October 21, 2014

Australian Open 2012 Embraces Social Media

Do you miss the days of Evonne Goolagong and wooden rackets? Do you have no idea what the first sentence meant but like watching tennis and regret that the Australian Open is half a world away and so difficult to catch much of the action live?

Well the 2012 edition of the famed tournament has stepped up in the digital and social media space and presents a number of methods in which a fan can either catch live action or at least get a steady stream of comments and updates, easily and from a desktop or a mobile device.

As noted in Mashable this could be the most advanced use of social media in a tournament and that there is a wide variety of tournament sponsored avenues in which fans can follow the action, as well as comment on the action as it occurs. This has been a growing tradition at the tournament and one that others sports events can learn from as a tool to heighten fan engagement.

The official site has a range of tools that can meet fans needs on a variety of levels. Want to see video replays of highlights, player interviews or of the most popular players in action? They have that. Want to listen on the radio; there is a feature for that when the matches are being broadcast live.

There is a core feature called Fan Central that brings input from fans into the game. It contains what is called a ‘Social Leaderboard’ that contains a pool of 40 players that were selected due to their popularity. Fans can tweet about one of them using a hashtag that relates to their name, or ‘like’ content on australianopen.com that includes them and with every tweet or like they get points to rise in a leaderboard. You are not limited to just following these 40 as the site enables you to follow any player, popular or not.

The most active tweeters will have the opportunity to become ‘Fanbassadors’ that will be recognized on the tournaments official web site.

But it is not just fan twitters that are available. The tournament has staffed @AustralianOpen, a 24 Twitter feed. For the less serious, or more I guess, there is a feature for predicting outcomes as well as one that enables you to put captions onto photos. You can even submit a short film about the ‘Tennis Essence’ with the winner being played at the tournament.

Of course you can follow on Facebook, but if that is too static there are mobile apps for both Apple iPhones and Android based smartphones. There will also be the more traditional information you would expect-draws, schedules, how to get tickets and an overall event guide.

Comments

  1. ESPN is also making some of its coverage available online: See here for more info.

  2. My tennis site http://www.OnCourtAdvantage.com was selected as one of the first group of 4 Australian Open FAN-bassadors. FAN-bassadors are chosen according to who provides the most useful analysis and commentary from different corners of the globe and who prove themselves by being particular active online and sharing a wealth of tennis knowledge!

    I am very proud that OnCourt Advantage was selected, especially seeing even more Australian Open fans can now find my daily Australian Open coverage via the AO fan centre section of the AO website.

    I have always loved the Australian Open especially because the Australian Open keeps striving to be the best by looking for ways to do more things and do things even better.

    I think digital and social engagement is REALLY important for sporting events, especially a massive international event like the Australian Open. To “include” the tennis public in as many ways as possible, especially for the market that it is hard to engage due to the big time zone differential, helps to bridge the gap between the famous players, huge event and the elitist side of tennis.

    More importantly, it shows a commitment to give back and/or provide more to the tennis consumers, who want to feel as much a part of the event as they can through the broad spectrum of those attending daily, TV audience, website visitors (following the live score board), via iPhone apps, staying glued to the live score tracker on the Australian Open website and Twitter or Facebook whether they are going to be attending this year or not.

    At the end of the day promoting tennis so more and more people play, learn, compete, watch, consume and attend the tennis is the key!

    This year will be the best Australian Open yet!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] See the original article here: Australian Open 2012 Embraces Social Media – Mobile Sports Report [...]

  2. [...] digital increase makes sense, especially among a U.S. audience since the Australian Open is one of those U.S. prime-time challenged events, taking place in the wee hours of our mornings [...]

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