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Why Twitter Buying Bluefin May Be The Most Important Acquisition of 2013

urlTwitter’s acquisition of Cambridge (MA) based Bluefin labs could be the single most influential digital acquisition in 2013. Why?

Bluefin measures what we’re talking about in the social space as it happens on TV. Twitter is out to build a revenue model based on real time brand activation.

Super Bowl XLVII was the most talked about program in U.S. history with an estimated 30.6 million social comments and 12.9 billion digital impressions. The average audience for the 4+ hour broadcast was 108.4 million viewers, making it the third highest rated broadcast of all-time.

The Super Bowl is an exception. Not the rule. Everyone watches the Super Bowl, regardless of their affinity for sports or not. But on a game-by-game / show-by-show basis?

ESPN’s January 30th broadcast of the Miami Heat and the Brooklyn Nets netted 213,000 social comments with an estimated 152.8 million impressions. The Puppy Bowl, which took Animal Planet by storm right before the Ravens and 49ers did battle, notched 298,000 social comments and 187.4 million impressions.

How does this work for teams and RSN’s (Regional Sports Networks) who need to be using the second screen experience as a complement to their broadcast? FOX Sports utilized Bluefin’s data to sell the success of the FOX Sports Girls, a series of regional brand ambassadors (a.k.a. glorified pin-up girls) designed to create a connection between the user and the broadcast brand.

Despite initial skepticism, FOX Sports Detroit found that 73 percent of the social conversation generated around the FOX Sports Detroit Girls was positive, with 53 percent of that interacting with the @FSDetroit handle itself. The campaign, which is still ongoing, earned 5,765 social media comments for an estimated reach of 5,024 million impressions during the study period.

While we haven’t seen a team, RSN and a sponsor work together at a truly integrated second screen campaign, here is an example of how one would work.

Let’s say Taco Bell and the Detroit Pistons crafted a promotion called the Triple Double Taco, where all Michigan-based consumers received a free taco if a Pistons player notched a triple double. Assume that the Triple Double Taco was mentioned at the start of each game by the Pistons play-by-play broadcaster. Suppose there were banner ads on the Pistons website, along with broadcast partner FOX Sports Detroit’s website. What if there was an in-arena read at The Palace of Auburn Hills? Throw in a few 30 second spots during the broadcast by Taco Bell, extensively boasting about the Triple Double Taco.

What if once the milestone was reached that the Pistons and FOX Sports Detroit used their social platforms to direct users to Taco Bell’s social media handles so consumers could print out a coupon for the Triple Double Taco? And what if those consumers who went directly to the nearest Taco Bell location the next day bought more than a single Triple Double Taco? What if they had to enter their email address so that they could only redeem the offer once each game, thus generating a significant amount of data (and leads)?

What if you were able to measure a campaign’s success in TV impressions, social impressions, in-arena impressions, web impressions, even radio impressions? Now multiply that very big number for each game by approximately 75 regular season games in which the RSN has broadcast rights. It’s quite the substantial reach …

Not only are you connecting TV to social, but TV to social, directly to retail, with measurables to boot on all ends. When teams and networks realize that integrated opportunities like this are possible, you can say you heard it here first.

Comment below on how you feel this acquisition will impact social media. Make sure to like our Facebook page and connect with us on Twitter @Sportsnetworker

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