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TikTok For Sports - The Big Idea - @CDM Digital Sports Issue #40

TL;DR; I see a silver-lining in what TikTok can do for Sports and making people be more active.
TikTok For Sports - The Big Idea - @CDM Digital Sports Issue #40
By Carlo De Marchis @CDM • Issue #40 • View online
TL;DR; I see a silver-lining in what TikTok can do for Sports and making people be more active.

“If you don’t know what TikTok is… shame on you” said a 55 years old digital native.
So now that you are TikTok-proficient, let’s talk about the app, that you hopefully would have installed by now.
  • 500 MAU worldwide, 800M installs but it’s an old stats.
  • 75% under 30, 55% under 24, 65% women.
  • This is trash. Totally trash. Or isn’t.
  • This is for kids only. Or, isn’t. So what?
  • It’s addictive for a mix of reasons.
What about sports?
Is TikTok an opportunity for Sports properties, Federations, Leagues, Clubs/Teams, Players/Athletes, Media etc…?
They are hiring in sports (and eSports) partnership so they know it is.
What is the status in sports? What are we currently doing?
Hmm, not great! Even if I am sure we will keep up soon.
Let’s see (dated Late January 2019):
Have a TikTok account: NBA 3.7M fans, MLB, Inter Milan, Red Sox
Not yet with a TikTok account: NFL, UEFA, FIFA, Olympics, Premier League, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Manchester United, Patriots, 49ers, Chelsea, almost everybody else
What happens when you don’t have a verified account?
You can check by yourself in the screens shots at the bottom of the article, anything goes, your brand is misrepresented.
Why should we care
Let me explain this using the famous “Simon Sinek model”.
WHY: TikTok is gaining huge popularity among teenagers and post-millennials, which is a target audience that sports always crave about
HOW: Sports can leverage their own specificity to create unique trends and challenges that resonates well with their fans and participants. Hopefully nothing dangerous.
WHAT: What could work changes depending on the sports, some ideas could be in the range of:
  1. Specific skills — Juggling the ball, dunking, gymnastics,
  2. Challenge — hitting the post, hitting the net, putting with eyes closed
  3. Recreating iconic actions events with original sounds
  4. Lip syncing famous commentators (goaaaaaaal!)
Great if you find a piece of music or sound that work well with that specific skill.
People can use the ‘duet” function to re-enact athletes or players skills or interact with them.
The reason I believe TikTok can be a great platform for sport is that every single sport has the opportunity to create viral trends with skills and challenges that are part of the action.
The great additional value I see is that quite unexpectedly TikTok trends are making people be more active, sometimes in intense ways, as they need to perform skills or acts etc… depending on the sport.
I do see a connection in terms of ethos and values to many sports federations strategy.
So wait, are we saying here that the often vilified social platforms may know push people to be more active? Cool!
I can imagine, that if this is well interpreted, it could resonate well with the Olympic Movement. I am sure my friends at the Olympic Channel are already on it.
People are already doing it by themselves
A hashtag that may some hints about what could work is #sportskills or #basketball, #football
What not to do
If you are using TikTok only to share short videos as you do on Instagram I believe you are missing the point, yes you reach users who may not be on other platforms (potentially) but do not adhere to the app main “raison d’etre” and so don’t leverage the viral aspect related to the trend model.
As said, leaving your brand in the hands of common users could result in damage to the brand and confusion.
Why not doing it
There has been some quite harsh criticism of the app, you may be scared to associate your brand with it.
On the other hand, if more “good” people are on it that will improve the platform.
Next Steps
  1. Install the app
  2. Start creating content
  3. Share the results
And as always, have fun doing it.
TikTok for Sports — The big idea – carlo de marchis – Medium
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Carlo De Marchis @CDM

Weekly updates from the world of sport media: OTT, digital, mobile, social, VR/AR, marketing, sponsorship. Follow me on twitter at @CDM

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