How Clubs and Brands Can Drive Revenue via Social Media

Live broadcasting via social media is becoming more and more important. This trend is underlined by recent technical developments made by social media networks: Facebook is pushing its “Facebook Live” service which is used by brands, clubs, and celebrities and has already found its way to mainstream users. Instagram, meanwhile, has recently broadened its video tool “Instagram stories” to include a live streaming function.

This trend has, of course, a huge impact on sports. Football clubs, in particular, are using live streaming and video formats that are available via Facebook, Snapchat, or Instagram. It is a major challenge for brands and rights holders to fully grasp how much their social and digital assets are worth and perform, in order to maximize and optimize partnerships.

Rights-holders can maximize exposure of their sponsorship partners using social media by publishing content that is relevant for their fans – for example, goal announcements, or player or kit unveilings. Compared with TV, logos on traditional sponsorship inventory – for example, front of jersey or training kit positions – drive value when viewed by fans through social media. By contrast, pitch-side LED generates little value through social. But there are limited opportunities for a sponsor to influence logo exposure within editorial content, promote content through paid media, and apply any further brand messaging.

The following three cases clearly show both high exposure and engagement valuations of high-value digital video content for clubs and their sponsors. Nielsen’s new Social24 approach identifies and measures the monetary value of digital campaigns:

1)  Manchester United and Adidas / Facebook: This creative example shows the embedding of ManU’s kit supplier Adidas: The Facebook video was published one day before the current season’s kickoff on United’s Facebook account. The video resulted in over 3.4M views, nearly 115k likes resp. reactions and nearly 5k comments – and generated a media value of over €230k!

2) Atletico Madrid and Mahou / Twitter: The Spanish beer brand organized Q&A sessions with the players via Twitter, using a unique hashtag including the brand’s name. Mahou’s “#MahouAsks” activation provided the fan a platform to ask questions and engage with their favorite players. The advantage for both club and sponsor: the fans create half of the content and engage with the post. These video interviews can be shared across other top platforms like Facebook.

3) FC Bayern Munich and Allianz / Facebook: German-based insurance Allianz served as broadcaster, presenting the new team of German champion FC Bayern Munich at the season kick-off. The campaign was broadcasted via Facebook live under the label “Allianz FCBDay1”.

How Clubs and Brands Can Drive Revenue via Social Media

These examples prove that when rights holders and sponsors work together, authentic and emotional content can be created and promoted to drive engagement – and a high media value, as well! The leading rights holders across world sport understand not only what type of content – Fan Stories™ – engages fans, but what platform to utilize and when. Critically, they also understand when it is appropriate and beneficial to partner with sponsors and to use appropriate ways of publishing content, no matter if it’s live streaming or a specially produced video. These rights holders are, in effect, becoming digital activation agencies: they understand their sponsors’ marketing objectives and can build and deploy content that engages specific target groups of fans, creating a win-win for all stakeholders.


I cover media, marketing and sponsorship news within the sports industry. This not only includes writing feature pieces with insights but also share breaking news in the sports marketing world.

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