Research: TikTok, Twitch lead sports social consumption
March 25, 2022
Sports fans are eager to play a role in creating content and new video-based social media platforms are proving popular with them, according to data from Nielsen.
Worldwide usage of TikTok and Twitch for sports news and content grew by 30 per cent and 21 per cent, respectively, between April 2020 and August 2021. This follows a number of successful partnerships like, for example, between TikTok and the Euro 2020 football tournament.
Instagram (+6 per cent) and WhatsApp (+4 per cent) also recorded an increase in consumption over this time, while traditional platforms like YouTube (-4 per cent) and Facebook (-8 per cent) have seen a drop in sports consumption.
Nielsen also finds that one-third (32 per cent) of consumers use social media platforms while watching sports. This rises even higher for Gen Z audiences, up to 43 per cent.
This comes as non-live sports content proves popular. Overall, 39 per cent of fans say they will watch non-live content related to a live sports event, a higher share than for non-live content unrelated to sports (34 per cent).
Traditional linear TV content remains fundamental for sports content, though. This is particularly true for younger audiences – 13 per cent of viewing among 18 to 34 year-olds is of sports content, double that of those older than 55.
Brands can use this high level of fan engagement to their benefit, particularly as brand sponsorships in sporting events are one of the most trusted advertising channels (81 per cent trust). A recent Nielsen analysis found that sponsorships can drive a 10 per cent lift in purchase intent among the exposed fanbase.
The rise in sports content on social media has increased the value of sponsorships, which can now be activated across multiple platforms. This is particularly relevant for auto, tech and telco brands as consumers find these categories the most appropriate sport sponsors. In comparison, gambling brands and cryptocurrencies are seen as less appropriate.