The 3 biggest trends in the sports industry according to Meltwater and Twitter

Equality, NFT and Metaverse.

Article sponsored by melt water

Sport brings people together, stadiums are places of escape where we can freely support our teams and marvel at the talent of the athletes we admire, some of whom are defending great causes, such as Marcus Rashford in his campaign with Nike, for example. Sport represents major challenges for brands, whether it’s strengthening their strategy, developing their audience or expanding their target audience. Already well established in the virtual world, we can find sports in the world of video games, e-sports, digital and today in the world of NFTs and cryptocurrency.

Between the first and second half of 2021, the number of sports-related tweets increased by 18% worldwide. The Olympics have generated the highest peaks. That is why Meltwater – in collaboration with Twitter – analyzed millions of tweets in a report to better understand developments affecting the sports industry and the ways brands can use this information in their marketing strategies.

The key trends according to the Meltwater and Twitter report:

NFTs and cryptocurrency

They have disrupted all sectors, including the sports world. Whether in mentions or in Twitter conversations, it should be noted that athletes and sports team supporters are more fans of NFTs and cryptocurrencies. Mentions of “Cryptocurrencies” and “NFT” + “Sports” increased +151% between the first and second half of 2021. Tweets related to cryptocurrencies, NFT and sports also increased in 2021, especially after a contest of NFT hosted by a “professional golfer became a model”.

Using this data, Meltwater offers us three best practices for driving engagement, increasing your audience, and maximizing the benefits of this trend.

The digitization of sports and fans

Is esports the new El Dorado for brands? As the conversation heats up about the role of the metaverse in the future of sport, and tweets about it surpassing other technological advances by 56% – in the second half of 2021 – sport seems to be taking a turn by digitizing its industry. As for Twitter conversations around the metaverse and sports, they grew 6.024% between the first and second half of 2022. If there’s one hashtag to remember, it’s #esports (for esports): it came up way more often ahead of all others for this period.

Make sport more inclusive

Today, brands celebrate diversity, social justice and inclusion in their campaigns, and the sports world is no exception. This is especially the case with Nike, which has already waltzed toxic masculinity into sports, paid tribute to Kobe Bryant and George Floyd, and then went on to celebrate the unifying power of sports. Adidas also promoted all breast shapes a few weeks ago. Gender equality and LGBTQ+ representation are at the heart of sport, thanks in part to celebrity involvement and the role of social media. Indeed, today’s young fans are interested in how brands respond to social issues: They are 54% more likely than their elders to support a brand that promotes racial equality by sponsoring athletes and teams who speak out (30%). A large proportion of young people therefore make their purchasing decisions based on these beliefs.

Talks about equality in sport increased by 12% in the second half of 2021 compared to the first. Sports organizations and brands are thus encouraged to pay close attention to the place of women, social justice and the LGTBQ+ cause in sport.

Meltwater — still in her report — then offers you to take action, by participating in hashtags that promote equality and inclusion, for example, by identifying key causes related to your brand, or by your following and potential sponsorship influencers. to analyse.

These three key trends in the sports industry on Twitter should therefore be considered by companies if they want to strengthen their strategy, increase their audience or even seize sponsorship opportunities to reach a wider consumer base.

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