If you have been even slightly active on social platforms in recent years, you must have come across TikTok, one way or another. It might have been a hilarious video being retweeted that you saw, or you might be a user already, TikTok has well and truly become a part of the mainstream digital landscape.

And consequently, we are witnessing the sports world embrace TikTok and its potential. From the Premier League clubs to the UFC, sporting organisations are jumping on the opportunity to maximise their marketing and reach through the platform. How is it happening? Let’s dive in a little deeper for more comprehensive viewing. 

@_baks87

Шел второй месяц тренировочных сборов … ##лучшеевспорте ##Спорт ##Футбол ##football ##sport ##sports

♬ Originalton – Hi

How did we get here? 

TikTok has now become the most downloaded free app on the Apple’s App store, directly ahead of YouTube, Facebook & Instagram. It is the fastest growing social platform in the world, with more than a million ratings to date. An app, which upon first look seems to serve random videos, enticing you to laugh, is being taken more seriously than ever before. 

In terms of the demographics of the app, the majority of the users are young, which seems to be a global trend. The graph below shows that in 2019, 40%+ users of the app were between the age of 10-20. Sports organisations globally are attempting to tap into this young user-base to cultivate loyal followers for the future. The format itself; the 60 seconds bite-sized video, forces you to come up with creative content or to jump on the latest trends: everything the sports world is well equipped to handle. 

Credit: businessofapps.com/data/tik-tok-statistics

Who has signed up so far?

Talking about the giants of the football world, Liverpool, Manchester United, Barcelona, Real Madrid, PSG, Bayer Laverkusen, are all on the app. And the list keeps growing. 

And its not just the football community, the NFL, NBA, Olympics, ICC and myriad of sports organisations have taken up the platform to reap the benefits engaging their global audience with what the platform has to offer. 

Just to give you an idea, as of 28th of Feb 2021, Liverpool has a staggering 50.8 million likes on its videos so far. 

@liverpoolfc

Sadio getting in the MOOD 👌⚽️ ##lfc ##fyp ##foryoupage ##livwba ##liverpool ##mane

♬ original sound – Liverpool FC

TikTok getting sponsorships? How’s that working out?

Back in Sep 2019, The NFL partnered with TikTok to bring the game to their global audience through an unprecedented coverage. They promised to bring locker-room footage, behind the scenes action and start trends which the NFL fans could emulate to showcase their passion for the game. It was a touchdown, and a conversion to say the least. The NFL now has 6.1 million followers in this short span of time. 

@nfl

#pov: you to yourself in the mirror when you’re launching the #NFL’s TikTok. 😤🚀 #football

♬ original sound – NFL

More recently, Euro 2020 – which was delayed due to Covid-19 and is due to be held in June later this year – partnered with TikTok. It was done with an aim to make the platform “a home of football fans to share their passion” as the tournament kicks off. The deal wanted to bring the game closer to the fans, and expects the football fans to share their reactions, be it jubilation or sorrow, on the platform with their fellow fans. It is the first time a digital entertainment platform has sponsored a major football event. 

The UFC has also signed a multi-year deal with TikTok, promising the use of live-streams to bring forward exclusive pre and post-match footage, player interviews and a host of other content. When it comes to sports and TikTok, it just keeps getting bigger and better.


What kind of content is being posted on TikTok by the Sports World?

Primarily an entertainment platform, the short form mobile video app offers a host of novel content. From behind the scenes footage, plays of the week, locker-room reactions, exclusive interviews, training footage, to so much more. TikTok is a platform offering the sports world a chance to innovate and express in incredible ways. 

Here is an example of the NFL announcing the trade of one of the players of the league. 

@nfl

wentz ➡️ TY and wentz ➡️ @mpj 🤩 #carsonwentz #tyhilton #colts

♬ Domino Lovers Challenge – tysm for 100k💗💗

How about Manchester United sharing the training ground skills of Amad Diallo.

@manutd

On loop 🔁🤩 #UnitedOnTikTok #MUFC #ManUtd #Amad #AmadDiallo #football #soccer #fyp #foryoupage

♬ TRAP BEAT – Aleksey Zaykov

The Olympics account shared a basketball move where a player assists and the other makes a dunk. Further going on to invite the fans to tag their friends who they love sharing their passion for the game on the court with. 

@olympics

Love is in the Nets.⠀Tag the Kevin Durant to your Kyrie Irving. #OlympicsCountdown #Basketball #KevinDurant #Kyrie #Dunk ⠀

♬ Burn – Official Sound Studio

Their so much interesting and unique content out there on TikTok which is being curated by the sports world. 


What does it all mean for me?

Well the equation is pretty simple, as a sports fan, if you aren’t on TikTok already, you will be sooner rather than later. Just because of the sheer potential of the platform to entertain, excite and get you involved as a passionate fan. 

As a sports franchise or a sporting organisation, the possibilities are endless. TikTok is quickly becoming the leading platform to get your fans engaged and give them access to your sport in unparalleled fashion. It’s the platform to build upon as active users keep rising with demographics tailored towards benefitting you as a sports organisation. 

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