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Social media impacts mass participation sporting events

Social media impacts mass participation sporting events
November 29, 2015

For mass participation sports events, technology is having a significant impact in the design of marketing campaigns.

Echoing the way in which technology is altering the marketing of products and services globally, sports events are redesigning their marketing to take account of these trends.

Social guru Simon Kemp who heads up both We Are Social Asia and Kepios believes that there are a variety of ways in which sports events can make the best of social media in your campaigns.

Kemp, who is speaking at this week’s Mass Participation Asia conference, is mindful that there is a great deal of competition among mass participation events, causing many to try various methods to differentiate themselves from the crowd.

He explains “while uniqueness is desired, when planning your event’s campaign, you should not be trying to emphasise how to be different, but how to make a difference.

“If you looked at the current market, most events use social media for advertising – as just a promotion channel to push their events to the masses.

“Instead, think how to weave social media into the event itself.

“Ask yourself how you can use social media before, during and after the event to increase the ‘value’ or ‘meaning’ for participants, supporters, and everybody else.

“Take for example the growth of wearable technology – is there a way to pair each runner’s chip with their social account so that it auto-posts to their own social networks when they pass a certain milestone? Would it be something their network would get excited about?”

Kemp also believes that marketeers need to build campaigns around shared media as the quickest way to multiply exposure overnight.

He recommends producing quality content that audiences are keen to share, citing The Color Run as a great example of an event that does this really well.

Kemp states “a lot of their social content - especially videos and photos -revolves around opportunities for its demographic to share and engage with them. “

However, Kemp suggests that applying the same method with an endurance and speed enthused triathlon event it might fall flat.

Kemp continues “the trick to success with shared media is to understand what the participants and audiences themselves are sharing - or have shared at previous events, and then work out how to trigger that sharing and engagement before, during and after the event.

“The key opportunity that social media brings to modern mass participation events is the ability for participants and crowds to share their own content immediately with a wide audience.

“This sharing helps to raise awareness and interest in the event and helps to tell more of a natural story that connects with others on a more authentic level.

“With that said, the future looks especially exciting for the industry.

“We are already seeing livestreaming devices like GoPros in use at a wide variety of sporting events so there’s a good chance we’ll see this kind of tech converging with social media developments like Periscope, so that people can livestream their own activities in real-time to their friends and family, or their fans - if they are a bit more famous.”

Simon Kemp will be speaking at the upcoming Mass Participation Asia conference as part of a panel discussion: An Integrated Marketing Campaign – Getting the Balance Right Utilising Paid, Owned, Earned and Shared Media alongside other industry experts including Andy Radovic (Maxus), Ian McKee (Vocanic), Jakeena Malli (Mindshare) and Josh Black (GroupM Content).

The Conference is being held in Singapore on 3rd and 4th December.

Click here to view details for the Conference in the Australasian Leisure Management industry Calendar.

To further unlock the secrets to this complex and exciting industry get a copy of 'Mass Participation Sports Events', an essential tool for every mass participation event stakeholder.

Click here for details. 

Images: The Color Run, Malaysia (top) and Simon Kemp (below).

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