At Nielsen Sports, we’re monitoring the online trends across social media as COVID-19 continues to impact the sport and entertainment landscape with events being postponed and cancelled across the globe. Athletes, teams and leagues are finding new and creative ways to engage with fans and throughout this period, we’ll be putting together a social media best practice snapshot-list for you. Keep up to speed with the best initiatives close to real-time.

Brand Led Initiatives

  • Fanatics, which manufactures the official MLB player jerseys, stopped production on clothing for the players, and began making masks and hospital gowns
  • In a time when many are looking for ways to stay healthy and active at home, Dick’s Sporting Goods released its #LongLiveSport video across its social media channels, for people to share how they are playing at home
  • Castrol joins the ranks with its latest social media campaign, with the hashtag #HangUpYourKey imploring motorists to maintain social distancing by keeping travels to a bare minimum
  • Sports retailer Intersport has responded to the coronavirus pandemic by quickly assembling a series of indoor workouts, curated by coaches from all over the world, so that people can work out indoors on Instagram

Donations and Community Support led by teams, athletes & bodies:

  • Zion Williamson has pledged to cover the salaries of Smoothie King Center staff for the next 30 days
  • Houston Texans defensive end J.J. Watt and his wife, Chicago Red Stars forward Kealia Ohai, donated $350,000 to the Houston Food Bank to aid in relief efforts during the pandemic
  • Olympian Maia Shibutani started a GoFundMe to get health care workers the personal protective equipment they need
  • The United States Olympic & Paralympic Committee had already gathered over 18,000 pallets of food to be eaten by athletes during the games, and now that’s been donated to the Care and Share Food Bank in Colorado Springs.

Creative ways Rights Holders & athletes are engaging their fan bases:

  • Toni Kroos has created the #tonishomechallenge where he encourages fans to challenge him athletically with prizes for the winners
  • Usain Bolt engages with his fans in an attempt to lighten people’s spirits about COVID-19
  • Many teams are trying to keep fans spirits up by replaying some special moments in their football clubs history, Liverpool is among them

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