As many sports fans know by now, the XFL has kicked-off for the 2020 season. In attempt to be an off-season supplement for the NFL, the XFL is taking its shot with revised rules and tactics. But this isn’t new, as in 2019, the Alliance of American Football (AAF) gave their shot at competing alongside the NFL; it folded after seven weeks. So how is the XFL making a stronger push just one year later?
On top of rule changes and features like on-field, in-game interviews, the XFL has gone all-in on social media. From locker room content to overall fan engagement, the XFL and its team have nearly perfected their practice already. To see how the XFL is creating this growth, we used the Zoomph platform to track which teams are thriving and how they are doing it.
Overall Growth by Team and Leagues
Using the Zoomph platform, we have built a feed that is tracking owned and earned content from the league and team handles on Twitter, as well as league-wide hashtags being used. Through the first two weeks, the feed has gathered just under 300K organic posts from just over 200K unique authors. While most of the activity came in Week 1, Week 2 produced more engagement.
Based on the chart above, six of the league’s eight teams saw an increased number of engagements per post in Week 2 compared to Week 1, with the DC Defenders leading the way. The Defenders engagements per post in Week 2 was a 2.9x increase from Week 1. The leads us to beg the question, how are the teams creating this engagement growth?
One way we have seen this is simply by posting more. Although the engagement per post number is based on an average and not a sum total, when teams post more, social users are more likely to be engaged in the conversation and engage more frequently. After the success the teams saw Week 1, they likely saw there was a dedicated fan bases and if there is content, fans will engage.
Bud Light Seltzer Content
A premier sponsor of the league, the league and teams have thrived off of their partnership with Bud Light for social engagement. After their Week 1 win, the St. Louis BattleHawks celebrated in the locker room by chugging Bud Light Seltzers. The social team caught this moment, shared it, and it instantly went viral. So what happened in Week 2? More teams followed. In Week 2, we saw the Defenders, Houston Roughnecks, and Seattle Dragons all join in on this strategy. As they say, if it isn’t broken, don’t try to fix it. The XFL social audience seems to fit the mold for alcohol-related content, so until it dries out, it is smart for the teams to push the content.
As the season continues to unfold, we will be keeping our eye out for strategies the XFL is deploying to set up long-term success for the league. To keep up with us, follow us on Twitter as we share more content around the XFL and other sport topics and trends.