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Social Media & Sports Fans

AJ Maestas's picture

As we enter the summer season (and off-season for many professional sports teams), it is a great time for organizations to examine the way in which they are valuing social media in its asset packages. There is no doubt that social media is here to stay and that it has become a major factor in people’s daily lives. The question is: how valuable are those new formed habits?

It’s a question that many properties and brands alike struggle to answer as they value their sponsorship assets and inventory. Often times, social media has been treated as a component to add value or “sweeten” a deal. This is mostly due to the fact that very little research has been done into the actual value of social media, especially when it comes to sports.

Thanks to Navigate Research and Wasserman Media Group, that’s all about to change. The Social Media Scoreboard, released earlier this year, is a comprehensive report examining the usage habits of sports fans in the social media world. In addition, it also help to put a value and determine a relative CPM for social media within a sponsorship package.

Content is king these days when it comes to making an impact through sponsorship, and social media is the best (and most cost effective way) to distribute content that breaks through the clutter. Best of all, sponsorship salespeople will love the data in the Social Media Scoreboard as it will help them increase their package values and also know how to properly sell social media within a sponsorship.

As you can see in the attached media exposure efficiency curve, social media is the best available asset because it is not only the cheapest CPM but it also has the highest purchase intent value. Social media, above all other types of media (TV, Print, Radio, Internet, Magazine, OOH Ads) is the most effective spend a brand can make in a sponsorship. On the other hand, it is often the most undervalued asset within a team or organization’s sponsorship package.

Aside from the CPM and purchase lift value of social media, the study has tons of other relevant insights, including:

• 91% of sports fans use social media on a daily basis
• 64% of sports fans leverage a smartphone/tablet for social media
o Sports fans are on the leading edge of tablet/mobile use
•30% of fans leverage social media while WATCHING events
o But, social media usage is higher when attending a live event/game

For brands and companies trying to break through the clutter, social media is effective in doing. In the survey, 65 percent of fans that became aware of a sponsorship through social media were positively impacted compared to just 37 percent of fans in general. Why is this the case?

One of the main reasons is that social media is seen by fans as a platform on which they have input. In other mediums, fans have no way of responding to the content which they are being presented. Fans cannot directly interact with a brand after seeing an ad in print or a sign at a stadium. However, fans can interact directly with a brand via social media, often times even getting a response or meaningful conversation out of it.

Social Media focuses on the “me” part of advertising and sponsorship and allows for two-way communication like never before. Now, all we have to do is listen.
Interested in hearing more about the study and how you can use it to your benefit?

Check out the link below for a full recording of a webinar from AJ Maestas (President, Navigate Research), John Harper (SVP of Consulting, Wasserman Media Group), and Zack Sugarman (VP of Social & Digital, Wasserman Media Group) on the Social Media Scoreboard.

To request more information about The Social Media Scoreboard—Understanding the Value of Fan Engagement in Sports, please email:

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