#Storyteller Bonus Episode: Navigating a Virtual Sports Landscape

Live sports may be on pause, but the fandom doesn’t stop. Teams, universities, and sports organizations are getting creative to unite and engage their digital fan bases. In this unique episode of #Storyteller, we pulled together some of the most creative minds in the sports industry for a roundtable discussion on how they are tackling this new remote world, head on. Hear from social networks including TikTok and Facebook, as well as experts from the Arizona Coyotes, Dallas Cowboys, and University of Michigan Athletics.



On being vulnerable:

What you’re seeing a lot of leagues do and a lot of teams and athletes do is they’re taking more of an approach to voice a side of them that they may be more vulnerable…athletes and stars are showing a different side of who they are…not just the nicely polished, fully produced videos you see everywhere.

– Harish Sarma, Global Strategic Partnerships, TikTok


On giving back to your community:

We have a large social following, so how do we use that for good? My recommendation now to put it simply, now is not the time to just stick to sports. Get outside of your comfort zone. Don’t just focus on game updates or talking about when the season is going to come back…this is the time to really give back to your community and use this large following for good.

– Marissa Mast, Sr. Director of Social Media & Brand Strategy, Arizona Coyotes


On rewarding fans for participating: 

We’ve started to dabble in some of those fan engagement tactics. Providing some coloring pages for kids to do; for parents to print out for their kids at home. Fun little challenges we’ve started…sing our fight song and send a video and send it to us, so we can reward some prizes.

– Brian Wagner, Digital Strategy & Creative Lead, University of Michigan Athletics


On dipping into your archive:

Use your archive…We’re seeing a ton of people digging into their archives and finding those memorable moments to surprise and delight fans…they’re creating a new content strategy around that event that happened in the past and bringing it forward to a new event in the current atmosphere.

– Melissa Lawton, Live Sports Production Strategy, Facebook


On collaborating with your peers:

We’re all so focused once we get into our seasons or prepping for our seasons on what we’re gonna do, that sometimes we lose sight of hey, maybe somebody else has already done this and figured this out. Something we’ve been trying to do is reach out to our industry peers for ideas, especially while everyone is sitting around trying to keep busy.

– Ryan Lenocker, Digital Manager, Dallas Cowboys


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