November 25, 2021
More than a few prominent media properties have crossed over into the realm of legal US sports betting in recent years. This booming industry has been tagged as a growth engine covering the foreseeable future.
To date, most of the major social media outlets have remained on the sidelines when it comes to active participation in legal sports betting. That could be changing with Twitter’s new direction.
The company continues to see gains in engagement when it comes to the NFL and college football. This season has been especially active among football fans. It has been estimated that more than 250,000 tweets have been sent for each NFL game.
This adds up to an 11% increase over the number of NFL game tweets sent last season. Growth in the college football sector has been even more impressive. Through the end of September, Twitter reported that there was a 35% increase in the number of users tweeting about the games.
David Herman is in charge of US Sports Partnerships at Twitter. He added the following insight:
“We’ve learned significantly over the years of what is the best use case for live on Twitter for our users.”
This comment reflects the change in strategy from streaming full live events to creating sports-related partnerships that appeal to end users.
Overall, Twitter reported a 41% increase in advertising revenue in the company’s third quarter financials. The popular social media service still streams some live sports. However, it has moved away from streaming full games.
Twitter walked away from a deal with the NFL to stream Thursday Night Football a few years back. Amazon actually secured those rights ahead of the 2017 season. Twitter also ended its deals with MLB and the NHL for streaming live games.
Herman went on to add:
“It’s not like ‘live’ doesn’t exist with our partnerships, it’s just not necessarily the full game like it was in many of those early executions. That’s from learning what both what our users like and what advertisers are interested in.”
For example, Twitter’s deal with FOX Sports is tied to pregame activities for college football. The Big Noon Saturday game plan involves a fan poll that gives viewers a chance to choose certain camera angles for coverage.
The NFL presence on Twitter is as strong as ever. This pro league accounted for more than half of the sports videos posted on the site in August and September.
The big question is: where does Twitter go from here? Other key performance stats point to an increase of 22% on posts about football betting. Fantasy football tweets had an increase of 11%.
Twitter believes the company is well positioned to take advantage of these trends. Herman stated that “betting and gambling have long been a core component of sports conversations on Twitter.”
Major legal US sportsbook operators such as FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM advertise on Twitter. The next step could be to partner with one of these operators for legal online betting through a Twitter-branded platform.
Written by Dave Schwab, our US Sports Betting Industry Expert. You can learn more about our author's expertise here.