Fan Engagement Strategies Top Of Mind For Media Execs
The Octagon Sports Marketing Symposium wrapped up with a panel on the best strategies to engage fans in real time. NFL VP/Digital Media Business Development Blake Stuchin stressed always being prepared for anything and everything to happen. He said the league during the offseason gets ready for player transactions by creating mock-up graphics for all kinds of potential free agency moves and trades. "Odell Beckham Jr. went to Cleveland, and we were ready," he said. "There was a piece of content that was published within minutes ... and everyone was looking around saying, 'I can't believe you guys had that ready.'" Octagon Senior VP/Digital Strategy Meredith Kinsman acknowledged the strategy, which she termed "scenario planning," has its unique challenges. "Every day there's new reasons to be careful about what you're posting," she said. "If we are trying to execute something big in real time, do we have that group together? Do we know what time we're ready to approve something? Do we have someone on call?"
BUY OR SELL? Instagram Head of Sports Partnerships Will Yoder highlighted the company's efforts engaging fans through its shopping feature in special moments like championships and players changing teams, when fans are most excited. "Sports has a cool, unfair advantage when it comes to real time commerce," he said.
ASK ME ANYTHING: Stuchin noted the NFL's media strategy has always favored the dominant platforms, but emphasized the league is also focused on being on the newer, less traditional outlets. Reddit is one of those platforms, and the NFL partnered with the website earlier this year. Stuchin highlighted an AMA that NFL Network's Scott Hanson did, which struck a chord with fans when the RedZone host admitted his love for the program's "octobox." Yoder approved of the move, and gave some advice, "Especially with Reddit, if you are not authentic with AMAs, they will turn on you quickly."