Week 189 (27 May - 2 June 2017)

In what is now one of the most dynamic industries in the world, communicators in sport are constantly forced to find new and innovative ways to keep up with the pace. Being able to offer fresh, exciting and interactive content is now a necessity, and something multimedia application Snapchat has quickly become an expert in.

Ahead of this weekend’s much anticipated UEFA Champions League Final, Snapchat has announced a ground-breaking partnership with European football broadcaster BT Sport to provide exclusive content to users during the match. While Snapchat will not be showing the full match, its desire to use technology to engage with football’s commercial partners and sports fans is a sign that it is becoming one of the leading communicators in sport.

The forward-thinking idea, which will appear in BT's “Our Stories” section on the app, will include on-pitch and behind-the-scenes clips on the day, giving users a unique insight to the match. Snapchat has realised the value of sport to its overall business and is now continuously looking for ways to communicate that technology is changing sport for the better, and that it is a central part of this change.

Technology has undoubtedly changed the landscape of sport in recent years, with social media platforms becoming increasingly interested in establishing themselves at the heart of major global sporting events. In a market that is becoming increasingly competitive, fans are benefitting from the growing number of ways to consume content, whilst companies are faced with the problem of finding ways to stand out from the crowd. 

While Twitter and Amazon recently battled to secure the rights to stream the NFL’s Thursday night games, Snapchat has set itself apart from competitors by offering an alternative way for fans to consume sport. The short, insightful bursts show Snapchat’s appreciation of the trend in the consumption of sport amongst younger fans, who are increasingly shifting away from traditional methods of watching sport.

Discussing the fast-changing market, Alex Smith, head of social and digital planning at global media agency Maxus, said: “It is still early days, which makes this an incredibly exciting time. The content on the various social platforms is still very different, as they grow their offerings and as audiences go wherever they feel best meets their requirements. The space is very diverse and there is a huge amount of space for innovation and disruption.”

Discussing the impact this deal could have on sponsors, Nigel Currie, sponsorship and PR consultant at NC Partnership said: “As with all new forms of communication over the years, it takes time for major sponsors and rights holders to work out and establish what can actually work for them and ultimately improve their proposition. This is a great example of an initiative which utilises their assets, and delivers new and original content enabling social media work for them.”

It is an exciting time for sports fans, and for its ability to continuously find innovative ways to provide interactive content, Snapchat is the JTA Communicator of the Week.

Photo: Flickr