Social media have evolved to become an integral part of our everyday life and, part of the credit goes to entertainment—a key factor and the fourth most important reason motivating digital consumers to engage with social media. With opportunities for social engagement available at all times of the day, regardless of your location, social media platforms are nothing less than entertainment hubs.
Currently, entertainment is no longer about traditional social activities. Instead, it focuses more on purposeful activities, especially surrounding the content you want to consume. This explains why motivations such as finding entertainment content, news consumption, researching products, watching sports, and betting on sportsbookreview have seen an increase in the last few years.
Nearly 22 percent of consumers today seek out sports content on social media, and sports leagues are turning more digital. While TV isn’t completely dead, especially for live sport, the decreasing number of audience for major leagues is prompting the sports industry to broaden its horizons.
Given below are the three trends in sports consumption on social media you should watch out for in 2021.
- Live Video Is The Gateway For Sports Content
With the latest technological advancements, sports fans are now craving more tailored and accessible content. This tends to be a real challenge for sports broadcasters and sponsors as they now have to offer an immersive digital experience alongside a compelling reason to watch sports on TV to boost audience reach and maximize monetization.
Live videos tend to be a potential solution that allows brands to connect with consumers in new and exciting ways. The sports industry has already started harnessing its power through social media, but there’s still plenty of room for growth.
In the Leaders Sport Business Summit held in 2018, Peter Hutton, the Director of Global Live Sports Partnerships and Programming at Facebook, discussed how the sports industry could better leverage the platform in the future. He stated that the sports rights holders would first have to experiment with a new production form to enhance and redefine the spectator experience that will leave fans feeling like they are in the crowd at the game.
Additionally, building communities on social media will help keep the audience engaged, ultimately resulting in monetization.
- Facebook And YouTube Are The Ultimate Sources For Sports Content
In the last few years, over 28 percent of live social video viewers have commented about a sports event on Facebook, and 17 percent have done so on Twitter.
Facebook and YouTube clearly have a commentary of their own around sports, offering audience access to broader conversations around sports events. In 2018, Facebook signed a deal with La Liga to live stream games in India free for the next three seasons. This partnership helped the club expand its reach and visibility, reaching new audiences in a country of 1.3 billion people. From this, it’s clear that sports live streaming opens up new revenue streams to social networks and sports leagues and sponsors.
As the audience becomes accustomed to platforms like Amazon Video and Netflix, long-form viewing on social media is also witnessing a boost, adding to enriched live sports viewing experience.
- Brands Are Capitalizing On The Rise Of Women’s Sports
Gender is one of the two powerful lures for brands. It was found in a survey that female TikTok users outnumber male users in three out of every five regions. This finding ring true, especially in Europe, where there is a 60:40 split in favor of females.
Additionally, the ratio of females and males who use social media for sports news and content is also growing to be more balanced over time. This might be due to female sports gaining more attention and turning more mainstream on traditional media. Regardless of the reason, brands are taking heed of this gradual shift towards gender balance in sports consumption.
With an increasing number of females playing and watching sports, and using social media to get their daily sports fix, creative content around female sports is sure to receive widespread and positive engagement.
Now, Which Is The Most Trending US Sport On Social Media?
Everyone has adapted to using social media, from presidents of the United States to sports fans, athletes, teams, and leagues. But what’s the most popular American sport on social media?
To find the answer, let’s look at the major US sports leagues—Baseball (MLB), football (NFL), basketball (NBA), and hockey (NHL). While soccer eclipses all these sports’ popularity globally, that might not be quite the case in the US.
Based on the number of page likes, the sports leagues are ranked as given below.
- NBA: 34,255,458 likes
- NFL: 16,617,693 likes
- MLB: 6,866,359 likes
- NHL: 4,396,270 likes (an additional 105,841 likes for its French page under NHL’s French acronym “LNH”)
Surprisingly, the NBA tends to be quite popular on Facebook, with twice as many likes as NFL. Though baseball trails by some distance, it still manages to beat hockey.
Based on the number of Twitter followers, the sports leagues are ranked as given below.
- NBA: 26.5 million
- NFL: 24.1 million
- MLB: 7.76 million
- NHL: 5.98 million
Once again, basketball clearly reigns on Twitter, even if by a narrower margin.
Even on Instagram, NBA basketball proves to be the most popular sport. According to Statista, the reason for this might be basketball fans getting to sit closer to the action, which improves smartphone-based photos, helping boost the NBA’s popularity on Instagram.
Regardless of the reason, basketball ultimately is the most trending US sport on social media. Basketball has expanded in popularity overseas, whereas football is still seen as a typically American sport. Baseball already lost its popularity decades ago, and while hockey is popular in Canada, it trails behind the other sports in the US.