50 Ways Sports Teams Fans Can Engage Fans on Facebook

Sports leagues and organizations are turning to Facebook to offer fans more content, access, and interactivity than ever before. As sports entities begin to fully understand the value of social media, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube have become critical channels in the marketing mix to promote messaging, drive participation and interest, and engage fans on a 24/7, 365 basis.

Teams can no longer rely on Wall posts, photos, and shareable videos to drive consumers to frequently visit their Facebook pages and stay for awhile. As a result, it's important that teams identify and share best practices in the social media space both internally and externally.  

Here are 50 creative ways that teams are engaging fans on Facebook outside the traditional elements:  

1. Fans Map - FC Barcelona (Find FC Barcelona fans across the world)

2. Real Madrid Avatars - Real Madrid (Fans can create their own virtual avatar)

3. Arsenal "Like the Players" - Arsenal FC (Fans can easily like all the players on the team)

4. Spread the Word - Manchester United (Fans can easily invite their friends to join the Manchester United Facebook Page  

5. Fountain Tire Shootout - Vancouver Canucks (Fans can play a virtual hockey game to win prizes and coupon vouchers)

6. 3-Point Play - Boston Celtics (Fans can compete in an interactive stats-related game to earn points)

7. Summer Salute - Team Lowe's Racing (Fans can post a military salute or message to troops overseas)

8. Polls / Quizzes - NASCAR (Fans can test their NASCAR IQ via a number of quizzes and polls)

9. NBA Ball of Fame - NBA (Fans can click on basketballs to relive famous moments from the NBA Finals)

10. NBA Turnstile - NBA (Fans can "check-in" to NBA games on Facebook to chat with fans, win tickets and merchandise, and earn badges)

11. Support Your Team on Facebook! - NFL (Fans can scroll through an interactive tab to see where their favorite team ranks in popularity and intensity amongst all teams and within conference/division).

12. Shopping - Liverpool FC (Fans can quickly scroll through ultimate shopping ideas and can get easy access to the team's mobile application) 

13. JetBlue FaceOff - Boston Bruins (Fans can access game information, play games, win prizes, and more)

14. Mavs Spirit Photo Upload - Dallas Mavericks (Fans can submit their best photo wearing Mavericks gear for the chance to have it featured on the team's Facebook page)

15. Fan Zone - New England Patriots (Fans can interact with polls, listen to live broadcasts, post comments, share virtual gifts, play trivia, and more)

16. Share Your Story - San Francisco 49ers (Fans can share why they are a Faithful Fan for the chance to be featured on 2011 season tickets or in a team commercial)

17. Tickets & Promotions - Philadelphia 76ers (Fans can closely follow current ticket specials and promotions using a tab integrated into the team Facebook page)

18. A Date with SFC - Seattle Sounders (Fans can watch video dating profiles of different players on Seattle Sounders FC and partake in a date auction via Ebay.

19. Guess the Kit - Tottenham Hotspur (Fans have to correctly guess what the team's new kit (uniform) will look like)

20. Broadcast Schedule - Portland Timbers (Fans can easily see which networks will be carrying the team's upcoming soccer matches)

21. Locker Room - Los Angeles Lakers (Fans can take a virtual tour of the Lakers locker room)

22. Flickr - Milwaukee Bucks (Fans can scroll through photos of the Bucks' gameday experience posted on their Official Flickr page)

23. U-Stream - Golden State Warriors (Fans can watch a live webcast with a Warriors player each day during Training Camp

24. Trailblazers.tv - Portland Trail Blazers (Fans can watch exclusive interviews, shows, highlights, pre- and post-game shows, and more)

25. AC Milan Jersey - A.C. Milan (Fans can create their own virtual A.C. Milan Jersey (with a custom name and number) and share it on their Facebook wall)

26. Fantasy Manager - A.C. Milan (Fans can create and manage a virtual team of players and compete against friends for the chance to win team prizes)

27. Ice Dancers - Florida Panthers (Fans could vote on their favorite Ice Dancers in a bracket competition that gave away a free cruise!)

28. Stars Text Alerts - Dallas Stars (Fans can easily sign up to receive basic text alerts or student rush text alerts)

29. Leafs on YouTube - Toronto Maple Leafs (Fans can watch a series of YouTube clips directly within a tab on the team's Facebook page

30. Photo Pick-Up - Phoenix Suns (Fans can have their picture taken by Suns personnel at a game and retrieve it for free on the team's Facebook page)

31. Match of the Week - Sporting KC (Fans can receive in-depth information about a premier MLS game each week)

32. Meet the Team - Denver Nuggets (Fans can vote for their favorite players on the Nuggets by "liking" them on the interactive Facebook tab)

33. Letter to Fans - Buffalo Sabres (Fans can read a letter sent from the team's owner Terrence M. Pegula thanking them for their support)

34. Which Cap Are You Like? - Washington Capitals (Fans can take a quiz to see what Washington Capitals player they are the most like and win an autographed jersey)

35. Foursquare – Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Fans can view the team’s Foursquare profile and access tips and insights on whose checked-in at Raymond James Stadium)

36. Draft Party Sweepstakes - Charlotte Bobcats (Fans can sign up on Facebook to win a VIP experience at the Bobcats Draft Party courtesy of Donatos Pizza)

37. Fan Forum – Dallas Cowboys (Fans can participate in an interactive forum where they can participate in a live discussion board)

38. Showcase – Sacramento Kings (Fans can scroll through to see all of the Kings’ hottest merchandise in their online team store up close)

39. Host UpClose Contest – Indianapolis Colts (Fans can upload a video of themselves hosting a sports segment for the chance to fly to Indianapolis and host a segment on Colts UpClose)

40. Scarf Yourself! – New York Red Bulls (Fans can add an official New York Red Bulls scarf to their profile picture and feature it on the team Facebook page)

41. Support – Atlanta Falcons (Fans can post questions/ideas/problems that they have and a Falcons customer representative addresses them for all fans to see on a live discussion board)

42. Give Your All – All Blacks (Fans can watch a series of vignettes where the All Blacks players talk about giving everything they’ve got when they enter the pitch)

43. Fan of the Week – Chicago Bears (Fans can submit a message/photo detailing why they are the biggest fan for the chance to be featured online)

44. A’s Kids Club – Oakland A’s (Fans can sign up for an Oakland A’s Kids Club Membership directly through the team’s Facebook page)

45. WTA Extra – WTA (Fans can easily scroll through high-res images of the top WTA players and also see information about their world ranking and Twitter feed)

46. Giving – Tampa Bay Rays (Fans can read about the Rays Baseball Foundation and make a donation)

47. Fanographies – Cleveland Browns (Fans can submit their Browns story for the chance to win 2011 season tickets)

48. Bulldog Club – University of Georgia Athletics (Fans can read about the Bulldog Club, make donations, invest in educational opportunities, and more)

49. Charity – PGA (Fans can read about the PGA’s new partnership with Darius Rucker and download a song which benefits PGA Tour Charities, Inc.)

50. UStream Live – Colorado Avalanche (Fans can watch broadcasts throughout the season and sign up to receive email alerts every time they take place)