Sports coverage and real-time reporting is a match made in heaven. It’s like football and a pork pie, baseball and a hotdog or ice hockey and something smothered in maple syrup. A journalist watches the match and describes every goal, injury and incident with the wizardry of his words and embellishes the story with videos, pictures and tweets.
But covering sporting events has moved on from just reporting the match. Sports fans are a demanding bunch – they want behind-the-scenes access, in depth analysis, a place to shout their opinions at each other and they want before, during and after the match coverage. With real-time reporting, journalists can finally give fans what they want.
The season is about to start and fans are beside themselves with excitement. What does that new player look like in the kit? Is the team gelling? Has he finally cut that buffon? Send a reporter to pre-season training and you can show them in real-time, as this baseball reporter did. Provide them with videos of players training and interviews with coaches and even tailor your coverage to what your readers are telling you they want. They’ll appreciate that, and if you’re good you get feedback like this:
The draw for a big tournament is coming up and fans are excited to find out who their team will be playing. They don’t need to go to Twitter to get fast, up-to-the-minute updates – bring them to your page with your own real-time content. The season has begun – it’s the week of an important match; why not have real-time coverage of the team announcement? People want to know.
The big day has arrived – it’s the derby match with that team whose mere name sends fans into a shaking, frothing rage. There are butterflies fluttering in stomachs across the country; people are intoxicated by that beautiful cocktail of excitement and anxiety.
Don’t start the liveblog half an hour before the game gets under way, start that morning or the night before. Turn that excitement into page views – create a page with all the build-up, context and history. If the team is playing away from home, include pictures of their journey and players’ tweets. Make the most of user-generated content and invite readers to share their thoughts, or even get them to send in their own pre-match videos. Harness the excitement and increase the traffic on your site.
The whistle has blown and you’re reporting the match – be creative, it doesn’t have to be standard minute-by-minute updates from the stadium. Why not have a journalist mixing with fans at a bar and filming their reactions at important moments? Or you could have two liveblogs running at the same time, with each one focusing on a different set of fans. Be imaginative and keep your readers engaged!
It’s all over – tears have been shed and a little blood spilled. That was intense… But it’s not completely over though is it; did you not see that ref’s decision? Utter madness – people will be talking about it for months to come. So let them talk – better still, have them talk about it on your site. Why not set up a poll to spark the debate?
A couple more days have passed and the dust has settled a little. Maybe that wasn’t such a horrible call after all; time for a slightly more nuanced debate. Arrange a Q and A with one of your expert sport journalists and have your analysis heard above the clamour.
If that’s not enough and your readers still want more, you can host a never ending, 24/7 sports chat on your website like this one. It is 1386 pages long (and counting), and filled with debate between loyal readers. Or why not run a page with all the latest sporting news and gossip?
There’s no such thing as too much coverage for a sports fan. Now, with real-time reporting there’s a way to meet that insatiable demand with relevant, compelling and immediate content.