In the following weeks, this blog will provide the “best practices” in social media utilized and created by the NFL to communicate with its various stakeholder groups: players, coaches, management, the nation, foreigners, lobbyists, the media, and most importantly the fans. With participation at its highest amongst users coupled with an ever-growing interactive population, the NFL has the opportunity to transform message delivery amongst its constituencies and align themselves with their needs and interests.
How powerful is the NFL? Considering they have franchised their own day of the week… looks like God has some competition on Sunday afternoons. The National Football Network has remained the most popular American sport for 30 consecutive years as of April 2015. With such a national and increasingly global reach, the organization has the ability to reach consumers through multiple mediums instantly and consistently. Social media plays a significant role in individual’s lives, nearly 1.2 billion people representing 82% of the online population over the world are connected. 64% of them doing so once a day.
This week, the blog will focus on how the NFL has been able to garner the television industry even in its steady decline. Universally known “Monday Night Football” and “Sunday Night Football” bring males, females, teenagers, little kids, parents, grandparents; anyone with a cable connection to the screen to watch their team play. The NFL has also been able to partner with television companies such as CBS and Fox and have created a new channel for fans to reach the best games on Sundays through the use of NFL Red Zone. NFL Red Zone is a special game day-only channel owned and operated by NFL Network that broadcasts on Sundays during the regular season. It allows viewers “whip around” simulcast coverage of all Sunday afternoon games airing in-progress on CBS and Fox.
A section of the first blog post will be on the television series on HBO called Hard Knocks. Each season, (most recently with the Houston Texans) it follows an NFL team through its training camp and covers the team’s preparation for the upcoming football season. The fans are able to relate to players off the field and this provides the NFL with a more emotionally invested fan base.
The second blog post will cover the pivotal force that Twitter plays in today’s global web through the network’s use of embedded promo videos, the “Vote Live” aspect which encourages participation, and more comical videos such as “Bad Lip Reading”. According to NFL analysts, the prevalence of Twitter and Instagram competitions sparked the “NFL Total Access Video Wall” which is simply put a massive canvas on television in which the company uses to illustrate the biggest stories of the day through “curated social content”. Players are using their own Twitter accounts to market their own brands, which in turn helps the organization and its popularity.
Finally, the blog will mention the importance of Instagram and Snapchat and their utilization of hashtags to garner live photos for the NFL network and specific teams, and also competitions played out on this application.
Readers should expect a different perspective of the National Football League and how it uses social media vehicles and/or pre-existing media to increase participation, sales, and viewership amongst its varying constituencies.