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Fox Sports Partners With Facebook To Drive Fan Engagement

Fox Sports Football RobotTwitter has been a popular tool for sports networks such as ESPN, typically being used to drive fan engagement.  In a somewhat parallel move, Fox Sports has recently partnered with Facebook for similar reasons.

Their aim: to bring real-time Facebook streams to the sidelines.

Fox Sports and Facebook Debut Partnership

With Facebook frequently seeing user spikes during sporting events, this partnership just makes sense.  During NFL’s kickoff weekend, more than 30 million U.S. Facebook users were responsible for 60 million NFL-related interactions.

The partnership kicked off  last Saturday, aiding with some college football interactions.  While there is no money being exchanged, the two companies will be working together for at least six months. Pete Vlastelica, SVP of FOX Sports Digital, said in a recent statement to Mashable:

“We are excited to be the first sports broadcaster to take advantage of this rich data set that Facebook is making available to media partners.  The goal is to use it to create great content and enhance our telecasts to serve our audience.”

How it works

Facebook is already trying to drive conversations around live events, much like Twitter.  The deal with Fox Sports will help drive that mission.

Polls will certainly be a major part of this plan.  On-screen areas such as the news ticker will host a range of other integrations as well, such as provide a real-time stream of user conversations, answer viewer questions in real-time and show live conversation feeds.  A “deep dive” discussion will take place during America’s Game of the Week, which will look to create an in-depth segment on a player or play from the week before.

Justin Osofsky, VP of media partnerships and online operations for Facebook, gave a statement to Mashable:

“Sports are inherently social and a big part of the conversations occurring on Facebook.  In fact, there are over 1.6 billion connections between people and sports entities on Facebook. That’s why we are very excited to work with FOX Sports to bring a new dimension to the viewing experience and integrate the voices of the fans into their broadcasts.”

Fox Sports and Facebook also plan to create data maps and fan volume meters to gauge the involvement of fans around the country.

This new partnership looks a lot like the ESPN and Twitter deal.  At the same time, Fox Sports stands to gain a lot from the interaction they are creating.  Do you think this deal is beneficial to Fox Sports?  What about for Facebook?

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