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Second Screen Sports

Nov 7, 2021Uncategorized0 comments

-This content originally appeared as part of my Master’s program coursework at Temple University

Over the past few weeks, we have been discussing mobile and how important it is as (often) the first channel for many of our customers. According to Hootsuite, there are 5.22 B unique mobile users across the globe. That is quite a lot. We also learned that mobile does not necessarily mean mobile phone. I’d extend the definition to anything connected to the internet that is not a desktop computer. With the explosion of IoT devices (nearly 8.74 “connected” devices in 2020[1]) and the emergence of the smart tv as table stakes (209.3 M smart tv units sold in 2019[2]) there are multiple avenues for users to reach the web. All of this to say is, the battlefield is no longer one screen. Companies must adjust their marketing and advertising to cater to the two-screen revolution.

In what scenarios are consumers using two screens? For me, my second screen usage usually comes while watching sports. Whether I am scrolling Twitter during Flyers games or keeping up with fantasy football on Sundays, my mobile phone is never far away. This behavior tracks as 41% of adults in the US claim[3] to use social often while consuming television (frankly I thought it would be higher). I bet users are typically checking things during commercial breaks because who wants to watch those. As my niece once shouted enthusiastically, “ANOTHER COMMERCIAL, C’MON.” Companies could get creative with mobile targeting and enhance product placement ads. For example – if I am watching CSI: Vegas and a character is wearing AirPods, Apple could then show me an ad for a black Friday sale of AirPods because it’s knows from my Geolocation that I am at home, and from Wi-Fi data that I am on the same network as my connected TV. It should not take much to connect the dots (pun intended).

This is all good and well, but I’d like to explore a different approach to the second screen. Unsurprisingly it relates to sports. As a Tennessee Titans fan in Philadelphia, it can be very lonely cheering on the two-tone blue. I’ve been to Nashville many times and attended a few Titans home games and frankly, I adore the experience. I may only get to one game a year at Nissan Stadium, so how do I get that home field experience when I am away. I suppose I could make myself hot chicken every Sunday, but I think I’d have to become a shareholder in Pepto if that were the case. The question shouldn’t be how do I experience the home field atmosphere in Philadelphia, but rather how can the Titans bring the home field experience to me and other fans like me?

Connecting the Dots

Connecting remote fans to the experience was huge last season in the NHL and NBA playoff bubbles, so organizations are starting to dip their toes in the pool. There is a wealth of opportunity here. For example:

  • Connect me with other fans near me. If I knew there was another Titans fan in Philadelphia, especially near me, I’d love to connect with that person. Share a bud light at the local pub for the next game. Or borrowing from the Peloton app, allow me to high-five fellow fans digitally.
  • Stream the in-game production to my devices thru an app or over the web. For example, every third down the announcer does a big THIRRDDDD DOWN to get the Titans fans hyped up and loud for a defensive stand. Stream that thru my Google Speaker. Same thing with first downs.
  • Every Titans game features a halftime concert because of Music City and all. Again, stream that concert thru my connected speakers or send a push notification to my Spotify to check out that artists work.
  • Offer discounts. Frequently there will be a pre-game party where the stadium opens up 90 minutes pre-game and beer and hot dogs are heavily discounted. It’s like happy hour. Send me a push notification with a coupon to recreate that deal at home. I am more than happy to zip over to the beer distributor for 10% of a case of Bud Light.

At the end of the day, we are becoming more and more connected – to brands, companies, and each other. How can brands capitalize on this. Further, how can brands claim the second screen? Do you have any additional ideas for second screen experiences?


[1] Transforma Insights. “Number of Internet of Things (Iot) Connected Devices Worldwide from 2019 to 2030 (in Billions) .” Statista, Statista Inc., 22 Dec 2020, https://www-statista-com.libproxy.temple.edu/statistics/1183457/iot-connected-devices-worldwide/

[2] Research and Markets. “Global Smart Tv Unit Sales from 2018 to 2025 (in Millions).” Statista, Statista Inc., 15 Jan 2020, https://www-statista-com.libproxy.temple.edu/statistics/878372/smart-tv-unit-sales-worldwide/

[3] YouGov. “Frequency of Using Social Media via Smartphone While Watching Tv on a Separate Device According to Adult Users in The United States as of January 2019.” Statista, Statista Inc., 17 Jan 2019, https://www-statista-com.libproxy.temple.edu/statistics/959448/frequency-of-smartphone-usage-while-watching-tv-usa/

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