As a total sports junkie, it’s been great to watch the growth of #SXsports, the sports track here at SXSW. Hearing key members of sports teams, online publications and key partners discuss how they use digital media to build brand recognition, attract new fans, drive ticket sales and so much more has been such a treat. Digital media is helping athletes and sports teams build their brand cache through the creation of online personas and direct engagement. Players and teams are able to foster their fan bases by granting fans access they’ve never experienced before.

Two of my favorite #SXsports sessions this year were the “Social Media Playbook: Activating Fans on Gameday” and “Now Athletes are Funny: Power of Comedy and Sports.” Each of the panelists had a ton of insights on how to properly integrate digital media in and around the sports world. Here are a few I found most worth sharing –

Pat Donahue, LA Kings Hockey Club

Live video is going to be huge for sports moving forward. It’s about capturing the moment in real-time and sharing it live.

Meghan Ryan, Boston Red Sox

It’s critical to tie social strategy and content back to business goals. The Boston Red Sox primarily looks at revenue, clicks and referrals when measuring how social is impacting business.

For brands looking to engage with professional sports teams, this works best when it’s organic in nature (i.e., Marshawn Lynch and Skittles).

gameday

Alex Richanbach, Funny or Die Sports

If you can’t laugh at yourself, you’re missing out.

Check out samples of Alex’s brilliant work with athletes –

Tim Nudd, Adweek

When athletes aren’t afraid to undermine their fame and make fun of themselves, they are able to better connect with people.

Baron Davis, professional basketball player

People just want to laugh. Comedy has become a great way for society to comfortably address more sensitive issues.