London, 22 October 2014 – As the 2015 Tour de France route is today announced, seeing the race starting in Utrecht in Holland, Team Sky have set another milestone in what has already been a successful year in building their fan base, especially through the use of digital channels.
During the three week Tour de France period this year, Team Sky increased their Facebook fan base by over 10%. This gave them a combined Twitter and Facebook following of over 875k which is over a quarter of a million more than any other UCI World Tour Team and higher than eight English Premier League clubs. Not bad for a sports team that is only four and a half years old.
Social Media Assets
Team Sky and Repucom, the global leaders in marketing research, have been working closely together to better understand the cycling team’s social media assets and helping to optimise them throughout the Tour period.
By understanding the nature of the social media buzz around the Tour de France, who their key influencers are and what third party owned content is the most popular with their target audience, Team Sky have shown why they are a force to be reckoned with on and off the road.
Max Barnett, Head of Digital at Repucom UK commented: “Team Sky generated some hugely relevant and engaging content for their fans. We reported a Facebook post engagement rate of 0.662% which is over two times higher than the Repucom sponsorship industry benchmark of 0.26%.
“Interestingly, this engagement level beats a number of the biggest Premier League teams. Innovative sponsor content, competitions, interaction with news stories from outside of cycling and behind the scenes content proved to be the most popular posts. Whilst none of these content types are new, the insight drove a narrative that resonated with the audience. Team Sky fans have shown a real interest in the technology and human effort of cycling.”
Return of Investment via So
Malph Minns, Head of Partnerships at Team Sky said: “We are committed to providing our partners with measurable industry leading return on investment, working together to create innovative, relevant and engaging content that will attract new fans of both the team and our partners, while driving deeper emotional engagement for the current audience.
“Our social media channels are a very effective way of reaching our global audience and showcasing the creditable relationships we have with our partners and demonstrate, through rich content, how we continually work together to provide outstanding performances. Through social media monitoring and weekly digital consulting from Repucom during the Tour de France, we were able to run much more targeted and effective social media campaigns that provided our fans with relevant and engaging content whilst providing our partners with enhanced value.”
Jaguar is a prime example of a partner that has worked cleverly with Team Sky to provide engaging content and to activate their sponsorship through social media. Their recent short film titled “Team Sky – Cycling Under the Sea” which documents Chris Froome becoming the first man to ride a bike through the Eurotunnel, is a ground-breaking sponsorship activation that showcases the innovative qualities of the British car manufacturer and one of the world’s best cycling teams.