Mascots Finding Stardom On TikTok

  • On TikTok, it's not just Benny the Bull putting the spotlight on sports mascots.
  • Other mascots with TikTok accounts include Cosmo the Cougar (BYU), Blue (Indianapolis Colts) and Moose (Seattle Mariners), among others.

There are few things in sports that excite fans as much as a mascot. When the Philadelphia Flyers unveiled their mascot Gritty on September 24, 2018, the first 30 days of Gritty’s rollout garnered an overall national TV audience of more than 69.1 million viewers, according to the Shorty Awards. In terms of publicity value to the team – both online and off – his launch generated upwards of $151.3 million and $10.5 million, respectively.  Heading into 2020, Gritty has […]

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China Fallout? Injuries? What’s Behind NBA’s ‘Shocking’ Drop in TV Numbers?

  • NBA's national TV audiences are down 23% on TNT; 19% on ESPN. Those drops are 'shocking,' says Darren Rovell of Action Network.
  • Clay Travis says NBA's 'far left-wing politics' and LeBron James' move to Los Angeles have alienated some TV viewers.

It was only a few years ago that the sports world was buzzing about the alarming drop in NFL television viewership numbers.  Now it’s the NBA going through a decline in viewership, as the early part of the 2019-2010 season has seen double-digit drops in national TV audiences. Average TV audiences are down 23% on TNT and 19% on ESPN.  The NBA’s falling TV numbers are “shocking,” said Darren Rovell of The Action Network.  However, there is still plenty of […]

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DAZN Scores AutoZone As Sponsor of ‘One Night: Joshua Vs. Ruiz’

  • AutoZone, the $11 billion retailer, has signed up as presenting sponsor of DAZN's new boxing documentary, 'One Night: Joshua vs. Ruiz.'
  • 'Rocky' creator Sylvester Stallone executive produces and co-stars in doc that sets stage for for Ruiz-Joshua II rematch on Dec. 7.

DAZN Originals has landed its first presenting sponsor: AutoZone. The $11 billion auto retailer is sponsoring DAZN’s new boxing documentary, “One Night: Joshua vs. Ruiz,” chronicling Andy Ruiz Jr.’s stunning upset of previously unbeaten heavyweight champion Anthony Joshua at Madison Square Garden on June 1. The nation’s largest retailer of aftermarket automotive parts and accessories has slapped its brand right below the title card of the new doc, co-directed by Jamie Horowitz and Deirdre Fenton. AutoZone also plans to advertise […]

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Front Office Sports Q&A With TikTok’s Robbie Levin

In 2019 alone, social media app TikTok has more than 614 million downloads and reached the one-billion mark in February.  With growth that is now measured by the billions, TikTok is spreading its wings across the globe, especially within sports.  So far, TikTok has secured partnerships with sports entities like the NFL, NBA, and Wimbledon, among others. Whether it’s a sports league of any shapes and sizes, media companies, teams and universities, or even mascots, the sports industry has clearly […]

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How TikTok Is Helping Sports Leagues And Teams Better Engage With Female Fans

  • With a following that's roughly 60% female, TikTok has proven to be a social media destination for women.
  • Some sports accounts with high female followings include the WSL (70% female), Detroit Red Wings (66.5% female) and Barstool Sports (64% female), among others.

Attracting new female fans and super-serving existing ones is top of mind for just about any sports league, team or media property. Since it launched in 2017, TikTok has played a key role in helping those properties reach that goal. Compared to competitors like Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat and Twitter, the Chinese-based app has arguably the highest percentage of female users. In terms of audience breakdown based on gender, TikTok’s user base was split up 60% to 40% female to male, […]

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NASCAR TrackPass Goes Live on NBC Sports Gold

  • TrackPass will cost consumers $4.99 per month or $44.99 each year at launch. However, cheaper sub-packages are also available to fans.
  • The service will include both live racing and hours of archived video content from multiple popular motorsports series, including the AFT and IMSA.

NASCAR’s new direct-to-consumer service, TrackPass, is aiming to give fans more options in how they stream original programming with both live racing and hours of archived video content from multiple motorsports series. The service, which will go live on NBC Sports Gold on December 5, was announced by NASCAR in November as part of a decision to move its Fanshoice.TV web service to NBC. The sport now joins the likes of the PGA Tour and English Premier League as professional […]

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Chance The Rapper Adding Comedic Touch To NHL Player Interviews

  • A Saturday Night Live skit featured Chance the Rapper as clueless rinkside hockey reporter Lazlo Holmes went viral in November 2017, prompting the NHL to try to further capture that excitement.
  • The Holmes character has featured on NBC Sports broadcasts so far this season, with his interviews of players garnering nearly six million video views thus far.

In November 2017, the NHL received a request from Saturday Night Live to use NHL team logos and NHL footage in an upcoming skit. After reviewing the request, the league allowed for the usage and waited to see what would happen next. “We knew it was coming and knew some fun was going to be poked at us, but we knew it was going to be fun and presented in good nature so we were fine with that – I […]

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Sports Media Brands Using TikTok To Advance Digital Growth

  • Some of the most-followed sports accounts on TikTok aren't just that of leagues and teams.
  • Sports media outlets like ESPN and Barstool Sports have found success in utilizing TikTok as a social media platform.

Not every company is keen on jumping onto a new or untested platform.  For Barstool Sports, CEO Erika Nardini says that Barstool is focused on experimenting with emerging media platforms to connect with its loyal fanbase as well as attract new followers. Much like its success with podcasts, which in October 2019 attracted a larger U.S. unique monthly audience than ESPN, Nardini said Barstool saw a similar opportunity to bring that strategy to TikTok, on which it posted its first […]

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TikTok’s Ripple Effect Reaching Leagues Of All Sizes

  • Leagues like the NBA and NFL aren't the only others finding success on TikTok.
  • On TikTok, two of the five most-followed North American sports leagues are non-Big Four: UFC (674.3K) and The World Surf League (611.4K).

While the popularity of sports leagues like the NBA and NFL on TikTok is perhaps expected, properties and leagues of all sizes are finding success on the platform. For UFC, the early 2000s provided more challenges than successes for connecting with its audience, said Dave Shaw, its senior vice president of international and content. Since then, it has made social media a larger part of its marketing strategy and has used it to reach its fanbase in a quick, authentic […]

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Sports Networks Increasingly Interested in Showing High School Stars

  • ESPN will show 15 high school basketball games this season featuring the sons of LeBron James and Dwyane Wade.
  • LeBron 'Bronny' James Jr. and Zaire Wade headline next generation of high school stars attracting national media coverage.

Is high school the next growth area for sports networks? With media rights for pro and college sports costing billions of dollars, media companies are increasingly eyeing relatively inexpensive high school sports that could have national appeal. The growth of streaming and OTT platforms is allowing media companies to cover high school games that wouldn’t make it to linear TV. That is perhaps no better exhibited by ESPN electing to show 15 high school basketball games this season highlighting ‘Bronny’ James […]

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