The @AFL rose above the pack again in the 2014 season, with crowds the biggest in years, TV ratings on the up and Twitter activity off the charts, including the biggest Grand Final day ever on Twitter as @HawthornFC dominated the @SydneySwans!
Footy fans harnessed the live, public and conversational power of Twitter to get closer to the action than ever before, connecting with other fans, players, coaches and officials in real-time.
These are some of the biggest numbers we have ever seen in Australian sport and are testament to the amazing work done by the digital and editorial team at AFL Media.
AFL Social Media Manager, Tyson Densley, said, ”The 2014 season was enormous for AFL on Twitter, and the off-season is just as fast-paced. As more of our fans join the platform for great videos, pics and the latest news, our engagement continues to rise and we love the instant feedback and interaction with fans.”
While smashing it on Twitter, the AFL have also seen huge crowds and TV ratings. With almost 7 million fans attending games in 2014 and huge television audiences (108.7 million watched the 198 matches of the 2014 home and away season on Channel 7 and Foxtel).
This combination of massive attendances, TV ratings and Twitter engagement highlights the ability of the AFL to meet the new needs of increasingly mobile fans — whenever and wherever.
Twitter is the ultimate companion to the fans’ game day experience, whether watching the game on TV, sitting in the stadium with 75,000 passionate fans or out-and-about on the move.
Following in the footsteps of the NBA and NFL, the AFL were among the first sporting codes in the country to provide fans instant replays directly via Twitter. Utilising Twitter’s SnappyTV technology, they could Tweet video highlights on game day within minutes, available to fans with only one tap.
This touching moment from the #AFLGF was on Twitter moments after happening on the Grand Final stage:
Here’s @HawthornFC’s joyous celebrations after the final siren
While understanding the value of video to fans on Twitter, the AFL also have one of the best game day photo strategies in the country. The @AFLPhotos team provide amazing photos for fans directly on Twitter, only moments after taking the snaps!
During the AFL’s night of nights, they used the Twitter Vine360 Booth on the #Brownlow Red Carpet. To date we’ve seen almost 1 million views (loops) of the videos, which is the largest number of Vine360 Booth views in Australia since the technology was introduced!
The @AFL have certainly put on a Twitter masterclass across the 2014 season. If you’re looking for inspiration for your Twitter strategy their account is a great place to start:
“We use Twitter to bring fans closer to the game, and along with the great Tweets from all of our clubs, players and even coaches, fans are able to enjoy a behind-the-scenes look into the happenings across the league every day. We look forward to building on this with some exciting new integrations with Twitter in the lead-up to the next season,” Densley said.
Here are a few of our favourite AFL tweets from across the 2014 season that showcase their comprehensive, diverse and effective Twitter strategy:
So with the footy season almost behind us, it’s time for fans to start thinking about the massive Summer of Sport ahead. The @ALeague kicks off next weekend and it’s time for us to celebrate our #BeautifulGame, the #SpringRacing Carnival is hurtling down the main straight, @CricketAUS are ready and raring to go and our love affair of all things @AustralianOpen will continue early next year…. not to mention the massive @CricketWorldCup on home soil in February.
Twitter… and sport… never sleeps in this country. Bring it on!