There’s no shortage of content trends our timelines as we scroll social platforms like TikTok, Instagram, or Twitter. And, as anyone in social media knows, you can’t be everything to everybody. So, one question a social team must consider: What trend will resonate best with your audience?
At Blinkfire, we help leagues, teams, athletes, brands, and agencies use data-driven decisions to grow their content. A trend we noticed gaining traction is reaction videos. Reaction videos are usually split-screened, where one half features an action shot while the other half shows people’s reaction to the action shot.
Watching your favorite player’s and coach’s excitement or a fan’s reaction to highlights offers consumers a unique look into their personalities. These videos can be created many different ways, but at their core they show people’s genuine and emotional reactions. This trend is also a great, easy way to reuse popular content such as game-highlights. With the attention these videos generate, there are opportunities for content sponsorships. We put together a playlist of examples and broke down reaction videos into seven categories.
Player breakdown videos show players reacting to their own games – like a player film session, but more fun. To understand how popular player breakdown videos have become, look no further than this Instagram post by Liverpool FC which received over 477,000 engagements and 5.3 million video views. This video is part of a Liverpool series called “Alternative Commentaries.” Alisson Becker and other star players are having a blast recapping a shootout win together in a studio. The video is sponsored by Quorn, and Quorn’s logo is visible on their microphones and as a digital overlay throughout the video.
Player Reaction Cam
Similar to player breakdowns, player reaction cams capture players during the game. The highs and lows of sports are inevitable, but no matter the outcome, people want to see players’ reactions to big moments. This Instagram post by the NBA 2K League shows an intense player reaction after beating a rival.
Just like player reaction cams, bench cams are set up to view the bench players and coaches during the game. One of the best things about team sports is that you win and lose together. Even the pros like to get creative with bench celebrations, and it usually makes for engaging content. Who doesn’t love seeing adults celebrate like little leaguers?! This Instagram Reel posted by Arsenal showing their coach and bench’s reaction to an impressive goal received over 2.2 million video views.
Coach reactions at press conferences give fans a look into what is going through the mind of a professional coach in big moments. These videos along with other reaction videos perform best when split-screened with the in-game highlights the coach is talking about. During a post-game press conference, the Utah Jazz’s head coach, Will Hardy, praised a player for their defensive effort after blocking an end-of-the-game shot — and the Jazz’s social team capitalized on that moment by creating a split-screen reaction video. The video received over 1.1 million views and featured the team’s naming rights sponsor, Vivint, on the step-and-repeat asset.
Fans celebrating a victory or rehashing an agonizing defeat is part of why we love sports. Not only do we like to experience being a fan of our favorite teams, but we also like to see other people’s fandom on social media. “Speed,” a famous American YouTuber, went to see Ronaldo play in person and he made a reaction video of him watching Ronaldo score, which received over 11.4 million video views and 1.6 million engagements on Instagram. Another example post from ESPN on TikTok shows a young fan being perplexed by Tacko Fall’s free throw form, which received over 320,000 engagements. Both of these reaction posts dive into the entertainment of being a fan at the stadium, which is easily accessible content for teams during the season.
PA & Broadcast Announcer Reaction
PA and broadcast announcers are not just doing a job but most are very passionate about the team, so they bring energy to the game. When great plays happen, broadcasters are one of the most excited people in the stadium. Broadcasters aren’t shown much on social media, but reaction videos are a great way for fans to see the people behind the voices and get a glimpse of their real emotions. The Indiana Pacers recently featured their PA announcer while the team was getting hot from the three-point-line, and the reaction video is priceless!
Control Room Reaction
Much like the PA and broadcast announcers, employees in the control room are equally as locked into games. Control room employees manage every second of what you see on-screen, from different camera videos of live-action, to planned content segments. However, we rarely see the people behind the curtain. Marathon Petroleum is the Tampa Bay Lightning’s partner for their Look-A-Like series, where they compare fans to TV and movie characters. The team used a split screen to incorporate their control room employees in this Pixar Look-A-Like video. The end result is hilarious and the reaction video received over 1.8 million video views!
When it comes down to the basics of content marketing, you need content that is going to entertain. The video views show that people love seeing people’s genuine reactions in these videos. On top of that, these videos are interesting ways to reuse content that you know people are already drawn to. We challenge you to test out a reaction video and see how your fans receive it.
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