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Category: Sports Marketing

On-Field Success Reflected In Ravens’ Social Media Presence

By Ed Moran, Front Office Sports 

With an NFL-best 14-2 record during the 2019 season, the Ravens have seen the team’s on-field success translate to its social media platforms.

“We tried to establish a look that fits and sets up our team brand, which is tough and gritty and hardworking,” said Ravens Director of Social Media Garrett Downing. “A blue-collar town, the underdog role – and so we try to have that come out in our content.”

While YouTube is the Ravens’ oldest social media page, dating back to January 2011, its growth in 2019 surpassed all of the team’s other platforms.

With YouTube placing more weight in subscriber numbers than follower counts, Baltimore has now more than 115,000 subscribers, increasing that number by 230% year-over-year. It has also seen over 20.5 million video views this season alone.

The wide variety of content that finds success on YouTube has helped the team on the platform, which the Ravens have leaned into.

While some people tune in to see press conferences featuring Jackson and Head Coach John Harbaugh, others want to relive the glory days and binge-watch videos starring Ravens legends like Ed Reed and Ray Lewis.

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Being The “Voice Of The Fans” Helps Ravens Reach One Million Instagram Followers

By: Ed Moran, Front Office Sports 

Baltimore Ravens Director of Social Media Garrett Downing remembers 2011 as a turning point for his department.

At the time, the Ravens’ social media accounts comprised of only Facebook and Twitter. Instagram was still relatively unknown to the masses – as was Snapchat.

Now with the conclusion of the last decade rapidly nearing, Baltimore has shown how its social media strategy has evolved. On October 24, it reached one million Instagram followers – a jump from roughly 734,000 in July 2017. Doing so makes the Ravens one of 18 NFL teams that have hit that mark on the Facebook-owned platform.

“One thing that we’re seeing is that [social media] is in many ways the biggest window of opportunity that we have to connect with our fans at a vast level,” Downing said. “Certainly there are games and there’s nothing that replaces the game atmosphere and being there on a Sunday and seeing and feeling a Lamar Jackson touchdown run.”

“But at the same time for people that aren’t able to be at the games – what they can do is they can follow us on social media,” Downing added. “They can stay connected with the team and we take seriously the importance of reaching, cultivating, and growing our fans on a day-to-day basis.”

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NFL Is King, Dominates TV Ratings

It’s a good time to be an NFL broadcast partner. Business is good.

Really good.

The NFL has been the kingpin of professional American sports viewership, and television ratings recently released by the league drive home that point. The NFL dominated the fall television calendar – and not just in comparison to sports.

Michael Phelps Takes Over @Ravens Twitter

Part of the fun with social media is that because everything is still so new, individuals and organizations have the freedom  with how they use it.

That’s exactly what we did last week with the @Ravens official Twitter account.

We held our first-ever Twitter takeover with Olympic great Michael Phelps, a Baltimore native and lifelong Ravens fan. We handed our account over to Phelps for the Ravens-Vikings game on Dec. 8, and allowed our fans to experience the game on social media through his commentary. 

ESPN’s new social media policy: Don’t break news on Twitter

ESPN gets flak for just about everything they do. Fair or not, the “Worldwide Leader” has their every move questioned, critiqued and analyzed, but that’s the price that comes with sitting at the top of the sports food chain.

The company’s updated social media policy is no different.

Soon after ESPN released its amended social networking policy for talent and reporters, the Twittersphere took the company to task–specifically for one guideline.

Banning Twitter is the easy way out for college coaches

Social media is part of college. The most prominent social media platform was invented at a college. By a college student. For college students.
It’s engrained in the college culture, and is a central means of communication for people in their late teens and early 20s.

The problem, however, is when those college kids using social media are high profile athletes who generate millions of dollars for their college institutions. Then things get a little more complicated.

To deal with the challenges of (student) athletes using social media–specifically Twitter–an increasingly popular strategy for college coaches has been to simply ban athletes from tweeting. It’s the easiest and most painless approach to control what information players put out there for public eyes to see.

Mark Cuban and allowing online media access

This is a response to a blog from Mark Cuban about the role of the online media in NBA locker rooms. I would suggest reading that before reading my response. Also, several people have already weighed in on this issue (here, here, here),  and I read a number of posts before publishing my own.

In 2011, the debate of web-only reporters vs. traditional media is dead. I thought.

Online news organizations have risen to the top of media world, and some of the most prominent, respected journalists are employed by companies that never print a newspaper or broadcast a daily news program.

Sports marketing done right: The Tribe Social Media Deck

Last week I had the chance to attend a Cleveland Indians game and sit in the new “Social Media Deck.” I wasn’t sure what to expect before I arrived because I had only heard a limited amount about the team’s new media project.

Basically, I knew I had free tickets. And that I should use social media during the game. I thought I could handle that.