How International Basketball Is Thriving In The Digital Age

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As social media assets continue to grow worldwide, the demand for access and entertainment continue to grow as well. This past summer, basketball fans had the opportunity to follow their favorite teams, as interest and social media exposure of international basketball rose to heights like never before…

Image via @FIBA

As social media assets continue to grow worldwide, the demand for access and entertainment continue to grow as well. This past summer, basketball fans had the opportunity to follow their favorite teams, as interest and social media exposure of international basketball rose to heights like never before.

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Founded in 1932, the Federation (FIBA) is the world governing body for basketball, bringing together 215 National Basketball Federations from around the world. FIBA also runs major international events such as the FIBA Basketball World Cup and Continental Championship as well as participates in the organization of the Olympic Basketball Tournament.

Over the past two years, International Basketball has seen an astounding increase in digital exposure due to methods such as websites, apps, digital platforms, as well as social media activity on Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram, Google+, Sina, WeChat, and a variety of other programs. During the 2015 FIBA Continental Championships this past summer, International Basketball saw an increase in website visits with 36 million viewers, a 60% increase in views since 2013. Since the start of last summer’s championships, FIBA fan growth has expanded over 1.1 million fans, as well as boasting 106 million accumulated video views across all media platforms.

These upsurges were made possible due in part to the wide variety of basketball coverage in different languages, including English, Chinese, Spanish, French, German, Latvian, and Croatian. FIBA broadcasted over 400 live games in the summer of 2015, and streamed most youth events, as well as games not covered by a TV agreement, live on YouTube. Because basketball fans all over the world were able to monitor their teams in familiar languages on a variety of different outlets, following FIBA competitions was more accessible than ever before.

BIG THANKS to the 5 million .@FIBA bball fans who followed us in 2015 https://t.co/SrKcGQUTOO #digitalmarketing pic.twitter.com/ULbA5Kh8IG

— Nicolas Chapart (@NicolasChapart) January 29, 2016

In order to regulate the expanding fan market, FIBA must monitor social media applications, coordinate and manage digital functions, as well as engaging with the fans for new and upcoming events. Mr. Nicholas Chapart, Head of Digital Communications for FIBA, does all of this and much more.

“When dealing with the fan growth for FIBA, we are invested in quality over quantity,” says Chapart. “Over the past few years, we have made some drastic changes and have clearly seen results. Our main competitions are National Team based events and our focus with content, and mainly vides, is to showcase the national pride angle of those competitions. With our increase in coverage, we see all interesting events coming up about basketball as an opportunity to show everyone worldwide.”

The new FIBA Calendar and Competition System from 2017 onwards opens a new era for men’s basketball all over the world – one which features 1,680 top players during 1,200 national teams games and millions of fans all around the globe. This two-year event period will give FIBA a longer timeframe to expose International Basketball for their increasing marketing system, as well as the continuation of fan involvement.

“This whole thing is going to be great for growth,” says Chapart. “Not purely from a communications and digital standpoint, but the fact that fans will be able to see their team playing in front of their eyes in their own country. The national team is the locomotive for basketball promotion and development in each country.”

FIBA is excited to continue expanding fan growth and offering more high quality content as they begin to “enter with the big fish”, such as working with the Rugby Federation and putting in place a lot of large scale content.

“Success is the recipe of our growth,” Chapart states. “Our goal is to put together the best availability for the fans, and make basketball the most accessible. entertaining and enjoyable as we can.”


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