The real goal: building influence and reaching new markets
The increase in digital media consumption has influenced the way fans engage with sports content. A recent FIFA report found that 62% of sports fans prefer to watch short videos, followed closely behind with 58% preferring live streams and 51% instant highlights .
With viewing habits changing, there is a need to develop video content strategies which address this audiences’ digital expectations.
But are sports organisations and brands doing enough to reach new and younger audiences?
Variety of content
The thirst for exclusive content is on the rise, with fans increasingly looking for content which cannot be found anywhere else. A study by Google found that 78% of viewers in MENA prefer YouTube as it offers sports content that is only available on that platform .
It is important to consider that content preferences vary from country to country, despite this, a lot can still be learnt from recent consumer trends. To keep fans engaged for longer and differentiate yourself, it is all about knowing your audiences needs and what their viewing preferences are.
So, what content should be considered?
- Highlights – short clips of your game footage that shine a light on talent, as well as key moments from interviews and behind-the-scenes action.
- Archive content – a great tactic to resonate with fans is offering legendary sports moments as this creates a nostalgic feeling for the viewer.
- Fan-generated content – authenticity is valued, fans trust fans. These ‘sports influencers’ have the power to drive your content to new audiences, simply by sharing it on their social media platform. So, rights-holders should take this into account when creating content –repurposing clips for use on social media and making it widely available.
- Brand-generated content – is entirely created and controlled by the company. Often, when brands form partnerships with right-holders, content is pushed out to grab the attention of new and existing fans. One way to create a buzz is to explore the idea of new content formats such as highlighting key social issues and/or using star athletes.
"It is all about knowing your audiences needs and what their viewing preferences are."
Lessons from past tournaments
Sports tournaments deliver some incredibly, memorable moments but they can also provide new insights on how to better reach fans.
Most recently, the Qatar 2022 FIFA World Cup, brought in significantly higher viewership figures than previous World Cups, with the Final achieving a global reach of close to 1.5 billion viewers and opening match hitting over 550 million . FIFA’s World Cup content strategy is one that can be learnt from, in the first few weeks of the tournament they released thousands of graphics – this included smaller countries . This highlights the importance of starting your content strategy early and the power of utilising social media as recent studies indicate that almost 50% of consumers use online content more ahead of a major sports event; with social media being the preferred means to obtain it .
Significant focus was given to digital first production, to create an exclusive experience that meets the needs of younger fans. The international football governing body worked with its broadcasters to create content that was designed to be consumed through a diverse range of devices. For example, for social media, vertical format content was filmed or photographed via mobile phone and dispersed to broadcasters for their use. Additionally, content creators captured standout points in the match that are distributed immediately, giving viewers ‘near-live’ clips that provide a feeling of authenticity and presence .
The UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 was also record-breaking, with a ‘live viewership of 365 million across TV, out-of-home viewing and streaming’ . This diverse content strategy provided a great platform to improve engagement with women’s football and enhance brand awareness. Given the success of the tournament and the subsequent interest in women’s sport, the upcoming Women’s World Cup will also be a great opportunity for brands looking to tap into new markets.
This is where Story10 comes in
We can help you reach new and younger audiences through our unique global distribution network of owned and earned channels. We help supplement usual highlight match day content by producing/distributing shoulder content and help brands connect with fans.
Find out more about how Story10 can help drive your brand's success.
 FIFA (2022) FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™ introduces New Broadcast Fan Experience Features. FIFA. Available at: https://www.fifa.com/about-fifa/commercial/news/new-features-for-broadcast-fan-experience (Accessed: February 28, 2023).
 FIFA (2023) One month on: 5 billion engaged with the FIFA World Cup Qatar 2022™. FIFA. Available at: https://www.fifa.com/tournaments/mens/worldcup/qatar2022/news/one-month-on-5-billion-engaged-with-the-fifa-world-cup-qatar-2022-tm (Accessed: February 28, 2023).
 Forbes (2023) Council post: Three key branding and content lessons from the World Cup. Forbes Magazine. Available at: https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescommunicationscouncil/2023/01/25/three-key-branding-and-content-lessons-from-the-world-cup/?sh=6d9ab6646c8e (Accessed: February 28, 2023).
 Google (2022) World Cup 2022: How to prepare for the most Digital World Cup, Consumer Insights. Google. Available at: https://www.thinkwithgoogle.com/intl/en-145/consumer-insights/consumer-trends/fifa-world-cup-qatar-2022-most-digital-world-cup/ (Accessed: February 23, 2023).
 Nielsen (2022) Sports fandom is increasing, powered by new digital platforms, Global Report finds, Nielsen. Available at: https://www.nielsen.com/news-center/2022/sports-fandom-is-increasing-powered-by-new-digital-platforms-global-report-finds/ (Accessed: February 28, 2023).
 UEFA (2022) Women's euro watched by over 365 million people globally: Inside UEFA, UEFA.com. Available at: https://www.uefa.com/insideuefa/news/0278-15ff73f066e1-c729b5099cbb-1000--women-s-euro-watched-by-over-365-million-people-globally/ (Accessed: February 27, 2023).