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UT NEWS & Updates

NFL & Social Media Integration – Part 2

Posted by Team UT on November 1st, 2012   Interactive, Sports Marketing

With the new season halfway over, we take another audit of the NFL to see how the league and teams are promoting and integrating social media on their websites.

Just like our initial study the focus of this audit is strictly on the league and team websites: how they promote and integrate social media on the website. All findings are based on research of team sites on October 29-31, 2012.

 

 

NFL.com
• Still no universal social media icon links.
• Universal “Fans” drop down includes links for Facebook and Twitter (NFL account) – Strangely they include NFL on Facebook & Like NFL.com, but they both go to the same link so why duplicate it? They do the same thing for Twitter. They have added team listings, but again this is all done through the dropdown nav – it would make more sense to include this information in an overall SM hub.
• The NFL has a Pinterest account, but you wouldn’t know it from their website, or by going to Pinterest.com/NFL. Their account is actually /NFLOfficial, and they’re not doing a lot with it.
• They appear to have a Tumblr account (NFL.tumblr.com), but again you wouldn’t know it from their website.

 

Team Key Findings

Total # of SM Channels Integrated:
In May the teams had 100, and now they’ve moved up to 126.

Team Activation by Channel:
• Twitter – 32
• Facebook – 32
• Google+ – 17
• Pinterest – 14
• Foursquare –11
• Instagram – 10
• YouTube – 5
• Flickr – 2
• GetGlue – 1
• Tout – 1
• Tumblr – 1

Channel with Biggest Integration Jump:
Pinterest went from 5 to 14, and Instagram went from 1 to 10.

Team with Biggest Integration Jump:
Arizona Cardinals went from 2 to 6 – adding YouTube, Google+, Pinterest and Instagram.

Teams Promoting the Most Activations:
• 7 – San Diego
• 6 – Arizona, Carolina, Kansas City, Philadelphia, New England, St. Louis
• 5 – Atlanta, Dallas, Houston, Pittsburgh, San Francisco, Washington

 

Updated Best Practices:

Promote Your Channels
Glad to see the teams have realized the importance of actually promoting their channels on the website as evidence of 26 new promotions, but they’re still not there. From our Pinterest research we know that 26 teams have active accounts, yet only 14 teams promoted having the channel on their team site.

Universal Icon Links
The Ravens, Bills, and Redskins added universal social media icon links on their websites, bringing the total to 28 teams. Time for the Bears, Broncos, Lions and Packers to join the list.

Social Media Navigation
Congrats to the St. Louis Rams becoming the first NFL team to include a social media-related naming scheme in their main navigation with “Social”.  Below is an update on other teams that included a sub-link naming scheme tied to social media (Blue= new additions):

• Bills = Fans | Social Media
• Browns = Fans & Kids | Online Communities
• Cardinals = Fan Zone | Cardinals Social Media
• Colts = FanZone |More Colts Social
• Eagles = Fans | Social
• Falcons = Fan Experience | Social
• Falcons = Fan Experience | Social Media Events
• Giants = Fan Zone | Social Media Initiatives
• Jets = FanZone | Connect with the Jets
• Lions = News | Social Media
• Packers = Fan Zone | Social Networks
• Panthers = FanZone | Social Media
• Patriots = Fan Zone | Social Media
• Texans = News | Social Hub

Social Media Hub
In our post from May, we noted in the sports team category very soon that if you don’t have a social media hub on your website, then you are clearly behind the game. At the time no team had attempted to integrate one, and amazingly we still found no semblance of a true hub. Luckily we’ve been talking to a few teams and we’ll be debuting the first true social content hub in the NFL very soon.

Atlanta Falcons – Tickets Twitter Account
http://www.atlantafalcons.com
• On their Home Page, the Falcons have a “Ticket Central” area, and they’ve included a Tweet feed from their Ticket Office. Like the initiative in setting up a Ticketing account, and would like to see them also integrate it within their specific Tickets section on the website.

