November 4, 2016

The NBA Scores With Its Snapchat Strategy

ihvj6jyAfter a successful partnership in 2016, the NBA is continuing to shoot for Snapchat to create behind-the-scenes content covering various games and events. For sports organizations like the NBA, Snapchat is the perfect tool for enhancing fan experiences and giving fans at home a front row seat for the action without actually being present.

During the season’s opening game, Snapchat unveiled a new NBA Discover Channel that highlighted the night’s major events, including Kevin Durant’s official debut as a Golden State Warrior and the Cleveland Cavaliers’ ring ceremony. This new Snapchat channel could see further growth in brand awareness and user engagement through the potential of posting intimate content like player warm-ups or exclusive behind-the-scenes encounters with the biggest NBA stars.

Those who attend games will get exclusive access to original Snapchat lenses and geofilters with live score updates. Last season, the geofilters unveiled to 20 million views over the course of 51 games, proving that live social media updates can be a useful way to consume sports. For the die-hard fans, Snapchat even expanded its creative content into Bitmoji, where fans can dress their digital selves in the uniform of a player on their favorite team, and see themselves in action shooting 3-pointers.

Although Twitter livestreams games in full, Snapchat is coming in as a competitor that adds an element of interactivity to the experience. What Snapchat provides that Facebook and Twitter don’t is the “in-the-moment” feeling of being at a game. It’s the feeling of being a fan in the stands and cheering on the street after a win that’s drawing viewers in. Snapchat recognizes that fan experience is what matters, not just the numbers and the plays. Today, Snapchat is producing content for major sports organizations, including the NFL and the MLB.

Through Snapchat’s success in disseminating sports content and creating user engagement, we see a push towards its presence as a medium for sports broadcasting. Rohit Thawani, Director of Digital Strategy and Social Media at TBWA\Chiat\Day told Digiday, “Snapchat is turning into the SportsCenter of cultural moments,” which is an interesting insight given the various sports highlight shows that could be challenged by Snapchat’s success.

It looks like Snapchat has a bright future ahead in the sports content world. Here’s to hoping that one day in the near future, NBA Discover will provide us with a live pre-game comedy hour with a player like Hassan Whiteside.