Discover how to master audience engagement through online sports events with these simple and powerful ideas that you can apply now.
March 28, 2022
Online events ideas for sports publishers are fast becoming one of the best ways to keep website audiences engaged. Use these online event ideas for inspiration – pick one or two that fit your team’s capabilities.
Major sports publishers have long published stories and coverage before major games and competitions. For example, pre-game coverage for the Super Bowl is a staple of football coverage. To grow audience engagement, plan to offer pre-game online events.
Here are two ways to plan your pre-game online events:
Reach out to well-known players and interview them live during the online events. If a live interview is unworkable, you can pre-record an interview.
The sports world is filled with data – spend some time with resources like Sports Reference or FiveThirtyEight. Once you have the data, create infographics to make that data exciting with fans. For example, you could highlight the players with the best scoring record and check if they are close to setting a record.
In the United States, legal sports betting is booming since a 2018 Supreme Court decision allowed states to legalize sports betting. With millions of dollars changing hands, sports fans are eager for insights to improve their odds.
Building an online event around sports betting can be simple – organize a panel discussion with a question and answer session. For example, you might invite a few sports betting experts like Larry Gibbs, an expert on the sports betting field, or Alex Kane, CEO of a sports trading app.
Tip: consider charging a fee or limiting access to paying subscribers only to make this online event more exclusive.
Many people are attracted to professional sports because it is exciting to watch elite athletes perform. Imagine if you could pull back the curtain on how famous athletes achieve success. That’s the essence of this ‘behind the scenes’ online events concept.
A sports publisher lets fans into their favorite athletes’ locker rooms and gyms with this event. You could run the concept of this online event multiple times for each sport. For example, you might have a session on how athletes like Olympic runner Colleen Quigley and Michael Jordan used meditation to improve their performance.
Tip: Use Arena CDP to gather data on your attendees as they participate in these events. If you find that your audience is much more engaged in basketball content or specific players, you can use that insight to create better events in the future.
The sports industry produces billions of dollars in revenue each year. Some parts of your audience may be curious to learn more about the intricacies of the business. This online event idea might explore new trends like NCAA athletes earning money, contract negotiations, and the rise of sports-themed startups.
Queen’s University in Canada recently organized a virtual event dedicated to the business of sports in February 2022. The Queen’s event illustrates how bringing together a varied group of panelists – lawyers, executives, and entrepreneurs – can create an exciting event.
The right equipment can make a significant difference in your sports performance. That’s why elite cyclists and golfers often spend thousands of dollars to get the best equipment. Sports fans also want to know about the latest and greatest in equipment.
This online event idea for sports publishers also offers great monetization opportunities. For example, you can reach out to manufacturers and retailers to request free products to review. Also, you might sell sponsorship spots in the section.
To make a virtual gear event compelling, plan to demonstrate a variety of gear at different price points. For example, you might have a virtual event dedicated to golf clubs before the golf season. The event could feature entry-level golf clubs, intermediate equipment, and pro-level equipment.
Tip: Make sure you use Arena Live Chat to gather questions from your audience about the equipment you’re demonstrating.
Dedicated sports fans can’t get enough when a championship game is on! Think about the world series in baseball – the event attracted over 11 million viewers in 2021. That intense level of interest creates an opportunity for sports publishers to create online events.
Running a live blog during a major sporting event is easier when you prepare in advance. Use these ideas to prepare a few blog posts in advance. With advanced preparation, online events ideas for sports like live blogging become less stressful. Fox Spots Australia is doing a great job using Live Blog and Live Chat during its online coverage, averaging over 500 monthly live events.
When a team misses a key player due to an injury, penalty, or other reason, it can dramatically impact the outcome. Casual sports fans may not track such details closely, so your live blog can remind them of these details as the game gets started.
Has the team recently recruited or traded players? If so, your audience wants to know more about the new player. Prepare notes about the new player’s key statistics and background.
Controversial decisions sometimes play a significant role in sports. In early 2022, the Cincinnati Bengals won their first playoff victory in decades thanks to a whistle error. If your online events involve the Bengals or their opponents – the Las Vegas Raiders – it would be wise to have commentary prepared about this mistake and its implications.
Running your live blog smoothly helps to use the right tool. Arena Live Blog is a light blogging platform that can be installed in minutes. Arena also makes it easy to discover and feature social media content – like tweets by players – during your online event.
Sports publishers tell us they’re worried about relying too much on Facebook, YouTube, and other platforms to execute their online events ideas for sports.
When you rely on these platforms, your audience can easily get distracted by notifications and disengage. The solution is simple – end your dependence on those platforms and create your own online events platform. Get started today by using Arena’s free live events ebook.