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The transmedia season gets under way

August 22, 2014
transmedia storytelling

This weekend the Premier League returned. The football routine that engulfs sports news returns. In recent weeks, we’ve had pre-season friendlies and smaller tournaments for those who missed the beautiful game since the World Cup. But it is now time for the real season to start, and with it the transmedia evolution that have developed in recent months return to the forefront. For example, global trending topics overflowed during each game of the World Cup. They are also a clear example of how football is also making significant headway in the difficult American market.

Sports storytelling used to come only from one channel, which would be either TV or radio. With technological progress and the boom of mobile devices, sports programmes have also had to incorporate two-way, real-time communication with the audience. Therefore, sports media is now heavily featuring transmedia storytelling:

“Transmedia storytelling represents a process where integral elements of a fiction get dispersed systematically across multiple delivery channels for the purpose of creating a unified and coordinated entertainment experience. Ideally, each individual episode must be accessible on its own terms even as it makes a unique contribution to the narrative system as a whole” (Jenkins, 2007)

Anyone with an internet connection can now become part of the conversation, which is good news for the world of sports that thrives on the loyalty of its fans and followers. The audience can shape their opinions and feelings about each game, influencing the content that becomes available in a thousand formats: from memes, parody profiles on Twitter and one-on-one discussions with players that give a new twist to storytelling.

Fans now go to games with their smartphones and can communicate and read reviews from fellow fans and opponents, making them part of the action.

The media should take full advantage of transmedia storytelling and lead conversations. Journalists should be first to comment on Twitter about controversial calls on the pitch. Programmes should create hashtags to identify each game or the highlights for the audience to share their personal opinions. The possibility of organising tweet-chats with players has become an activity very well received by the community, while the ability to create contests and sweepstakes has increased fidelity. The key point is that you always have to count on a team of community managers to help you monitor and know the passions shaped by the world of sports.

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