Why sports should adopt boxing's formula

Boxing is a fascinating sport. This weekend’s heavyweight fight between Manchester’s own Tyson Fury and US champ Deontay Wilder promises to be nothing short of spectacular if you take into account all the media hype that has been generated. See, boxing has a tremendous power to make a lot of noise and captivate huge audiences for the big occasions. Many of whom don’t follow either fighter or even boxing itself for the other 364 days in the year.

Boxing is a unique case though; it has huge amounts of money pumped into it from various sources and, as events are fairly infrequent, they are far more compelling and easier to promote to fans. It’s hard for other sports to match this. But when you stop to think about the impressive way that these events are promoted in order to build interest, there are some key takeaways that sports of all sizes should look to emulate…

Boost event promotion with video:

  • Weave in supplementary video content around the event. Behind the scenes footage, training videos and interviews can all prove popular.

Something that boxing, and football (also heavily resourced), does very well is create a roster of accompanying programming which provides fans with extra content to satisfy their increasing impatience for the big day. You might be surprised at how interested fans are in training sessions and interviews when there is a significant fight/ match coming up.

  • Hook the audience in with clips of past fights. Make use of legacy footage.

Some organisations reading the first point might be concerned about the costs (albeit, decreasing costs) of creating this glossy new content, but you might already have the impactful footage you need. What better way to sell the excitement of a new event than to draw on previous footage highlighting how great the action has been previously. This further validates fans’ excitement and is a great way to make use of, and promote, your archive collection.

  • Jab with social media promotion. Regularly post shareable promo clips to get the word around.

Social media, like sports subscription channels before it, has had one of the biggest impacts on sports consumption in many generations. Not only has it provided a platform for live discussion, instant reaction, and deeper engagement with sports events and sporting heroes, it has also provided a ‘shop window’ for sports organisations to promote their content directly to their audience’s devices on a global scale.

  • Win with a heavily promoted, easily accessible event stream

Fairly straight forward – if you’re going to spend all this time promoting an event, fixture or competition, you need to know how your audience can tune in on the big day. Thankfully, sports are no longer entirely reliant on broadcasters for event coverage and can host live streams with a fairly modest budget. This provides the global reach that sports need in order to grow their sport and increase their fan bases.

Could you be doing more?

Of course, for smaller sports organisations with less resources some elements of the above may be less possible, relevant or effective. But in today’s world, with increasing opportunities to amplify your sports promotion online at an unprecedented scale, the benefits of adapting to new channels and changing sports consumption are clear.

In order to take advantage, organisations need to get their media strategy right but also invest in the tools they need to power this increased media output easily and efficiently. If you’re looking to up your media game, get in touch with Imagen to see how we can help.

More on this subject below:

  • For 5 powerful ways to use video to grow your sport, check out our infographic.
  • Read more about changing media consumption in sports by downloading our white paper.

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