Social media strategy is driving traffic, not revenue, says ESPN

ESPN claims its social media channels are not about making money for the sports network but providing a vehicle to drive consumers to its branded platforms.


Speaking at the Mumbrella Sports Marketing conference in Sydney today, senior ESPN director Adam Deutsch said the priority of its social strategy was not to monetise channels but to promote content and direct traffic to its digital and TV platforms.

Asked about the commercial opportunities social media brings, Deutsch, ESPN’s senior director international digital product management, said: “We use the scale we have on social to tell people the great content that we have, merchandise it and bring people back to our branded platforms.

“That doesn’t mean we don’t try to be innovative, and the Snapchat partnership we announced this week is a commercial play both in the United States and here in Australia. But primarily we think about social as a vehicle to drive audience to our branded platform.”

Australia became ESPN’s first market outside of the US expand to Snapchat’s Discover platform, with the channel featuring international stories and local content “that matter to younger Australian sports fans”.

Meanwhile, Lance Peatey, director of digital products and partnerships for ESPN Australia and New Zealand, said the launch of its local website in March was going well, with the network “enjoying a record year”.

Peatey also revealed that Olympic swimming medal hope, Emily Seebohm, diver Melissa Wu, and swimmer James Magnussen, will be part of its Rio Olympic Games coverage.


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