Podcasting in Sports
The Premier League restarts this weekend with some blockbuster matches across the UK and the teams have wasted no time in giving their fans loads of exclusive audio content in the form of podcasts, match interviews and match reports among other exciting audio fan engagement ideas.
In sports, sound can tell a story that images can’t. A broadcaster’s passionate voice over the noise of a roaring crowd creates an immediacy and an emotional quality unlike anything else. That intrinsic power is what offers sports teams a unique opportunity when it comes to creating and distributing audio content.
Today, sports radio continues to maintain steady prominence among fans. According to research from The Neilsen Company, not only is sports consumption increasing on TV and in digital outlets, but sports radio listenership is also on the rise.
With the industry’s long history in radio, it’s no wonder podcasting has become a natural extension of sports storytelling. It’s easier than ever for fans to get content on mobile devices: Neilsen reports that in 2015, over 1.2 billion hours were spent on sports sites via smartphones, up an impressive 22% from 2014.
That means most sports teams have a captive, mobile-friendly audience right at their fingertips—if they can tap into it.
Podcasting is continuing to explode across the globe with advertisers now jumping at the chance to get their brand across this content where click through rates are high and passionate users listen more closely and intimately to audio content.
What makes for good sports podcast content
Exclusivity. Sports teams and insiders have exclusive access that fans want access to. Podcasts should give fans access to content they can’t get anywhere else. The Tennis Podcast does just that, featuring an interview with a big-name player, journalist, or influential administrator each week, giving fans a unique peek behind the scenes—like in this episode where Jamie Murray talks about nervousness before a big match.
Immediacy. “Audio gives people the feeling they’re hearing something they won’t otherwise hear or would have to otherwise wait to hear,” our head of sport at audioboom Marc Webber explains. “That’s a great asset. Get a post-match interview out quickly, and you will get the listens.” That’s exactly what the Western Bulldogs Football Club podcast does with this 3-minute interview with forward Jake Stringer, recorded immediately after his side’s eight-point win over West Coast. Quick distribution is key.
Passion. Broadcasters need to be neutral when reporting on a game, but sports podcasts don’t. Fans want to engage with content that’s passionate, exciting, and made just for them. The United We Stand podcast—”podcast of the independent Manchester United fanzine”—is a perfect example of a a podcast that’s “irreverent and proudly independent,” dedicated to “telling it like it is” in a way fans are hungry for.
Shareability. Not all audio content will automatically engage fans. Sports organizations should consider how to package their audio content in a way that’s unique and shareable. The Leicester City Football Club podcast, for instance, produces weekly episodes of analysis and commentary that’s edited to roughly 20 minutes of action-packed, exclusive content fans can’t get anywhere else.
Ideas for creative soundbites
At audioBoom I created a list of 100 fan engagement ideas for audio producers of which 10 easy ones are listed below:
- Captain’s log: Get the captain to say a few words ahead of each week’s match
- Interview fans on the ground before or after the game
- Player bios: Share player bios, from current stars to past legends
- Fans singing club war cry from the stands
- Press conference: Pre- or post-game media conferences
- CEO’s comments: Have the CEO list five outcomes or positive comments from the week to give fans an idea of what’s happening behind the scenes
- Health tips: Nutrition and health advice from the team trainer
- Audio tour: Let fans use the app to tour the grounds at their own pace
- Fans’ match day report: Let fans record their own reports and share them
- Stat check: Quick stats rundown ahead of each game
The full list of 100 can be found here:
With the Premier League kicking off this weekend here’s a look at what some of the BPL teams that use audioBoom are doing for audio fan engagement:
Leicester City Football Club
West Bromwich Albion Football Club
Stoke City Football Club
West Ham United Football Club
There’s also an abundance of Premier League podcasts to keep fans entertained as well including:
Knees Up Mother Brown (West Ham United)
Dream Team FC with James Buckley
United We Stand Podcast (Manchester United)
The Fan Feud FPL Show
The Sun Goals Podcast
Club Call (MCFC)
Daily Football Show
The Anfield Wrap (Liverpool)
The Fighting Cock (Tottenham)
Arsenal Worldwide (Gunners)
The Spencer FC Podcast
Chelsea Football Fan Cast (Chelsea)
Alan Brazil Up Front Podcast