There’s a saying in the sports world, “records were made to be broken.” While originally intended for stats compiled during a game or over the course of an athlete’s career, these days, it’s the fans in attendance and watching at home now driving a new stat to amazing heights. Sports are an inherently social experience, so it’s no wonder that Tweets per second generated during a big game like last year’s Super Bowl continue to reach dizzying numbers. 12,223 tps (not to be confused with Office Space reports and cover sheets) were blasted out as the Giants rallied to beat the Patriots last February. That record was then eclipsed by the next big match – April’s Champions League final where soccer fanatics across the globe helped shatter that mark by generating 13,684 tps as Chelsea came from behind to beat Barcelona.
It will be fascinating to see what event sets the next new benchmark. But one thing remains certain, driven by the emotional connection to their teams and the passion for the game, fans are just getting started when it comes to how they share their reactions, their trash talk, and their memories. Here at SportStream, our goal is to help usher in the next era of interactivity with sports through social media by providing a place for fans and friends to connect with each other and the games they love. With that in mind, we took a look at some of the current trends and what fans want and are currently enjoying. Here are some of our findings:
- 83% of sports fans now say they check sports related social media sites while watching a game on television, proving sporting events continue to lead the charge as it relates to social engagement. Not only that, 63% of fans say they check these sites while sitting at the game live!
- Here in the US, the NBA is the clear leader among major professional sports when it comes to followers on Facebook (over 13.6 million) and Twitter (over 5.4 million). Not only do they have the most followers, they also have the most athletes with an active Twitter account. Hoping to stay ahead of the pack, the league also launched a Tumblr page prior to the playoffs.
- Fans love to “check in.” Second only to airports, Sports Stadiums dominate action on foursquare and similar sites. Teams have taken notice, offering more unique rewards to those fans partaking in the location-based services.
- Gamification is growing. What started with fantasy sports continues to evolve as professional teams are now getting in on the action by rewarding fans through games such as the Tampa Bay Buccaneer’s new “ Save Your Mate” game on Facebook which offers fans of the team a fun way to earn rewards, while simultaneously enhancing the club’s branding effort during the off season.
- Stadiums are the new “hot spot”-as more and more stadiums go wireless (more than double the number from previous years in the MLB for example). Teams are looking to one up the multi-screen experience fans have at home by providing in game stats, replays, and the abilty to order concessions with out leaving your seat.
2011 definitely saw the rise of “second screen” engagement during sports, but these numbers and trends will continue to grow rapidly given the speed at which this segment is evolving.
With that in mind, we set out to create an app to enhance the sports experience by connecting fans even more. It’s clear that as fans you want more of a voice along with the action. We’re providing you a unique forum to make yourself heard, while keeping up to date with all the latest stats and the best that Twitter has to offer for every game and match. So hurry up and check into the app already! There’s a whole new world waiting for you, your friends, and your teams!
- by Nick Marquez.