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Short-form video 

is changing


How social media's rewriting the sports playbook

In 2015. Boxing legends Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao are in the ring. You want to watch the fight, but it's $90 - and that means eating instant noodles for a month. 

But today, sports fans have more options. They can watch live matches on streaming platforms like ESPN+ and DAZN, or hop on over TikTok to catch the highlights in a minute or less. Take note, big leagues - consumers want to save both time and money. 

What's the story?
The trend

Combat sports are giving consumers what they want - short form content. And they're seeing a popularity boost because of it.

The data

Combat sports have seen a 21% rise in engagement since Q4 2020 in the US.

Short-form video is key to drawing in new audiences, and major sports should get in on the action.

The takeaway
Runtime is of the essence

Globally, the average consumer spends nearly 7 hours online every day, but their attention doesn't last a fraction as long. Short-form video can get your point across quickly and hook people. Whether it's a dance, dinner inspo, or heavyweight title highlights scrollers really can have it all, and freaking quickly.  

What's happening and why?

Watching sports as a main reason for using social media is up %17 since Q4 2020 in North American, and sports highlights are becoming more popular on platforms here too. This habit saves consumers time, helps dodge broadcasting and time zone barriers, and allows them to take part in conversations around the action.

Live sports events have also seen a boost on social media, which is set to continue. Platforms can play host to extra content like more behind the scenes footage, something that 1 in 5 sports fans say wild make the live viewing experience more exciting. 

Winning the attention game is tough, but AI-powered video tools built into today's social platforms make content creation easy. For example, organizations could condense a 90-minute soccer match into three golden minutes of highlights, offer exclusive footage, and make their events more interactive.

US soccer fans are 75% more likely than average to watch sports highlights on social media.
In the US, MMA interest is up +27% from Q4 2020 - Q1 2023. That's been driven by athlete talent, new media rights deals, and a greater infusion into today's cultural zeitgeist.

Among the 29 sports that GWI USA tracks, which fans have seen the biggest year-over-year jumps in watching social highlights? Boxing (+16%), mixed martial arts (+14%), and wrestling (+12%).

MMA and boxing also represent two of the three fastest-growing sports following in the US. They've embraced short-form video and streaming and it's paying off.

Combat sports are leading the charge
UFC and WWE have more TikTok followers than the NFL or Premiere League

Wrestling boxing, and MMA organizations still rely on dedicated supporters paying for live events and products, but focusing on short-form video has brought in new and unexpected audiences like stay-at-home parents (+79% rise in those watching combat since 2020) and mascara wearers (+64%)

Short form is a magnet for attracting new fans, and proof potential partnerships exist where you least expect them, with growing number of male professional athletes landing makeup ambassadorships. If other leagues dedicated more resources to shot-form media, they too could diversify their following.

What's happening and why?
2024 Consumer Sentiments
Coming up next
Agencia de Marketing Digital México
Branding Corporativo México

In our fast-paced digital age, we're all about quick and cutting-edge solutions. If you want a partner who keeps up with the speed of the digital world, choose typ.

Patience is not a f*@king virtue.

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