Arizona Cardinals – Google+ Hangouts Promotion
http://www.azcardinals.com/hangouts.html
• Under their Fan Zone main tab, the Cardinals include a “Google+ Hangouts” sub-link, the first NFL team to promote Hangouts in this way. Great job in being a first mover with that initiative, but they only have one Hangout video, and it’s from July 31st. Definitely like to see this more frequently updated, and even posting a schedule for future Hangouts.
• The Packers also did a good job promoting a Hangout with Jordy Nelson on their site scheduled for November 1st, and they’ve done previous ones with Clay Matthews (June 6) and Aaron Rodgers (August 28), but they’re missing an opportunity to better showcase this great fan feature by not having a nav sub-link to list them all in one place.

Chicago Bears – @ChiBearsPromos
http://www.chicagobears.com/ (bottom of page)
• I included this because it provides a good talking point on whether it makes sense to setup a separate Promos account or keep this type of content on your main Team account. The Bears callout includes the following description “For Player Appearances, Contests, Giveaways And More!”, and within their Fan Zone section they also include a feed from the account.

Houston Texans – FanChatter
http://www.houstontexans.com/fan-zone/social-media.html
• Under the News main tab, the Texans have included a sub-link “Social Hub” that goes to a page showcasing a FanChatter module. Feed categories include: Chatter, Matchup, Team, Media, and Pics.
• Couple thoughts on this: It’s ok to include this in the News category, but would also expect to see it in the Fan Zone section; Under the “Social Hub” umbrella would be better to do an actual SM Hub – Listing of all SM accounts, Feeds from all channels, area for SM-related promos/news, etc; Good talking point is value of social media content from fans vs. team/players – Anaheim Ducks recently did a poll on what “What would you like to see MORE of on the Ducks website?”  and the option for “Social media content from fans” was in last at 4.55% (more details).

Indianapolis Colts – Colts Stampede Rewards Program
http://www.colts.com/fanzone/coltsstampede.html
• The Colts appear to be one of the first NFL teams to integrate a social rewards program with “Colts Stampede” (Rams also have “Top Fan Rewards“). The only problem is its relatively hidden on their site. Under the Fan Zone main tab they include a sub-link for “More Colts Social…” and it’s one of the links there along with Pinterest and Instagram. I would definitely recommend having a individual sub-link for Social Rewards, or better yet integrate a true SM Hub and promote the heck out of it.

New York Giants – Social Media Initiatives 
http://www.giants.com
• Under the Fan Zone main tab, the Giants include a sub-link for “Social Media Initiatives” that includes links for: Virtual Super Bowl Ring, and 9/11 Fan Mosaic. Props to the Giants for promoting  their efforts, what would be an even better showcase would be to again have a true SM Hub and feature these programs front and center.

Philadelphia Eagles – Facebook Cover Downloads
http://www.philadelphiaeagles.com/fanzone/facebook-covers.html
• Following the lead of the Cardinals, Vikings and Saints, the Eagles include Facebook Cover downloads on their site with 17 options to choose from.

St. Louis Rams – Social Media Activation
http://www.stlouisrams.com
• Congrats again to the Rams on being the first NFL team to include a social-media related naming scheme in their main nav with the “Social” tab. The tab includes sub-links for: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Mobli, Google+, Social Media Showdown, Top Fan Rewards, Fan of the Game, Rams United Fan Map, Rams Heat Map, Rams Cam, Fisher  Stache, and Interactive Schedule.
• The main Social page is a bit of a letdown, with an icon list of links. Again would be a great opportunity to integrate a true SM hub to showcase their accounts and SM initiatives.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers – myphoto Buc-it
http://www.buccaneers.com/bucs-fans/index.html
• On the Bucs Fans main page, they include a callout myphoto Buc-it for fans to submit their photos to Bucs’ Facebook page.


