If you’re not a horse (or mint julep) enthusiast, tomorrow might not be special for you. NBC Sports has plans to change that. For the 2016 Kentucky Derby, NBC Sports has developed a comprehensive, multi-platform social marketing strategy to reach beyond their traditional audience. “It might be the fastest two minutes in sports, but our coverage of the 142nd Kentucky Derby is so much more than just a horse race,” said Lyndsay Signor, senior director of social media marketing for NBC Sports. “Fans can look forward to our most comprehensive Kentucky Derby social media coverage ever—allowing fans to engage with an immersive Derby experience across the entire event—from the social and fashion scene to actual horse racing.” Here’s how they’re going to do it:
Yes, you read that correctly. Johnny Weir, two-time Olympic figure skater and NBC Sports analyst, will wear a brooch that is powered by tweets. In a press release from Monday, NBC Sports said, “as more conversation is generated on Twitter around Johnny’s hat using the hashtag #WatchMeNeighNeigh, the faster the horse will gallop and illuminate.” In case you have been living under a rock, the hashtag is a pun on the song and dance, “Whip/Nae Nae.” NBC Sports is capitalizing on the wearable technology trend.
It all starts at the Peacock Paddock, where celebrities will make a horse pick and showcase their fashion on a custom 360 degree stop-motion camera. A 55-inch touch screen monitor will display social media trends and user generated content from Derby parties. Tara Lipinski will be highlighting the Kentucky fashions and Rutledge Wood will interview celebrities for their platforms.
In addition to the highly produced live TV content, NBC Sports will be live on Periscope and Facebook showcasing the Derby atmosphere. NBC Sports has deployed several small cameras around the Derby to capture the festivities. “For the first time, NBC Sports will utilize Facebook Live on the red carpet, where Wood will interview celebrities for the live stream.” Look for NBC Sports to showcase unique, behind-the-scenes content that captures the unique style of the Kentucky Derby. By expanding their coverage to other platforms, NBC Sports is hoping to reach non-traditional viewers, like casual fashionistas.
Snapchat says that over 10 billion videos are consumed per day on their platform. Signor told Digiday, “fans may not be able to see our broadcast on TV, so we want to use Snapchat and other social media platforms to drive buzz around our sporting events, reach new people and give our existing fans more content.” NBC Sports’ team of 15 social media pros are populating their Snapchat feed. On race day, they will also have a Live Story. Signor adds, “We continue to experiment with new platforms and enhance our content so we can always raise the bar for the digital and viewing experience for our fans.”