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The Founder of the World Sports Photography Awards explains to iSportconnecthowsport stars drive engagement in social media andthe power of photography.​

Social Media Is Re-Defining How We Think About Audiences

When people hear the words “Chasing the Audience” − the title of one of the panel sessions at THE SPOT −many will automatically think of the changes in the television market, with the shift of viewing from linear to on-demand channels.

But there has also been a change in the very nature of what an audience is. It’s not just about viewers any longer and certainly not just about television.

“Social media has had a surprising impact on the way people consume sports content,” said Simon Burton, Founder of the World Sports Photography Awards, who will speak on the panel in question. “And it’s changing things in unexpected ways.” 

Social media audiences want whatever gets them closer to the sports they’re passionate about. They want to get behind the scenes and they want it fast. 

And the engagement is driven not by events or teams but by people.

“In our business, so much of the talk you hear about social media is focused on rights owners, but if you look at what’s really happening, it’s about the stars.”

“Look at the most followed sports content on Instagram. The last I checked, out of the Top 50, 39 were individuals. That is a hugely important trend for the sports business to digest.”

In their search for content that engages them, today’s young audiences don’t necessarily want video from events, Simon said. “Often they just want short bursts of content that bring them closer to their heroes. Sometimes they just want a picture.”

“While moving images convey the action of sport, nothing captures the emotional moments like photography,” he said.

The World Sports Photography Awards, celebrating the emotion of unique sporting moments, will be making a soft launch at THE SPOT as the first international awards dedicated to sports photography.

By Jay Stuart, Editor at iSportconnect

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