Team Activation Overviews (Items in Blue note updates/changes to original overviews from initial post)

Atlanta Falcons:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest
• Includes top header universal icon links for Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. – removed YouTube icon
• Bottom universal footer nav under “Connections” includes links for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. – remove YouTube
• Home page includes a tabbed module that includes a Twitter feed. Permanent Official Twitter Feed module, includes links for Cheerleaders, Players, Staff
• Home page includes Ticket Central area, and Tweet feed from the @AFTicketOffice account
• Under “News” main tab includes a Social Media header with links for: Twitter (Team, their digital content writer, news writer, All Falcons on Twitter), and Facebook. Added Google+, Pinterest, and Connect with the Falcons links.
• Under “Schedules” main tab includes a Social Media Events header with a link for Facebook Events with 4 game listings (links out to FB).
• Connect with the Falcons page that is listed as a sub-link under Fan Experience includes: Description and link for Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Page also includes a “Social Media” sub-nav button that includes same links as News. No mention of Google+ or Pinterest
• Under “Fan Experience” main tab includes a header for Social that has links for Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. YouTube removed, added Google+, Pinterest, Connect with the Falcons

Arizona Cardinals:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Goolge+, Pinterest, Instagram
• Includes top header universal icon links for Facebook and Twitter. Google+ added
• Under “Fan Zone” main tab includes a sub-link for Cardinals Social Media
• Under “Fan Zone” main tab include a sub-link for Facebook Covers & Google+ Hangouts (links to page with one video from July 31st.)
• Fan Zone page includes a Facebook graphical callout, and a Facebook Like callout. Goolge+, Instagram, Pinterest, YouTube added.

Baltimore Ravens:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook
• News main tab includes sub-links for Facebook and Twitter.

Buffalo Bills:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest
• No universal icon links – added Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest
• Home page includes Twitter feed and Facebook Like callout. FB removed

Carolina Panthers:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, 4square, GetGlue
• Sir Purr page includes a Facebook callout and Twitter Feed

Chicago Bears:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook
• HP includes a Facebook Like callout.
• HP includes a @ChiBearsPromos callout
• Fan Zone page includes callouts for Facebook, Twitter (Promotions & Team accounts). Includes Promos acct Twitter feed

Cincinnati Bengals:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook
• Home page includes Twitter feed and Facebook Like callout. FB callout has been removed

Cleveland Browns:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram
• Includes top header universal icon links for Facebook and Twitter. Added Pinterest
• Fans page includes graphic callout for Twitter and Facebook. Added Pinterest and Instagram
• Online Communities sub-link includes callouts/links to Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram.

Dallas Cowboys:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Foursquare
• Facebook page includes Team and Cowboys Lunch Break Facebook Like Callouts (surprised they don’t include the Cheerleaders account here – they do on DallasCowboyCheerleaders.com, but no mention of it throughout the main team site.) FB links directly out now only to Team acct.
• Fan Home page includes “Cowboys Connections” callout with icons for Facebook, Twitter, Foursquare, Google+, Pinterest. Includes FB Like callout, and Cowboys Chatter Twitter feed.
• Twitter page lists 5 account listings and option to view all or individual in a Feed. Option on Feed has been removed.

Denver Broncos:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram
• Home page includes a top “Get Connected” bar with links for Twitter (Team, John Elway, Broncos Promos) and Facebook (Team, Cheerleaders), Pinterest and Instagram.
• Home Page also includes a Facebook graphical callout.
• Multimedia page includes callout graphics for Facebook and Twitter. Removed

Detroit Lions:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook, Instagram
• Home page includes a row callout icon links for Facebook, Twitter, Instagram
• Home page includes Twitter feeds for Lions Insider and Team accounts. Changed to “Lions on Twitter” with three listings and one tweet areas
• Home page includes tabbed module with a Tweets link that shows “The Lions Insider” feed. removed
• Under “News” main tab includes a sub-link for Social Media – goes to page with account listings: Facebook (Team, Ford Field, Youth Football), Twitter (Team, Coach Schwartz, added 4 accts), and an Instagram icon & callout.
• News and Fan Zone page include: Facebook Like callout, Twitter feeds for the Team and Players, Coaches & More. Only Fan Zone page

Green Bay Packers:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook, Google+
• Home page includes a Twitter feed
• Right column callout ad box promotes a Google+ Hangout with Jordy Nelson

Houston Texans:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Foursquare
• Includes universal icon links for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Foursquare
• Some internal pages include a callout for “Social Media” along the right ad column. Removed
• Social Networking page includes Twitter and Facebook account listings (weak display). Removed
• Under “News” main tab includes sub-link for Social Hub that showcases a FanChatter module that includes the following Twitter category feeds: Chatter, Matchup, Team , Media, Pics

