of its legends. And, it’s creating (well, we think so) a domino effect for teams across the world.
Team history, including Throwbacks, On This Day, and Match Classics, incorporates sponsors and players while also bringing fans together and starting a conversation. It’s a conversation we didn’t know we needed on social media, but it’s making for a wonderful walk down memory lane and a way for all of us to look forward to sports’ reboot – which we hope will happen very soon!
Let’s take a look at some of our favorite history lessons from across the globe.
Chicago Bulls + Horace Grant + Budweiser – On This Day
The Bulls threw it back to their May 12, 1991 game against the Detroit Pistons when Horace Game dropped 22 points. Since The Last Dance debut, the team has posted an “On This Day” series in partnership with Budweiser — highlighting the likes of Tony Kukoc.
Boston Celtics + Biofreeze – Performer of the Game
Valencia CF + CaixaBank – FLASH 🔙
San Antonio Spurs + Frost Bank – From the Vault
Spurs’ superstar Tim Duncan starred in this From the Vault series – with special guest Michael Jordan.
Detroit Red Wings + Molson Canadian & Dunkin’ Donuts – #TBT
Henrik Zetterberg scored the game-winning goal against the Ducks in Game 6 of the 2013 playoffs — Molson Canadian and Dunkin’ Donuts received some #TBT engagements.
Sheffield United + Union Standard Group – Classic Match
Sheffield United brought attention to a very important match on April 27, 2019 – the day the team defeated Ipswich and were promoted to the Premier League. Another classic match – April 19, 2019 vs Forest.
New York Mets + Hyundai – #Tbt
The news of the MLB “hopefully” returning over the Fourth of July keeps us optimistic. In the meantime, teams like the New York Mets are going into the archives — with this post of Tug McGraw celebrating the Mets’ 1969 World Series title.