A sports content trend: The statshot

We measure what works on social media to help brands with sports content marketing. What we've found is that fan engagement on social media works differently before, during, and after a game. What we've noticed is that simple, well-timed content can generate significant fan engagement.

Here are some examples of what's working well today.

1) Post-game: The New England Patriots published a final score post on Instagram. It registered more than 90,000 likes:

2a) Pre-game: Here is a great example of a pre-game post by the New York Rangers using game schedule content. This post was liked more than 13,000 times.

2b) Pre-season: The same schedule information can be used in multiple ways to get fans excited for the upcoming season. Here's the Jets doing a clever promotion with JetBlue using the 2016 schedule.

3a) Post-game. Here's a great post-game player recap from NBA.com on Twitter to celebrate a player's milestone. This does a good job of putting a single game performance in the context of the player's season.

3b) Post-season. Here's a La Liga example that summarized a player's season performance.

When the season is active, social media teams can be timely and relevant around game schedules, but after the season, brands need to be more creative. Here's a very popular piece of content that lots of brands seem to do now. It's the birthday post! For example, The Jets wished one of their own a happy happy and it was liked more than 11,000 times.

These posts show a few important things.

1) Simple content works well to engage fans.

2) Subtle sponsorship of content does not offend fans or prevent it from going viral.

3) Being relevant before, during, and after the game requires a strong content plan.

In addition to helping brands and teams think about the right plan for fan engagement on social media, we've developed technology to automate the creation of this kind of content.

We call these examples Statshots. This type of content plays a big role in how the fan experience is changing. The use of Statshots represent a larger trend in sports social media and content marketing.

Statshots aren't highlights or videos. You'll recognize a "Statshot" when you see media that combines timely sports stats and content with media assets and branding to generate fan engagement. It's a new form of creative.

The technology platform we've built helps brands capitalize on this Statshot trend by marrying real-time sports feeds with a brand's creative assets. In this way, we reduce the time social media teams take to create this content and manage sponsorship goals -- since a lot of it is done manually today. In addition to saving time and money, Statshot automation provides a constant stream of sponsored sports content to help brands grow audiences and drive revenue. It's the future of sports marketing and some brands are already defining best practices.

Statshots are even changing the way brands post photos. We love this clever sponsor-incorporated post by the Celtics.