Embrace the Fear - Don't Just React
#FOMO. To spell it out, this is the Fear of Missing Out... a trend that has popped up on our radars once more - much like the undead - as Halloween is here.
With the public’s attention focused upon the celebration, it tempts sports organisations into knee jerk reactive content to ensure they’re not ‘missing out’. The logic: ‘an opportunity is there to be taken, so why not take it?’ is understandable. The idea of minimal effort maximum result is a carrot few can refuse. Yet the idea of simply reacting to calendar events – whether it be Halloween, Diwali, Christmas – rarely produces anything truly captivating or worthwhile.
In this post we were going to outline the great and the good of the content surrounding the spooky festival but after analysing content from across the globe, from teams and organisations, both big and small, this idea died a death. Why? Sadly, we have had to trawl through a litany of small-scale, ill-thought-out pieces that delivered middling results and highlighted a lack of planning, creative license / freedom and potential that good scheduled content can achieve
So, instead, we are reviewing not where others went wrong, but why one went right. Yes, we’re biased, but Tottenham Hotspur’s ‘Spurs vs. Zombies’ piece is a prime example of how it can (and should) be done. The piece focuses on the three star talents of Kyle Walker, Vincent Janssen and Georges-Kevin Nkoudou striking footballs at hordes of zombies, attempting to survive for 60 seconds. A simple, but elevated, concept which borrows from gaming culture to deliver something different to new and existing fans. It’s timely, original, utilises talent, and a clear case study on how you should use your platforms. Whilst this qualitative analysis is true, it’s the quantitative numbers that shore-up our conclusion.
Tottenham Hotspur’s Facebook page has just over 8m fans, and the ‘Spurs vs. Zombie’ video has achieved 3.4 million views and nearly 14,000 shares. To benchmark against a US and UK counterpart, San Francisco 49ers (4.2 million fans), and Southampton (1.5 million fans) both released timely Halloween content. For the 49ers, a compilation of their favourite parts of Halloween from their cheerleaders (above) and for Saints, a hauntingly painted Oriel Romeo. For both, they achieved solid figures, with the former receiving 107,000 views, and 131 shares, and the Saints getting 12,000 views and 31 shares. Whilst appreciating the slight oranges and apples comparison, the Spurs video received one share for every 573 fans, whilst the 49ers had one per 32,061 fans, and Saints with one per 50,609 highlighting the power and necessity of shareability.
Whilst the concept of simply “going viral” has nearly, and gladly, disappeared from common parlance, the concept of shareability is important. As most sporting organisations and teams attempt to keep up and cover the onslaught of fixtures, days like Halloween present a welcome respite and opportunity. Amplifying the focus that these days bring onto your content can lead to heady successes, and it’s only through thorough planning, creativity and distribution that it can be achieved. Looking at the reactions to all the above content, you can even perform some small scale sentiment tracking - understanding how the fans truly feel about your clubs outside of a win or loss. So come Christmas, it's important to avoid FOMO, and create your own planned and prepared story to attract the world's eyes onto you.