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SnapStream Blog

Make the Most of Posting Constraints in College Athletics: Tips from LSU Athletics’ Todd Politz

July 22 2019 by Tina Nazerian

It’s not enough to post a video clip directing fans to a livestream


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If you're part of the digital media team for the athletics department at a college or university, it’s likely that you’re working with restrictions—your conference probably has an agreement with a television rights holder (such as ESPN) that limits how many videos can go on social media feeds while a game is live. And if you work in pro sports, you know that some leagues have their own posting rules. 

Todd Politz regularly navigates those types of restrictions. As the director of digital media at Louisiana State University Athletics, he oversees best practices for all of the social media accounts for the school's 21 varsity teams. 

For each of those sports, there are one or two individuals who actually make the social media posts, as well as multiple others (such as photographers, videographers, and secondary communications assistants who are clipping from SnapStream) who contribute to content during a live event.

Throughout his 20 years at LSU Athletics, Politz has seen social media change how fans engage with their favorite college sports teams. He’s also mastered how to smartly work within the social media restrictions LSU Athletics faces as part of the Southeastern Conference’s agreement with ESPN so he can create genuine connections between fans and the LSU Tigers and Lady Tigers

Here are his top tips on how you can do the same for your college or university’s athletics department to drive your fandom.

Use Video Clips to Drive Fans to the Livestream

A Twitter post with a video clip of an LSU Baseball game and a link to the livestream.

Specifically, ESPN dictates that the Southeastern Conference schools in its agreement can only post 10 videos and GIFs per live game for each sport, with the exception of football and men’s basketball, for which schools can’t put any videos or GIFs directly to their social media accounts during the live event window. 

Politz notes that he and his team do their best to promote ESPN’s livestreams of their events. Typically, they’ll include a link to the livestream on WatchESPN (or the platform the game is being played on) when they post to Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram. 

And although some sports at LSU can’t be streamed live, Politz says “there are certain allowances ESPN makes to let us use clips from a game that is going on as part of our social media strategy.” 

Politz often uses SnapStream to clip parts of a live game and put those clips on different social platforms to drive fans “to either the livestream or the fact that an event is going on.”

 

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A look at the social media universe of LSU Athletics.

Be Selective About the Clips You Post

A video clip LSU Baseball posted on its Twitter account during a a game. 

Politz notes the importance of being selective about the clips you post. Just because you can post 10 videos per live game for some sports doesn’t mean you should. He brings up LSU baseball as an example. 

“It’s rare that we will have 10 really strong moments in a game,” he explains. “Of course, we’re trying to not dilute our feed with every strikeout.” 

He and his team look for moments that they think fans will appreciate, such as home runs, touchdowns, and other game-changing plays that put an LSU Athletics team in the lead. 

Be the First to Get your Game Clip out There

LSU was the first to post this video clip (ahead of other organizations). 

Politz says that he and his team can put out a clip of a memorable moment within 45, 60 seconds of it happening and engage fans. 

“By the time they're finished cheering and enjoying it with their friends, we can have it where they can relive it on social media.” 

However, he stresses that getting the clip out quickly isn’t enough. You have to be the first to post the clip. Timeliness matters. 

“If you get your video out there first, you’re probably going to have the best opportunity for it to go viral,” he says.

Use GIFs to Turn Small Moments into Big Ones

An example of a GIF on LSU Football's Twitter account.

Capturing and posting the “little things” that happen during a game can be extremely impactful. 

“You can have a small moment that we create a GIF out of that is very ordinary,” Politz says. “However, it ends up having a big impact.” 

He brings up a hypothetical example. If LSU’s baseball players stack hats on top of one of their teammates in the dugout, it would be great to create a GIF out of that moment. 

“They stack 30 hats on top of each other, and you make a very quick GIF out of that to talk about baseball traditions or superstitions or things like that and use it not necessarily right after it happens, but later on, to talk about [it] being…. time to rally,” Politz says. “You can use something like that to re-engage what was a great moment from a previous rally into today's game.”

And sometimes, certain moments that happen in a game can go on to define a narrative amongst fans, like the “rally possum” baseball game LSU played against the University of Arkansas in 2016. LSU was losing when suddenly, a baby possum ran onto the field. After LSU facilities staff captured the possum, LSU ended up winning the game. In fact, they won 12 out of their next 14 games.

“It’s still referenced when our team is behind,” Politz notes. 

He says he and his team use SnapStream to create GIFs as much as they use it to create video clips. One benefit of GIFs? 

“You can hold onto those moments that will be instantly recognizable to your fanbase, but you can use them two, three years later, and they still resonate.” 


At SnapStream, we make video social, whether it's from TV or an in-stadium feed. We're what LSU Athletics and other college athletics and pro sports teams use to grow their fandoms by instantly capturing, creating, and sharing high-quality video clips, GIFs, and images to a variety of social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

3 Ways the Arizona Coyotes Celebrate and Grow Their Fandom

July 11 2019 by Tina Nazerian

Marissa O’Connor, director of social media strategy at the Arizona Coyotes, has tips on how you can do the same for your team 


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If you are part of the marketing or communications department of a sports team, chances are you’re busy growing your team’s fandom (fans’ enthusiasm about your team)—and you know that social media plays a growing and critical role in doing so.

