Both Wimbledon and the Tour de France have upped their social media and digital games considerably in the last two years. Both events command huge global audiences through traditional channels and have significant deals with broadcasters to show live and highlight coverage. But they also have access to unique content, and can use their digital and social media channels to engage this audience directly (rather than just through broadcasters or brands).

We’ve already discussed the value of online video and brands are increasingly looking for ways to get this type of content right. Both the Tour de France and Wimbledon offer great examples of how online video can be used to engage people in a brand as well as in an event.

1. Provide a new point of view

Video can be used to provide a new (and unique) point of view – something that sits alongside broadcast content to provide new ways to explore an experience. This year, the Tour de France has partnered with GoPro to capture video content from riders (connecting GoPro cameras to their bikes) as well as members of the support team (with cameras in their cars and body cams). Capturing as much content from different perspectives as they can so that this can then be used when an event or incident occurs.

Perhaps the best example so far comes from Stage 3 of the Tour de France, when a horrific crash caused the race to be restarted with just 50km to go. The body cams of the mechanics who rushed to get the bikes (and the riders) back on the road were able to capture this is intimate detail, providing the audience with unprecedented access to the heart of a major event.

By planning in advance and capturing content, the Tour de France is in a position to quickly edit and distribute online video that provides this new viewpoint. They are able to produce the definitive coverage of pivotal events in the race.

2. Behind the scenes

A related use of video is to capture what is not normally seen – behind the scenes. There is a huge appetite for this kind of content by people who are passionate about an event or a brand – wanting to be in the know and see what others do not normal see. Stage 4 of the Tour de France brought a great example of this when Tony Martin won the stage (and took the Yellow Jersey). Using cameras inside the team support vehicles, the Tour de France were able to capture and share the reaction of team staff to the win.

Behind the scenes video can be used as a great way of rewarding loyal fans of any brand and of complementing broadcast and other content with something that feels like it is only for those ‘in the know’.

3. Broadcasting with Periscope

Periscope is getting a lot of coverage at the moment – an app that lets anybody broadcast from their smartphone and share it with the world. The BBC and other media organisations have been experimenting with app, getting journalists and presenters to use it to share events and immediate reactions from around the world.

The role it can play for brands is still being explored and experimented with. But Wimbledon provided a great example to learn from, using the app to provide a live tour of the courts and the venues before the event started. And this was presented by Roger Federer, who gave the audience a guided tour and answered questions from them.

Working with celebrities to provide unique content and an opportunity to interact in real-time seems like a great use-case for Periscope that events and brands alike can learn from. Giving access to things only they have access to, and using people on they can get to work with them. This is the kind of broadcasting that just wouldn’t work as well in other channels, and the kind of broadcasting Periscope is made for.

Matt Rhodes

About Matt Rhodes

Digital Strategy Director for work. Marathon runner and charity trustee for fun.

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