You are currently browsing the monthly archive for June 2009.

Sports is a topic that generates huge amounts of passion in people. Everyone has a favorite team or player. Sports fans love to discuss their teams or favorite players, brag about their performance, and make predictions about as to which team will beat which and by what score.

Social Media makes it easier to do this. With social media, fans can react to stories or videos, share them, as well as submit additional stories or commentary. Additionally, sports-related social media allows fans who don’t live in a team’s city to keep up with news related to their team and to connect with like-minded fans. In short, social media provides a means for sports fans to become more engaged with their teams, their players, and other fans.

In the United States, 74% of those aged from 18-34 have either a Facebook or a MySpace account. In America alone, Facebook counts 5.5 million people as having sports listed as an interest in their profile.  These fans have joined thousands of fan pages created by the teams or players themselves, third-party organizations, or simply by other loyal fans. Such fan pages include news, videos, and pictures, of the team or player, as well as commentary and general expressions of fandom. Several pages have over 1 million fans and many more number in the 100,000s.

The growth of sports in social media has been explosive. Just this past week, fan pages on facebook grew anywhere from 0.5% to 5.3% on the week. Cricket pages had grown even faster, with growth ranging from 6.4% to 31.1% in the same time period. To put that in more understandable terms, a 0.5% weekly increase sustained over the years is equal to a 29.6% annual increase. Likewise, a 1% weekly increase becomes a 67.7% yearly increase and a 1% weekly increase results in a 67.7% yearly increase.

On Facebook, gaming and sports account for the second and third most added type of application respectively. Games make up six of the top ten and four of the top five most addictive Facebook applications.  In early 2009, the average age of a gamer was 29, with over a third of gamers being female.

IBT Games has been a leader in sports-related gaming applications for social media. According to a recent study, average users spend an average of 2 minutes, 35 seconds interacting with applications in total. On IBT Games’ Applications, users spend 15 minutes DAILY interacting with each application; 6.5x greater than the total average application time. 85% of users who installed IBT Games applications returned for multiple interactions. Currently, dedicated users of IBT Games Applications produce over 1 million page views a day on average. 56% percent of users returned 9 or more times during the first month.

IBT Game’s Twenty Cricket application has nearly 99,000 monthly active users. IBT Game’s Street Football application has over 121,000 monthly active users. 50% of IBT Game’s titles have received accolades and recognition from prominent organizations in social media including the fBfund and Bebo. While an average of 14.7 pages a day are viewed on Facebook per unique user. Users of IBT Games’ Casino Empire application spent a whopping 40.4 pages per day on the application alone.

Marketers are taking notice of these exponential levels of growth. In a recent survey by Adology, 25% of small businesses surveyed indicated that they would increase spending on advertising in social media in 2009 versus in 2008. A 2009 survey of 880 marketers found the 88% of marketers use some form of social media in their advertising strategy. Today, sports-related companies like Adidas, Nike, Spalding, and Gatorade, all have fan pages or advertise on Facebook or other forms of social networking sites.

Social media allows companies like these to connect with the sports fans that use their products. More importantly, social media has given fans a chance to connect with their favorite teams and players, and share their passion with other fans. In doing so, a fan’s ability to express a love of sports is no longer relegated to just a ballpark.

Advertisements