However, social media “never sleeps,” says Marissa O’Connor, director of social media strategy at the Arizona Coyotes, and some brands fall into the trap of “trying to do too much.”

O’Connor has several tips on how sports teams can use social media in a smart, strategic way to build their fandoms. 

Know Your Audience 

 

An Instagram post showcasing some Arizona Coyotes players doing community service.

Some brands try to create social media posts or comments around a national event, trending topic, or popular meme. But O’Connor says that brands can’t “take advantage of every topical conversation.” Not everything will resonate with a team’s particular brand or fanbase. 

She says that to narrow down what content to focus on, the sports team’s social media strategists should start by examining whether they have a “brand bible” or a mission statement they can circle back to. 

Next, they should consider who they’re talking to. Ultimately, a team’s social media posts should please fans, whether they are fans of the team or one of the players in particular, or the sport in general. 

“You’re not trying to please the entire internet,” she says. 

A huge part of the Coyotes’ brand is giving back to the community, she explains. When she and her coworkers are making their content calendar, they keep that in mind. If their players will be doing a community service project, or if the team will be donating money to a cause, they add it to their content plan for the week. 

“Remind yourself and your team of your mission and what you're really trying to do,” she says. 

Tailor Your Message Based on the Social Media Channel 

A video the Arizona Coyotes social media team made with SnapStream and then posted on Twitter.

Different social media accounts have different audiences. O’Connor stresses that it’s important to put each audience first and tailor your content appropriately. In the case of the Coyotes, their Facebook audience is the oldest, while their Instagram audience is very young. 

So on Instagram, she says she and her team “might have a little bit more fun” and “use more emojis and be more engaging.” 

As for Twitter, she says the followers there are “hardcore hockey fans” who “truly can’t get enough of the Coyotes.” She doesn’t think there’s such a thing as “giving them too much information or talking to them too much.” 

She also notes that it can be beneficial to use analytics to see which players people want to see posts about. “We cater to what [fans] want, not necessarily what our marketing team wants, or what our ticket sales team wants.” 

Don’t Forget about Customer Service

An example of the Arizona Coyotes' social media team answering a fan's question on Twitter. 

O’Connor believes that customer service is an underrated part of social media for companies. 

“We live in a world where people want instant gratification,” she says. “If someone is driving to the game and wants to know what time doors open, or where they can find a gluten-free beer, or how much parking costs, [they] want to know that information quickly.” 

Offering good customer service through social media platforms can help a brand grow its fandom, because fans will see that the organization really cares about them. 

An Arizona Coyotes game experience, she says, is much more than just what happens from “whistle to whistle.” 

“The second you get to our parking lot, that's part of your game day experience and if there's anything that we can [do] to make that better, we want to do so,” she explains. “People have never had more options for how they spend their entertainment dollars, and we don't want to take for granted the ones that choose to spend theirs with us.”


At SnapStream, we make video social, whether it's from TV or an in-stadium feed. We're what the Arizona Coyotes and other sports teams use to grow their fandoms by instantly capturing, creating, and sharing high-quality video clips, GIFs, and images to a variety of social media platforms, including Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram.

Why we Love our Customers...

November 23 2016 by Sara Howard

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With Thanksgiving this week, we're thinking about all of the ways that SnapStream customers are simply the best. To thank you for being so amazing, we're giving out "SnapStream: Made in Techxas" t-shirts (read below to find out how to get yours).

You are smart AND creative

You have been doing amazing things with SnapStream, things we never even considered. Examples of ingenuity with SnapStream:

  • Nancy Jennings at the University of Cincinnati is using SnapStream to study TV in order to improve the quality of children's media.
  • Emerson College is doing analyzing broadcast journalism through media research and content analysis with SnapStream
  • The folks at NBCUniversal are using SnapStream across the board, taking fan engagement to another level with shows like Maury, E! News, Bravo, Dancing with the Stars, etc.

How are you using SnapStream? We love to hear about what you're working on!

You are helping us evolve

So many of the new features in SnapStream are inspired by you. You request it, we make it happen. You are continuing to help us evolve as a company and we can't thank you enough. Check out the latest features inspired by you in SnapStream 8.0.

You're leading the pack

Keeping conversations real-time on Twitter and Facebook can be difficult to manage, but you're pulling it off.  Customers like:

  • The St. Louis Blues are engaging fans on Twitter with play-by-play posts
  • The Washington Examiner is focusing on using video to capture newsworthy moments in an instant. 

 


As a small token of our appreciation, we'd love to send you a SnapStream t-shirt. Thanks for being so awesome!

