The Power of Social Media to Impact Mass Participation Sports Events

Technological advancement has significantly changed the way businesses market their products and services. In the realm of mass participation sports events, the impact has been significant in how marketing campaigns have been redesigned to implement the latest trends in tech.

In the following write-up, social guru Simon Kemp who heads up both We Are Social Asia and Kepios shares his knowledge on making the best of social media in your campaigns.

There is a great deal of competition amongst mass participation events, causing many to try various methods to differentiate themselves from the crowd. While uniqueness is desired, when planning your event’s campaign, you should not be trying to emphasize 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?

Apart from that, you need to plan your campaign around shared media – it is the quickest way to tenfold your exposure overnight. Think of producing quality content that your audience would be raring to share. The Color Run is a great example that does this really well. A lot of their social content (especially videos and photos) revolves around opportunities for its demographic to share and engage with them. Try applying the same method with an endurance and speed enthused triathlon event and it might fall flat.

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). Details and tickets available here:

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:

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