Best Practices for Social Media Fan Engagement

Social media engagement is the ultimate goal for brands in all markets. Sports brands especially need consumer engagement for their success. Julie Frank (@JulieLFrank), marketing and public relations manager at Navigate Research, says “sports fans that see a brand message on social media are 78% more likely to have a positive perception of them.” Wilson Sporting Goods Inc. is a great example of a brand taking the idea of social media marketing to heart in their newest campaign.

Wilson launched an innovative, hands-on brand marketing campaign called “My Wilson.” They are challenging their audience to participate with a call-to-action approach with social media. This campaign has the intention of reaching young athletes with the goal to create a conversation, which involves a wide range of sports and the equipment they use to play what they love.

MyWilson

Amy Weisenbach, Vice President of Marketing stated: “No other brand in the sporting goods industry has studied and understands the relationship a tennis player has with her racket, a quarterback with his football, a first basewoman with her glove, or a golfer with his driver, than Wilson. This relationship is a true partnership that is intensely personal and where the sum is greater than any one of its parts. Together, an athlete and his equipment chase dreams, celebrate personal achievements, face adversity, feel the sting of defeat, and rise to the occasion.”

With a focus on “the moments of truth” in every athlete’s story, Wilson choose to feature a video as the heart of their campaign. This video, “Nothing Without It,” shows that no famous athlete, or youth athlete, would be the same without their equipment. The brand does not disvalue the importance of athlete endorsement as the campaign and video features Serena Williams, Roger Federer, Dustin Pedroia, Kerri Walsh Jennings, Brendan Steele and Grigor Dimitrov.

Research by the Director of Content Marketing for WorkinSports.com, Brian Clapp (@EntertainJobs) states: “Putting your players front-and-center on social media can help fans connect to their favorite team members and set the stage for exciting, shareable content, which can help enhance your brand’s profile without significant monetary or time investment.” This idea sets the stage for the rest of the interactive #MyWilson campaign.

Incorporating social media in a unique way, Wilson has called their consumers to post clips of why their equipment is important to them and showing their equipment in action. This unique idea allows Wilson to use the public as an advertising tool. Submission videos are featured on Wilson’s social media and will be included in a final cut video with Wilson Advisory Staff members.

Surprisingly, it doesn’t stop there. Between September 8, 2015 and December 31, 2015, Wilson will give $1.00 in sports equipment for every consumer post on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram with #MyWilson. Acknowledging their social responsibility as a company, Wilson is ensuring that users will participate by giving them an incentive that is difficult to dismiss.

Focusing specifically on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, Wilson is following social media trends in sports. Brands are constantly attempting to increase engagement among consumers and to increase the numbers of sports fans that use social media. The chart below shows the difference in which sports fans use social media for sports-related purposes:

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Wilson Sporting Goods Co. focuses primarily on tennis, baseball, softball, football, golf, basketball, volleyball and soccer. These sports are spread throughout the statistics for sports-fan usage on social media. The #MyWilson campaign encourages social media users to share their passion for these sports on their social media accounts and could help create a growth in sports fans who may not use social media to share their love for the game.

This blog was written by Samford Univeristy student Margie Terp. You can learn more about Margie Terp at www.LinkedIn.com/in/MargieTerp.

References

SBRnet. “Wilson Kicks Off Major Branding Campaign.” Retrieved from http://www.sbrnet.com.ezproxy.samford.edu/Article-Detail.aspx?id=236978.

SBRnet. “Social Media Users: % of Total Fans Using Social Media for any Sports-Related Purpose, by Major Sport Category.” Retrieved from http://www.sbrnet.com.ezproxy.samford.edu/research.aspx?subrid=942.

Forbes. “8 Lessons From Sports Marketing Experts For Brands And Athletes Resisting Move to Digital.” Retrieved from http://www.forbes.com/sites/markfidelman/2014/07/28/8-lessons-from-sports-marketing-experts-for-brands-and-athletes-resisting-move-to-digital/.

Workin Sports. “Unique Strategies For Using Social Media in Sports Marketing.” Retrieved from http://www.workinsports.com/blog/unique-strategies-for-using-social-media-in-sports-marketing/.

Canadian Sporting Goods Association. “Wilson Kicks Off Major Branding Campaign.” Retrieved from http://csga.ca/wilson-kicks-off-major-branding-campaign/.

Video from http://www.wilson.com/en-us/mywilson/

Image from https://twitter.com/hashtag/mywilson.

Image from google images.

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