In today’s society, social media is more prominent than ever. More and more people are using Twitter, Facebook, and Snapchat to keep in touch with friends, stay up to date with all of the latest trends, and let others know what’s going on in their lives. Twitter allows for a life update, all in 140 characters or less. After all, it’s not really like we want to know everything. Facebook gives users the opportunity to share even more with family, friends, and former friends. Thousands of photos, videos, and longer status updates are posted onto Facebook every hour. Snapchat, however is probably the most popular social media outlet as we near the end of 2016. The allure of photos and videos with fun filters paired with a clever caption is just too much pass up. Snapchat gives its consumers the ability to keep up with their friends and favorite media personalities from a mobile device. As interesting as all of this information is, and given that this isn’t actually a plug, what on earth does Snapchat have to do with sports? Well, as it turns out, quite a lot.
In one fell swoop, Snapchat managed to partner with the NFL, NBA, MLB – the three biggest sports leagues in the United States. Not only does this demonstrate this business savvy of Snapchat’s business executives, but it also says quite a bit about our society. No longer is it enough for fans to just watch the game. Now fans have the exclusive behind the scenes action from their favorite players on Snapchat. Fans get to see glimpses of the game from the field, sneak peaks of the atmosphere, and updates as they unfold. All of this, right from their phones. Gone are the days of sitting at home watching the game.
The NFL released a statement in regards to their partnership with Snapchat. “Snapchat Live Stories will be produced for every NFL game during the season, including the Super Bowl, enabling millions of fans to engage with uniquely packaged NFL-centric video and photo content through Snapchat.” (1) Not only does this partnership bring notoriety to Snapchat, it also brings popularity to the NFL. Every day, thousands and thousands of people open their Snapchats, and every Thursday, Sunday, and Monday, they see Snapchat’s from their favorite games and players from all over the nation.
Snapchat’s partnership with the NBA is a little more limited, but still extremely noteworthy. NBA fans from around the globe were able to view dozens of behind the scenes clips from NBA’s opening night, including live coverage of Kevin Durant taking the court for the Golden State Warriors for the very first time. NBA fans were able to watch the Cleveland Cavaliers unveil their 2016 NBA Championship banner in Quicken Loans Arena, all via Snapchat. So many previously underutilized sports avenues have been exploited by the social media giants.
Major League Baseball teaming up with Snapchat is one of the most intriguing sports partnerships in history. Baseball has been ridiculed over the years for only reading the older demographic. That can be said no longer. Through their partnership with Snapchat, the MLB has been able to reach and interact with younger fans around the world. Certainly an adept business maneuver by both parties.
So, how exactly are fans going to see social media and sports intertwined in the future? Will fans see even more coverage from even higher profile sporting events? Will there be even greater access to athletes and sports personalities live, in-game? At this point, anything is possible in the sports social media arena.