Indianapolis Colts:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram
• Under “Fan Zone” main tab includes sub-link for “Colts Social Networks”, and a graphical callout for Facebook and Twitter. Removed
• Under “Fan Zone” main tab includes sub-links for Facebook, Twitter, More Colts Social..
• Facebook & Twitter subs feature rollover of accts (4 &3). ‘All Colts on Twitter’ links goes to page of listings with one tweet feeds, also main promotion of Jim Irsay on Twitter.
• More Colts Social… sub includes rollovers for Colts Stampede, Pinterest and Instagram. Hidden!
• Colts Stampede is a “Social Toaster” module rewards program. Hidden!
• From Colts Social Networks sub-link includes Facebook external link and Twitter link going to an account list page that also includes a one tweet feed. Removed
• Cheerleaders main page includes Facebook activity feed module for their account.

Jacksonville Jaguars:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook, Foursquare
• Home page includes a graphical callout for the Roar that shows icons for Facebook and Twitter, but clicks through to their Facebook page. (attention to detail). Icons removed, but link correct.
• Fan Zone page includes Twitter feed, and graphical callout for Facebook & Twitter. Callout removed
• Under “Cheerleaders” main tab includes same Roar graphical callout on home page. – Roar FB & Twitter subs
• Under Everbank Field main tab includes sub-link for Facebook acct.

Kansas City Chiefs:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare
• Does not include universal icon links. Includes universal links for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare.
• Includes universal text links for Twitter, Facebook, Google+ under “Hot Topics” row – leads us to believe this could change. Removed
• Fan Zone main page includes Twitter Feed

Miami Dolphins:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook, Google+
• Home page includes Fan Poll tied to Facebook & Buddy Media
• Team page includes a “Dolphins on Twitter” callout (lists 3 players). Removed

Minnesota Vikings:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook
• Splash page includes Twitter and Facebook icons
• Home page includes Facebook Like callout.

New England Patriots:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare
• Include universal icon links for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, and Pinterest. Instagram, Pinterest
• Cheerleaders main page includes callouts for their accounts on Facebook and Pinterest – no mention of these in the SM page?

New Orleans Saints:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook
• No changes

New York Giants:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook, Google+
• Universal top “Spotlight” bar (very small) includes text links for Facebook, Twitter, Google+. Removed
• Home page includes a Facebook Like callout. Removed
• Home page includes Facebook, Twitter icon links within side callout.
• Some internal pages include the HP Facebook Like callout in the right ad column. Removed
• Some internal pages include a graphical callout for Twitter in the right ad column. Removed
• Several main nav tabs include a graphical callout for Twitter and Facebook in the dropdown. Changed to Join the Online Community box and also on some internal pages.
• Under “Fan Zone” main tab includes a sub-link for Giants on Twitter – goes to a page that allows you to auto-follow Giants players and send out an outdated Tweet about leading up to the Super Bowl. http://www.giants.com/assets/standalone/connect/default.html Removed.
• Under “Fan Zone” main tab includes sub-link for Social Media Initiatives – which includes rollover for: Virtual Super Bowl Ring, and 9/11 Fan Mosaic
• Fan Zone page sub-nav adds Giants Google+ link.

New York Jets:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook
• Community page includes two graphical callouts for Facebook. Removed
• Fan Zone page includes callouts for Twitter and Facebook; feeds for both; and a callout for Connect with the Jets which is related to Twitter listings, but the page would never open each time we tried it. http://twitter.newyorkjets.com/ – Kids promo with Jetblue
• Connect with the Jets (left nav and sub-link) page duplicated the items from the Fan Zone page.

Oakland Raiders:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook
• Includes top universal icon links for Facebook and Twitter. Removed
• Footer Fans header includes links for Facebook and Twitter
• Includes a universal left side Facebook Like rollover graphic. Removed
• Home page includes a Twitter graphical callout Removed; Facebook & Twitter callouts under “Stay Connected” module; and a Twitter feed.
• Some internal pages include the HP Twitter graphical callout along the right ad column. Feed
• Fans page includes HP Twitter & Facebook graphical rotating callouts, Facebook Like callout, and callouts for Facebook & Twitter under “Fan Features” module.