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Top 5 Social Media Sports Insiders

July 22 2016 by Sara Howard

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Instead of highlighting the top brands and atheletes in social media sports, we decided to highlight the top 5 sports social media practitioners. These are individuals that have gained a tremendous following because they're a driving force behind the future of sports media. They don't just want to be heard, they want to build a community, adding value to the industry by starting an actual conversation. We learn new things everytime we read one of their tweets... and we know you will too.

 


Jessica_Smith_-_Headshot.png1. Jessica Smith

Social Media Manager, Under Armour @WarJessEagle

Jessica Smith runs the social media content and community at Under Armour, and she's doing a stand up job.  She's a refreshing presence that values good content and authentic connections. She's dedicated to cataloging the biggest moments from the sports media industry. She runs her own blog, socialnsport.com that delves into the successes of the sports industry in social media. Her unique approach to social content is evidenced in an article she wrote called "Twitter Approaches to Rethink", it's a quick read that's well worth your time.

 

BrianMoritz-headshot.png2. Brian Moritz

Assistant Professor, SUNY Oswego  @bpmoritz

Brian is an incredibly accomplished journalist, with awards from some of the most presitgous academic associations and the brains behind sportsmediaguy.com...you can effectively say he's a sports journalism expert. He's another proponent of real content inside sports journalism, and not just "click-driven content-farm journalism". 

 

BrianBerger-headshot.png3. Brian Berger 

Host of @SBRadio and Founder/CEO of @SportsPRSummit

Brian Berger is a big name in the world of sports media, he's got plenty of experience and and business development and has done an amazing job creating an authentic and engaging sports media event in the Sports PR Summit. While invitation-only, the summit is aimed at bringing together senior level media members to engage in conversations, panel discussions and networking. It's definitely a major influencer in how the future of sports media will be played out.

 

AliciaJessop-headshot.png4. Alicia Jessop

Sports Law Professor, University of Miami @RulingSports

Started in 2011, her blog, rulingsports.com takes an alternative approach to reporting sports media, from detailing the business world of sports to fan insights, it looks at the world of good news in sports. In a time where news in general seems to report only on the bad, it offers a refreshing perspective. RulingSports covers more than play by plays or gossip, you can gain insights into sports technology, law and philanthropy, bringing a well-rounded approach to sports blogs.

 

sporttechie-headshot.png5. Taylor Bloom and Simon Ogus

Co-Founders, SportTechie @taylorhbloom @SimonOgus

Sports and technology combine as one in the form of SportTechie.com, which is increasingly becoming one of the go-to sources for the latest for innovative technology in sports. They put a lot of work into educating fans and industry professionals with interviews and in-depth analysis. Get industry insights, trending news or read product reviews that range from wearables and gear to mobile aps and digital media.


IN CONCLUSION:

There are so many more influencers in the sports media world, and that number is only growing. These are just a select few of our personal favorites, but stay tuned to hear more about who is breaking the mold.

 

Interested to know more about SnapStream's influence on the sports world? Check out some of our other articles.

SnapStream Gives the St. Louis Blues a Digital Boost

May 04 2016 by Eric Cohn

 

It’s time to put the old, laborious ways back on the bench, bring SnapStream into the game, and give fans the play-by-play posts they deserve. Social media connects fans with their favorite teams, but sharing action-packed visual content used to be a taxing process—long wait times, screenshots, numerous uploads and downloads.

 The St. Louis Blues Digital Team Use SnapStream During the NHL 2016 Post-Season

 

Matt Gardner, Senior Director of Promotions and Digital Strategy for the St. Louis Blues Hockey Club, oversees a team of digital strategists that are leading the NHL in providing a comprehensive digital experience for their fans. At the beginning of the 2015-2016 season, Matt and his team began looking for a digital solution that was as user friendly and as real-time as possible.

 

 

Their previous solution to share content to their main social media accounts, Facebook and Twitter, took too long to deliver content and required long waits and tedious edits. Clips of the Blues’ big goals, incredible passes and huge saves by their goalies could take up to 20 minutes to become available to the digital media team, if at all.

 

 

The Blues found their solution in SnapStream. SnapStream provides a real-time solution for the team, and allows them to clip any and all moments they want to share with their fans quickly and easily. “The turnaround time is now seconds,” said Gardner. “We see it live and we immediately jump into SnapStream. It goes straight to Twitter from there in seconds.” With SnapStream, goals can happen in real time, and a GIF, image, or video clip of the goal can be posted natively to social media, almost instantaneously.

 

 

Whether the Blues are at the Scottrade Center or on the road, all of the video feeds important to the digital media team are now accessible through SnapStream. Even the in-stadium feed can be accessed, allowing the digital team to share fun moments like the Kiss-Cam and overhead shots of the beginning puck drop.

As the Blues continue into the 2016 post-season, their innovative digital strategy team continues to recognize that SnapStream is a powerful tool for keeping their fans engaged on social media. Now, fans can feel the real-time rush of the game at their desk or on their mobile device. And, the digital team has more time to interact with fans, making them a larger part of the game and a vital part of the experience.

 

Click the link below to request a demo of the SnapStream Software.

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