As discussed in my previous blog “Why Social Media is Important for Sports Properties”sports properties should be using social media to capture the casual fan and convert them into hardcore fans. This does not mean teams and properties can simply sign up for a Facebook, Twitter, Youtube and Flickr account and expect the casual fan to gravitate towards them. Properties need to use the incredible resources at their finger tips to engage and interact with fans.

Think of the percentage of the population that plays or is involved with professional sports…incredibly small maybe 1%. Now think of the percentage of the population that to some degree follows or watches professional sports…it is huge probably over 50%!

Thus there is tremendous opportunity for properties to connect with these people and provide content of interest. Whether it’s a glimpse into what is like to be part of the sport, a behind the scene story line or a video of something cool that happened at practice. The bottom line is there is an appetite for this content. I use the NBA as an example of a sports property taking full advantage of this.

I was notified via twitter that the NBA had launched a new TV companion to use while watching games at home on TV. I haven’t watched an NBA game on television in years but I wanted to see what this thing was.  After logging in I found myself actively engaged in the scrolling conversation. I had a great time interacting with people from around the world chatting about the game we were watching in real time. The end result was that I watched an entire NBA game for the first time since I can remember.

The NBA effectively used social media (twitter to promote TV companion and the scrolling conversation feature of the TV companion) to get a non fan (I don’t even consider myself to be a casual fan) to watch an entire NBA game. If it was this successful with non-fans think how successful it was with casual fans!

So for properties that do it right and not just post team history facts i.e. what “Joe So and So” did on this day 13 years ago, there is tremendous opportunity to attract casual fans through social media. Remember, if at first I only watch on TV at least I’m increasing your ratings and then of course you have at least opened the door to get me to become a bigger aka hardcore fan.

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