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February 28, 2018

Scrolling, Swiping and Scoring: Key Moments in Sports on Instagram

BY: Instagram Business Team

San Francisco, CA

Much like sports, Instagram continues to connect and inspire the world in new and exciting ways. Whether in feed or stories, Instagram evokes a feeling of passion and community unlike anywhere else–especially during the biggest moments of the year. At this year's Super Bowl for instance, 53 million people from around the globe were on Instagram following the game, sharing their predictions and commentating on the night's most memorable plays. As a result, these conversations generated 198 million interactions on Instagram worldwide.1

Instagram Gets Sports Fans Closer

With over 800 million active accounts on Instagram around the globe, 243 million of which identify as belonging to sports fans,2 Instagram is the go-to platform for people to connect with their favorite players, teams and other fans. It's become a trusted source for breaking news, match day highlights and exclusive video, as well as offering insider access to the personal sides of the most popular athletes in the world. In fact, 54% of sports fans surveyed on Instagram say they use it as a window into the lifestyles of their favorite teams and players.3 And advertisers have capitalized on this by partnering with athletes and incorporating them into their campaigns to increase brand awareness.

On average, sports fans on Instagram follow 10 sports-related accounts, eight of which typically belong to individual athletes.
Instagram data, Jun 2017
The Big Match on the Small Screen

What makes Instagram so unique, is that it has an active global community of people who make connections across the world by sharing what they are passionate about. One of the biggest of those passions is sports—especially winter sports. At this year's winter games in South Korea, people from all over the world used Instagram to share their favorite moments from over the past few weeks of competition. Whether from the grandstands or at home, sports fans tuned in from their mobile devices to experience this year's winter games on Instagram in a big way.

90% of people in the US use a mobile device whilst they’re watching sports, and 59% of those people are also engaging with social media at the same time.
Qualtrics, ‘Live Events’ (Facebook-commissioned study of 5,040 people aged 18–65 in the US), Mar 2017

And that's because the viewing habits of sports fans continue to change and evolve, especially over the past four years. This is largely due to a growing desire for authenticity from fans and the vast improvements in the quality of mobile video streaming. People have quickly grown to expect great video content in their Instagram feeds, and this is especially true for sports. There is no other form of entertainment that lends itself so readily to video. Sports fans are proving this by viewing and sharing a staggering amount of video—generating over 250K video uploads from 200 countries and watching twice the amount of videos than non-sports fans do.4

Give Sports Fans What They Want

Sports fans on Instagram love to connect with their favorite brands. In fact, 53% of them on Instagram will follow brands that they like on social media5—giving advertisers a golden opportunity to tell their story. By creating authentic, real time content that immerses and invites sports enthusiasts into their worlds, brands on Instagram like Trident (@tridentgum) and Miller Lite (@millerlite) were able to stand out at the winter games in South Korea and connect with its passionate fans in fresh, exciting ways.

For the creative idea we wanted to leverage the current communication “Bursting with Flavor” and put it into a context that works with competitive winter sports. We wanted it to still tie back to the brand and the other communications that were recently in market but leverage the excitement and conversations around winter sports. We choose Instagram because Facebook and Instagram are the core mass awareness drivers to ensure we get the scale to drive reach across the plan. Additionally, using the hybrid buying approach allows us to balance reach and efficiencies.
Ariel Terrell, Brand Manager, Trident
A gold medal post on Instagram was the perfect fit for Miller Lite. Not only did it touch on a culturally relevant moment for our drinkers, but it’s a relevant message for our brand given that Miller Lite is a two-time gold medal winning beer at the Great American Beer Fest.
Sheryl Rosa, Director of Activation, Miller Lite
Outside The Lines

Whether at the winter games in South Korea or the upcoming soccer tournament in Russia, sports fans from all over the globe come to Instagram every day to share their passions with friends, family and others. Because of this, more and more businesses are finding it the ideal place to connect with our unique community and inspire action.

To see how other brands like Under Armour (@underarmour), Gatorade (@gatorade) and the LA Kings (@lakings) use Instagram to create captivating content that drives real business results, check out their success stories here.

BY: Instagram Business Team

San Francisco, CA