How to make your fans go crazy with personalized video marketing in sports

For a true sports fan, there’s literally nothing that will stand between them and an important game. Why? Well, it’s because sports fandom is much more than just entertainment or a fun way to pass the time. It speaks to a deeply rooted human need for belonging to a bigger group and having a shared interest or passion. This is exactly why personalized video marketing in sports leads to outstanding results.

Similar to the value it brings to the events industry, personalized video marketing in sports can help you engage fans on a game-to-game basis. In this realm, loyalty is everything and people are incredibly committed to watching games and supporting their teams behind their screens, whether they are watching it on their smartphones, laptops, or TVs.Here’s what it’s all about.

personalized video marketing in sports

Personalized video marketing in sports is still underutilized

Before I explain the value of personalized video marketing in sports, I’d like to take a minute to discuss two things:

  • The psychological aspects of sports fandom
  • The shocking fact how personalized video marketing in sports is still not mainstream

Anyone who’s ever been to a sports game knows there is a sacred connection between a huge number of fans and their beloved teams. It takes just a few individual cheers to trigger an instant response from the entire crowd in the stadium. Before you know it, thousands of people are perfectly in sync, chanting in unison and stomping their feet in joint support of their team.

people wanting personalized video marketing in sports

Another interesting fact revolves around loyalty in sports. Let’s take an extreme example. This year’s Super Bowl was watched by over 11 million people across 6 million devices. People were glued to their screens. True fans wouldn’t miss it for the world. Because of this shared passion and the collective identity that’s reinforced during the game, fans have the tendency to say "WE won" after their team has won. That’s how personal and deep the relationship and loyalty are.

It’s intriguing that the human brain that’s watching the game is also the “playing brain”, meaning it’s impossible not to feel like you’re the one who’s on the field. Scientists explain that this is due to the mirroring neurons which allow us to connect to someone’s movements even if we’re not directly communicating with them.

My point? Bearing all of the above in mind, it’s super strange to me how personalized video marketing in sports is still not mainstream. People are already extremely excited about sports and willing to pay for the experience. In 2017, in the United States alone, fans spent more than $50 billion on attending sporting events. 

You already have a highly engaged audience, which cannot be said for other industries. Just imagine the results you can achieve with personalized video marketing in sports. Fans are practically yearning for new ways they can feel closer to the game.

Personalized videos in sports can be used in several ways, but I’ll share the two main ones. 

Personalized video marketing campaigns in sports

To help you understand the full power of personalized video marketing campaigns in sports, I’ll analyze one amazing example and reverse-engineer the reason why it was so successful. 

The famous chips brand Lay’s is a well-known sponsor of the Champion’s League. In 2021, they launched a personalized video marketing campaign that got huge media coverage and won the Cannes Lion award in 2021, a prestige recognition for those working within the creative and marketing communications industry.

The star of the campaign? The charismatic Lionel Messi.

This personalized video campaign called Messi Messages was powered by AI, or more precisely, the “Deepfake technology”. It was created in collaboration with UNIT9, a tech creative company. The idea was simple, yet brilliant. Sports fans were able to send personalized videos with Messi addressing their friends by name.

Here’s what Stephan Bischof, Creative Director at UNIT9 had to say about the campaign:

“ Future customer experiences need to feel bespoke and personal, therefore we crafted a chat interface to facilitate a personal dialogue between you and Messi. Using Deepfake technology, Messi would be able to invite your friends to join you in watching tonight’s game, as the result of this ‘chat’ interaction. ”

Here are several reasons why this example of personalized video marketing in sports was so effective:

  • Deepfake technology is fascinating and surreal on its own, not to mention when it is combined with a popular football superstar
  • Fans who admire and support Messi had the opportunity to literally become him thanks to technology
  • A total of 8 languages were available, which made the experience even more personal
  • More than 122,500 messages were sent within the first 24 hours, which indicated just how much buzz was created

Of course, personalized video marketing in sports doesn’t have to include a top football player and be on a scale this big. You can also create simpler personalized content that is pre-made and branded. It’s the way you build upon the existing hype, spark engagement, and create social media buzz that matters.

Launching personalized videos during sports games

In today’s day and age, watching a game is not just about looking at the field or the sports court, and the players. It’s a holistic experience that implies following comments across social media, chatting with friends in real-time to comment on how wrong the referee was to give a foul, and also posting on your own personal profiles.

For instance, the Twitter account of your favorite sports club is the place to be when that club is playing. People are eager to participate and share their experience of the game, and that happens both in the offline world and the digital one.

So, how do you make the most of it? It's simple: integrate personalized video creation tools and create personalized content with things that happened during the game - on the fly. 

Yep, you read that right. Many football clubs (especially in the Premier League) are doing this. They are creating social media posts whenever their player scores a goal, or something significant happens.

We at Plainly are also doing this for FC Vozdovac. Here’s what our customer had to say about automating the production of cool game-related videos:

“ Football is an exciting game, and you have to match your content with it. What is a better way than having an animated video with all data included? Fans want to feel the same excitement when they look at our Instagram Story as much as when they see the goal on TV or at the stadium. We managed to reach more people, which is an ultimate goal for the PR & Marketing department. It helped our brand image as well. ”

Another great example comes from Bloomberg, the famous news agency. They had an incredibly agile and creative approach to covering the Olympics in Rio.

The videos were pre-made and nicely designed. Each time a medal was won, the data would get pushed to the server, a video would be created with all the personalized info (i.e. name of the athlete who won the medal), and then published on social media. Fast, simple, and engaging.

Not sure where to start with personalized video marketing in sports? Plainly demo is a good idea.

To wrap up, I personally think sports is underutilizing personalized videos. When you think about it, sports fans are crazy (in the most positive way) and filled with so much passion. Using personalization can make them love your club even more.

If you’re not sure where to start, I’d suggest you see for yourself just how simple it is to implement personalized videos into your marketing mix. Book a 15-minute demo for Plainly and use it immediately after the call.

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