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How Brands Can Use Fan-Generated Video Content in Sports Marketing Campaigns

Sports marketing experts talk about what self created fans’ video content represents to them, at Portada’s Hispanic Sports Marketing Forum, held in New York on September 14.


At #Portada16 Sports marketing experts and brand marketers spoke about how they can make the best use of homemade video content generated by sports fans.

Neha Misra, vice president of strategy and analytics at Mbuy.

“Sports are all about emotions, and so is marketing,” explained Neha Misra, vice president of strategy and analytics at Mbuy, during Portada’s Hispanic Sports Marketing Forum in New York City on September 14.

But brands have been facing the challenge to adapting to new platforms and also to learning the way to really making the most out of them. Doing this comes with the promise of reaching more fans worldwide.

“Video is going to be huge, no matter where it comes from, it will be huge,” said Kyle Harris, EVP at The Mundial Group.

But, ¿what happens when every fan becomes a content creator through its own videos filmed with its cameras and cellphones?

It is not a new thing anymore that personal and amateur recordings go viral and get million views worldwide; without a marketing strategy behind it, or the huge investment that comes with it.

Andy Wasef, managing director, digital & consulting strategist for ESP Properties, explained how brands not only don’t have to worry about it, but how this content even helps them spread their work.

Andy Wasef, managing director, digital & consulting strategist for ESP Properties.


“As right holders we should encourage (fans making and sharing videos) as much as possible,” he says. The truth people will enjoy watching some minutes of personal videos, but because of its quality “no one would rather watch a whole game with somebody else’s shaky hand.”

Snapchat, Periscope and other live platforms, Wasef ads, are actually helping brands like ESPN market their properties.

This is exactly the opposite of what happened with Napster in the music industry. Sports brands are embracing this type of content because they see how it can help make their own market grow.

Heineken, for example, started asking their consumers to share videos of them enjoying a soccer game with the brand’s beer during World Cup 2014. The reaction was very positive, admits Edwin Hincapie, multicultural marketing manager for Heineken. “It helped us to know more about our consumers, and we also had some great stories.”

“But because we are an alcoholic beverage we have to be very careful of not connecting our brand with underaged consumers,” he ads.

Now, instead of asking followers to record their own videos, Heineken is producing its own behind the scenes productions “where we can take the fans to a place they wouldn’t have access to without us.”

While Heineken got some great content from fans and now stopped this contributions, ESPN is still finding worthy input from this practice.

Each brand has its stages, but they all have found that at one point, instead of fighting social content, promoting their followers to create content and share it trough their network using social media is useful both for connecting with them and getting to know them. By doing this, they have managed to convert a possible threat into an ally.


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