Engagement at the speed of sport

If you're a content marketer whose job performance is measured in the size and behavior of your online audience, you worry a lot about when to post your best content. It's such a pressing concern that you likely have taken steps to optimize when you publish by investing in social media management software from companies like Buffer, Spredfast, Hootsuite, and Sprinklr.

But what if you're sports marketer? You know when you have to be ready. You live in the world of appointment television.

You want to be involved in the conversation leading up to the big game. You want to participate in the engagement during the game. And you want to share in the immediate joy or heartbreak after the game.

Today, the sports marketers we talk to operate as if they only have 2 options to engage fans online:

1) Throw more bodies at this problem. Brands will fight their way into any conversation, and the current approach for most sports marketers is brute force. We spoke to one agency planning for the MLB All-Star game this summer, they said they'll set up a war room of interns to re-tweet and re-post different fan-generated content during the game.

2) Design content in advance. A brand that sponsored the Masters Tournament told us they spent about 15 hours per social media content item so that they could have design templates to populate as the event was going on. They believed only the best designed infographics and images would engage golf fans.

Both of these strategies certainly work. The extra bodies on the job can identify when something important is trending. These staffers can spot photos that are funny or interesting. They can hope to throw enough content into the mix that the brand feels like it was there.

But what happens before the event and after the event? How long do you keep the war room running? How long can you afford to keep designers on this campaign?

At Stattleship, we believe sports marketers shouldn't miss out on the opportunity to use data science to help them know what to say and when. After all, each event has historical context that comes from sports data. Games and athletes are measured against themselves and against all those who have come before them. That's the beauty of sports and why fans pay attention to the rise and fall of their favorite teams and players. Breakout performances unfold in real-time and can be determined by software that knows when something special is happening. Post-game analysis can also be done quickly using software and data so that marketers get interesting facts to share with fans.

Moving at the speed of sport isn't important for every brand, but reaching millions of global or thousands of local fans is -- and they're online before, during, and after the game. You can effectively engage sports fans online without war rooms and days of design time.