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Sports Fans and the Second Screen Jess Greenwood, Zachary Yorke June Sports fans have always shouted at the screen and leapt off the couch with the roar of the crowd.
Today, watching live sports is an even more active experience because our devices are always within reach.
But what triggers us to reach for them? To find out, we visited soccer and football fans in Denver and Chicago, sat in their living rooms, watched games with them, and asked lots of questions.
By unpacking second-screen behaviors, we uncovered how brands can deliver more engaging marketing during the big game. Mobile is changing how we watch sports Tim is watching a game on TV.
We're 30 minutes into the first half, and it's been a snoozer. Collective moments such as big televised sporting events are prime second screen territory, and our research shows that events such as the Oscars attract a similar level of engagement.
Put simply, if there's something big happening on the first screen, there's probably something big happening on the second screen, too.
The recent surge in smartphone penetration has opened the door to this dramatic shift in behavior. What's clear is that fans are not only searching more on mobile, but they're also searching during the game: a new pattern of behavior that barely existed four years ago, when most of the search activity happened immediately after the final whistle.
This change creates more moments for marketers to reach fans on the mobile web, right when they're most engaged. In every living room that we visited, people talked about using their devices to connect with other fans.
Some wanted to feel the adrenaline rush of big moments in real-time. Others were focused on being the first to broadcast cool content and have their voice heard. And for some fans, connecting meant finding a common language and building social connections out in the world, away from their televisions.
Both love sports, and they watch games together on Mario's couch, smartphones in hand. During lulls in the action, they message with family and friends' an extra layer of entertainment that Anthony thinks could feel even more connected.
Anthony pointed out a drawback of being in constant contact with a big social group, "I want a social network that's just for sports. I can't curse about the game on Facebook because my Mom is there. Anthony told us, "Of course I want my team to win, but it's really just about having a good time with my friends.
For them, the second screen is less about the roar of the crowd, and more about being the first to share something cool that their peers appreciate. They are the kind of fans who love to share bite-sized visual content to show their allegiance.
They're quick with comments or memes that show they're clever, and they don't mind stoking a little competitive energy.
Carlos told us, "If my friends from rival teams are bragging about a game online, I want to be able to immediately bring up stats about their team from last year to throw in their faces. Fans are hungry for cool content to broadcast quickly to their networks, but getting to that content can be a chore.
Rita added: "It sucks that you have to wait a day to see video clips, pictures and memes. I just want to grab them straight from the TV. They never miss a game. For them, the second screen is a way to search for facts, stats and trivia to fuel both game-time and water cooler discussions after the game.
It's about making logical arguments. Trash talk and sports debates build social connections. Whether you're making a case at a conference or talking smack at a sports bar with your friends, the second screen is where you do your homework.
Engaging fans in real time: Sharing the rush What fans want: to feel the roar of the crowd in real time Give fans at home ways to participate in the energy and rituals of the stadium. Make fan-to-fan communication more dynamic and visual.
Social broadcasting What fans want: to push entertaining and inspirational content out to their network Make cool, credible content easy to access.
Make interactions quick, and sharing seamless. Plan ahead. Identify possible scenarios and create content that can be tweaked on the fly and quickly delivered when the time comes. You may not use it all, but the prep work will make you nimble in the moment, for maximum impact.
Searching for a common language What fans want: to be armed with information for social situations Make it easy to find and collect snackable facts, stats and trivia. Partner with creators and influencers to surface relevant info in engaging ways.