Philadelphia Eagles:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram, Foursquare
• Includes top universal icon links for Facebook and Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, Instagram– also includes +1 button (removed), and Meetup button.
• Under “Fans” main tab includes a sub-link for Social – 16th out of 19 placement. 15 out of 18
• Under “Fans” main tab includes a sub-link for Downloads which has a rollover for Cover Photos. Goes to page with information and 17 options.
• Fans page includes graphical callouts for Twitter and Facebook – includes Get Social With Us rotation
• Social page includes: Twitter fee; graphical callout for Facebook; Twitter account listings; links for Google+, Pinterest, Foursquare, and Instagram (feed)

Pittsburgh Steelers:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Pinterest, Foursquare
• Includes top universal icon links for Twitter and Facebook. Removed
• Home page includes left column icon links: Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Pinterest, Foursquare

St. Louis Rams:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Pinterest, Instagram
• Home page includes a “Follow the Rams” graphical callout with icons for Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, and Google+. Removed
• Under “Fans” main tab includes a sub-link for Rams on YouTube.
• Cheerleader page includes a Facebook Like callout (Team). Removed
• Under “Social” main tab (9 of 10), includes sub-links for: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, YouTube, Google+, Mobli, Rams Cam, Top Fan Rewards, Social Media Showdown, Fan of the Game, Rams United Fan Map, Interactive Schedule
• Social main page includes channel links directory, but no information on the other sub-links.
• Rams Cam – allows you to tag yourself in a Stadium panoramic shot via Facebook
• Top Fan Rewards – ties into an app on Facebook *
• Social Media Showdown – goes to a Facebook app, unable to open in Chrome or IE. *
• Fan of the Game – allows you to upload photos, also features Instagram feed, and #Rams feed. *
• Rams United Fan Map – Facebook app where you upload a photo and your location to put a flag on a map.*
• Interactive Schedule – Facebook app shows a schedule, and allows you to enter comments, callouts for Tickets & Fan Packages which link out (in Chrome doesn’t go past Week 4)*
• *Movement Strategy app

San Diego Chargers:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Google+, Foursquare, Tumblr, Flickr
• Fan Zone page includes Twitter graphical callout, Twitter Feed, and Facebook like callout.

San Francisco 49ers:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram, Tout
• Includes top header universal ad spot for Twitter graphic (Feel this could change?). Removed
• Home page includes “49ers on Instagram” feed with 9 photos, and a Also On: callout with icons for Facebook, Twitter, Tout and YouTube.
• Fans Only page includes Twitter Feed, Tout Feed, Facebook Like callout, and a “Connect With The 49ers” module with icon links and short descriptions for Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Tout and YouTube.
• Gold Rush page includes a Tout feed. Removed
• Individual Rush pages include a GoldRush twitter Feed.

Seattle Seahawks:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook
• Home page includes a huge Facebook Like callout and Twitter feed. Remove Twitter, FB smaller
• Sea Gals page includes a graphical callout for Twitter (their account). Removed now includes top FB and Twitter icon links

Tampa Bay Buccaneers:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook
• Home page includes a Twitter feed.
• Bucs Fans page includes a graphical callout for Twitter and Facebook, and a myphoto Buc-it callout to submit photos to their Facebook page.

Tennessee Titans:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Foursquare
• No changes

Washington Redskins:
SM Channels: Twitter, Facebook, Google+, Foursquare, Flickr
Does include universal icon links. (Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Foursquare)
• Home page includes a left side list of icon links for Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Foursquare – this disappears on internal pages. Removed
• Home page includes a graphical callout for Facebook. Removed
• Cheerleaders main page includes their Twitter account feed.
• Fan Zone page includes callouts for Twitter (Removed), Facebook (Removed), Twackle (Removed); Facebook Like callout, and Twitter feed.

 

*For inquiries on how UnCommon Thinking can help improve your team’s social media integration strategy please contact us at info@uncommonthinking.com

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