Sky Sport Italy Summit 2024: Strategies to engage audiences via social media and video explored

The 2024 edition of the Sky Sport Italy Summit, held on 27 June at the Milan Santa Giulia headquarters of Sky Italia, finished with an in-depth look at the latest strategies for engaging sports audiences through social media and video content.

Alongside Dante De Iulio, Sky Sport production director, Stefania Greco Lucchina, head of social media communications at Sky Italia, shared details on the most sought-after content and their consumption across various social channels covered by Sky.

“The short lifecycle of highlights, driven by users searching for their favourite teams rather than a specific brand (Sky, Rai, DAZN, Prime, etc), is noteworthy,” said Greco Lucchina. “It’s interesting to note that this demand isn’t tied to pay or free channels, suggesting that highlights are not substitutes for TV viewing. This might be due to the interaction and delayed viewing, allowing users to relive moments and comment.”

When it comes to specific platforms Facebook is struggling, with user numbers declining, leaving room for TikTok and YouTube to grow. Instagram, with reels and stories, has attracted a younger demographic who enjoy interactions. Studies from Sky Sport’s Social department show that Instagram is the most used social media for live event videos.

She highlighted: “Social platforms are transforming into video-centric spaces, and video content performs the best; it is essential to work well on appealing graphics and titles.”

Read more Sky Sport Italy Summit 2024: Behind the scenes of Sky Italia’s Euro 2024 setup

For Sky, YouTube is significant and diversified strategies are deployed to maximise the platform. This includes 16:9 videos, live broadcasts, shorts (vertical videos like TikTok), and now YouTab (samples) based on an image and a link, which can be very useful.

“To be relevant here, timeliness is crucial,” Greco Lucchina said. “You must be first and have a good headline, with a strategic SEO mode. It is essential to use an attractive image immediately and explain what the content is about. Currently, shorts are the preferred content on YouTube and can drive a lot of traffic.”

Social media serves as a showcase, meeting editorial objectives, monetisation goals, marketing, promotion, and institutional storytelling, such as event coverage which is also followed by non-subscribers. TikTok is also changing; it has opened up to an older audience than before, is working well, and still has a largely female audience, with dedicated hubs for specific themes.

The strategic importance of Google OneBox was also emphasised, showing concise and relevant information directly in the search results page (using an information box), where being first with videos is evidently crucial.

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