Television. Football. Twitter.
All staples of life for millions of us here in late-2013 America.
And now, these common interests will be entwined even more closely, thanks to some intriguing new partnerships involving the world’s most popular (and innovative) micro-blogging platform.
Early last week, news broke via the New York Times that CBS had joined the Twitter Amplify advertising program, which creatively allows broadcasters to embed videos in their Tweets, send them out in real-time and potentially incorporate sponsors into the whole process.
Twitter had previously partnered with some cable companies via the Amplify program, including ESPN, A&E Network, BBC America, Fox, and most notably with Viacom for the now-infamous 2013 VMA Awards. And Amplify had essentially experienced something like a “soft launch” in the final weeks of 2012, with ESPN and the Ford Motor Company signing on to test drive what were essentially college football highlight clips, wrapped in a Ford Fusion ad, sent out by both ESPN and Ford via their respective Twitter pages and feeds.
CBS reportedly plans to use its intriguing new partnership with the increasingly popular and ever-present Twitter to promote a wide range of its TV and online properties on the social network, as well as sell the new embedded technology to their advertisers as a regular part of the marketing mix. At the announcement, CBS said the deal was already drawing strong interest from advertisers, with one exploring the possibility of bundling up to 20 shows in a single buy.
Then, last Thursday, just hours before the start of all the Week 4 action, the wildly popular and always in-demand National Football League (and its NFL Network property) announced that it too had agreed to a marketing and branding partnership with Twitter via the Amplify program. The NFL, remember, is the American sports league that signed television deals worth an incredible $27 billion toward the end of the 2011 season – deals that are up for renegotiation once again following this season. Those TV deals helped the NFL rack up an estimated $9.5 billion in revenue 2011-12 – up $500 million (or 5.6%) from the year before, and $1.8 billion (23.4%) ahead of Major League Baseball ($7.7 billion).
For the deep-pocketed NFL, the social media partnership will enable fans to get customized NFL video content, created specifically for the Twitter platform, on PCs, tablets and mobile devices. Access also includes in-game highlights from NFL Network’s Thursday Night Football, as well as clips from other regular-season and postseason games. In addition to content featuring game footage, NFL video packages on Twitter will include news, analysis, fantasy football advice and voting platforms from NFL Network and NFL.com.
Financial terms and specific advertising details of the partnership were not released, but a report in MediaPost’s MediaDailyNews cited media executives as claiming Twitter will supply ad inventory to NFL Network, which will in turn sell that inventory to advertisers. Twitter and NFL Network would then share in the total advertisers’ spend, with NFL Network getting a majority of the big spend. NFL Network will also get tie-in promotion from social media users, per the report.
The companies added that multiple premiere sponsors will come aboard throughout the 2013 NFL regular season and postseason, including an exclusive sponsorship in Super Bowl XLVIII. The partnership represents the first time the historically and notoriously tight-reigned and super-secretive NFL has partnered with a social media platform of any kind.
Just what all of this means for the future of both Twitter and online advertising and marketing remains to be seen. But it’s safe to say that Twitter is only getting stronger and smarter in not only its reach, but its own internal advertising, marketing and branding initiatives. Even if the company’s financial situation could still use more than a bit of a boost.
Your own business or brand may not be massive or mobile enough to sign a newsmaking deal with Twitter and join the Amplify network. But no matter what your industry, number of employees or marketing budget, there’s plenty you can be doing right now to take advantage of all that Twitter has to offer.
You can start to learn more by reading some recent posts of ours here at the official Fang Digital Marketing blog. You can also download our FREE ebook on using Twitter to boost your brand, right this very minute if you’d like. And you can always follow Fang Digital on Twitter, where we love to not only share tips, tidbits, insights and information, but also interact with our many followers, fans, clients and collaborators.