The 49ers create buzz with #FortyViners

By Andrew Barge
Friday, 12 September 2014

The San Francisco @49ers head into the 2014 NFL season with plenty of exciting news: they return to the field after a third straight NFC Conference Championship appearance and will officially introduce their new home, @LevisStadium, this Sunday. And yet with so much attention-grabbing news, what has fans buzzing? The team Vine account.

Specifically, the #FortyViners program.

The idea

Aiming to provide a spark to their traditional social coverage, the @49ers social media team saw an opportunity on Vine. They decided the short videos could offer authentic and humorous content to fans in a uniquely brief, sharable format.

By partnering with @vineapp artists Ian Padgham and Charlie Love and bringing on stadium namesake Levi’s as the sponsor, the #FortyViners concept was born.

The team officially launched the Vine campaign on August 7, the day @49ers Coach John Harbaugh faced his brother Jim in a preseason game:

The content

Each week, the creative team creates entertaining Vines that cover topics from team news and preseason matchups to views of the new stadium and game day experience:

The results

The 49ers’ creative commitment to Vine has already paid big dividends. A key metric for Vine is loop counts, which reflect the number of times a video has looped, including on Vine and in embeds across the web. Before the #FortyViners program, the @49ers (which have produced Vines regularly since April 2013) garnered 5.5 million total loops.

Since this Vine campaign began, that number has ballooned to 8.2 million – nearly a 50% increase in less than one month!

Besides positive engagement, the #FortyViners’ campaign has also earned national media coverage. Forbes recently profiled the @49ers’ efforts on Vine, and Yahoo! Sports called the account “unreal” in reaction to their launch. ESPN Business Reporter Darren Rovell (@darrenrovell) noticed too:

The lessons

Success from #FortyViners offers several lessons for other teams, leagues and brands looking to break out on Vine:

  • Be specific: Vine is its own medium and requires a unique creative approach. Be sure to give the platform the strategic attention it deserves.
  • Be creative: Think about ways Vine can offer a different perspective on familiar territory – a preseason matchup or stadium perspective – and focus on that. Partnering with Vine artists or other resources can help.
  • Be yourself: As with Twitter or another social platform, the use of Vine can add a rich dimension to your brand. Whether you aim to be light-hearted or dramatic, make sure these short videos reflect the personality you want fans to understand.