The NFL has done extensive research on its constituencies. The organization knows where to find their fans, what they are talking about, and how they are talking. That is exactly why the NFL has partnered with Snapchat, the messaging app that easily allows an individual to share moments through video, picture messages, and text.
The NFL partnered with the company in order to encourage its fans to share their content through its feature “Live Stories”. This means that at large events such as games and conferences, any Snapchat user can upload their content to that particular “Live Story” feed. Snapchat then sifts through and finds the best videos and pictures to upload to the “world feed” which can be viewed by anyone with an account.
The NFL Live Stories will tell the story of what it’s like to be at an NFL game from many points of view throughout the day – from the grounds crew preparing the field for play, to fans tailgating in the parking lot, to players warming up, to the celebrations of victory on the field and in the stands, to the players heading into the parking lot and closing up the stadium.
BLAKE STUCHIN, Director of Digital Media Business Development NFL
This is how powerful the NFL’s reach is becoming. The company understands that the day’s are over of just calling a listed number and asking for support or donations. If you want to get people talking about your brand, let them do the talking for you.
The NFL is embracing digital distribution by offering these “Live Story” opportunities to its fans, and allowing them to share in the experience. The NFL is using this partnership as a form of advertising as well. Brands can pay the NFL to present official “stories” for the platform therefore making money but at the same getting earned advertising from the syndicate.
In 2015, Snapchat had 100 million active daily users with an average of 9,000 snaps per second. This reach is essential to the NFL. More importantly, is the fact that the corporation is able to bring the “experience” full-circle. Fans can watch the game on the television, live stream it from their phones or computers, watch highlights on the network, and now view behind-the-scenes user-generated content from Snapchat.
An emerging digital world that needs to be mentioned is online gaming. Popular sites such as Fanduel and Movado are online sport betting portals where fans who are following games are able to bet with real money on lineups, points, and outcomes to name a few.
Think MONEY. These corporate executives at NFL want to make money and help their shareholders, by allowing partnerships with NFL teams (15 as of 2015) this encourages even more fans to participate. The opportunity for these individuals to make money off watching the sports they love has helped the organization immensely. Now although the NFL has no control over sites such as these, they are just another way that the corporation is able to benefit from something of no expense aside from low-maintenance signage and brand mentions.
The “best practice” that the NFL uses to engage its fans is to use their own fans as marketers and brand ambassadors. This is pivotal in their continual efforts to extend their reach far beyond their goals.