Three Teams Dancing & Taking Fans Behind the Scenes

A good social media presence in sports goes far beyond the scoreboard and venue walls. It taps into the heartbeat of your team, community, players and journey. Sports are emotional; but they’re even more emotional when you tell a story beyond the game itself.

Look around you. There are so many stories to tell. From gameday rituals to team bonding to the silent moments before the stadium fills with fans, there are many ways to give fans a look behind the curtain. Take the time to tell the full story, not just the game story. Here’s why:

1- Fans crave this content because it’s something they never get to see unless you provide it.

2- It helps to humanize the team.

3- And, it tugs at people’s emotions (and people share content that evokes emotion).

During this year’s NCAA DI Men’s Basketball Tournament, several teams have done a great job telling their full story socially. And, big stages like this are a great time to focus on the behind-the-scenes content. The game is elevated and storytelling should be too. After all, emotions are high.

I’ve gathered few examples of teams rocking their behind-the-scenes content during this year’s tournament. Hopefully they inspire you to start looking beyond the action for content too:



UCLA has created a video series called “Made in March” that combines both game action and behind-the-scenes shots. In the videos, there are snippets of how the team travels, voiceover from the locker room and much more. The videos are short, but give just enough glimpses into the days so you understand the journey the team is on. It’s a simple and powerful use of video.

In addition to the video series, UCLA Athletics has leveraged to showcase the team’s journey. The photo essay platform is a great way to tell a simple, yet powerful, visual story. The work from the Bruins is a great example of how to use Exposure.


Screen Shot 2015-03-25 at 3.55.42 PM



Wisconsin has nailed social storytelling on Twitter during this year’s tournament. Scroll through their Twitter feed and it feels exactly like a “day in the life”. From a peek into workouts to team selfies, Wisconsin fans must feel like are on their journey with the team. This is a great example of how behind-the-scenes coverage doesn’t have to be complicated; a few good photos and descriptive copy can go a really long way. It’s also very clear that their social/communications team is trusted fully as access doesn’t seem to be a problem here (start building those relationships internally, now).



Much like Wisconsin, Oklahoma has hit a slam dunk with their social storytelling on Twitter. The content is compelling, gives fans a glimpse into their team’s personality and captures the emotion of the journey. Again, access and trust is key. Without access, it’s impossible to tell a behind-the-scenes story. Below are some of the golden moments from the Sooners.


These three examples above scratch the surface of how teams can tell a behind-the-scenes story. While many tend to flock to Twitter for this, there are so many other ways to tell your story. Think about leveraging Facebook albums, Snapchat (takeovers), Instagram and video features all as a way to take fans behind the scenes. Don’t limit yourself to one platform; tell the story cohesively across all. With planning, access and open eyes and ears, you can bring your fans along the emotional journey. Remember, it’s not just about the scores and the championships, but how the team gets there.



What other teams are doing a good job of telling a behind-the-scenes story at this year’s tournament? Share your examples below!

Thanks for reading! 

World Cup Content: Stepping It Up

The 2014 FIFA World Cup is more than a month away, but content is already ramping up in anticipation for the world stage.  We’re use to seeing brands come out in full force around major sporting events, but there’s been something special about what I’ve seen for the World Cup so far.

Powerade, Nike and ESPN have all launched videos surrounding the event.  And, all three of them have nailed it because they understand why things catch on.

I talk a lot about the power of emotion in social media and sport. I’m a big believer that emotion is the thread that ties fans and teams together. Whether or not you have played a sport, you understand the emotion– anticipation, excitement, anguish, pure joy, etc.– players’ experience.

Think about it: Emotion is what makes sports so relatable across the globe.  

All three videos tap into emotion, while telling stories, which studies have shown are keys to getting people to share (learn more about that here). Below are the three videos, along with some takeaways from the campaigns:

continue reading »