Welcome to the first edition of Horizm’s Digital Standards Report.
Over the past 12 months, digital has taken on increased importance across the sports industry, as rights holders look to mitigate the impact of COVID restrictions.
During this difficult period, we have worked with some of the world’s biggest sports properties, helping them to unlock the commercial potential of their digital assets, seeing up close how they are best using social media to engage with their fans.
Our aim with the Horizm Digital Standards Report is to share these examples of best practice with you; to help rights holders hone their digital approach by analysing the trends we have seen across different content series and showcasing the success stories for each.
The Digital Standards report focuses on eight key insights we have derived from 2020, in the hope of providing guidance for the first part of 2021. You can download the full report via the link below, but to give you an idea of the sort of content you can expect, here a few of the highlighted insights:
Short Term Partnerships
As was seen with Nerf’s campaign with Arsenal and Chelsea, and more recently with Budweiser’s 644 campaign with Messi, the flexibility, creativity and dynamic nature of digital is giving rise of an increase in short term partnerships, as brands look to leverage sports partnerships through social media to engage their audiences.
The Power of Storytelling
Authentic, emotive storytelling – often around community-based initiatives – has proven to be one of the best ways for sports rights holders to engage with their fans. From the FEI’s “Endo the Blind Horse” to Watford’s “Molly and Ben Foster Reunited”, stories that create an emotional connection and which show the human side of athletes, through behind the scenes / off the pitch content are incredibly powerful.
Fan Led Content
The sense of community and shared passion that sport provides is a huge part of its appeal and rights holders are increasingly realising that fans are the best at driving this through social media and that, by facilitating original, fan led content through official channels they can drive higher levels of engagement and connection with their fan bases. From Flamengo’s FlaPets campaign to the ATP’s #TennisAtHome initiative during lockdown, letting fans drive the narrative has proven hugely successful.