Two UCFB students had the privilege of attending the finals weekend of the French Open in Paris this month to analyse the culture of the event and how it’s organised, as well as assess the event’s sponsorship, marketing, and fan experience.

Whilst there, UCFB Wembley BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing students Joe Enright and Joe Thompson documented their time using Snapchat, the social media that allows users to glimpse videos and pictures of an event for a few seconds before it disappears.

Excitingly, the pair created a Snapchat story which was seen by over 3.5 million people after it was picked up by Snapchat bosses and added to their own story after Novak Djokovic defeated Andy Murray in the men’s final.

Here, Joe Enright explains how they used the platform and how it’s transforming the way viewers watch sport.

“Ever since September 2011, when Snapchat first hit the digital world, it has continued to grow at an incredible rate. The latest figures show Snapchat has a daily active user count of over 150 million people, so it was only a matter of time before Snapchat entered the world of live sport. Its impact has been unprecedented.

“Sport has quickly embraced the new social media platform, from Premier League teams to individual sporting stars. It is now universally frowned upon if your sporting property is not sharing their snaps with their followers and supporters. The USP (Unique Selling Point) that has seen Snapchat become a firm favourite in sport is its ability to show supporters footage that would not be traditionally aired on live television. For example, footage from the training ground, player takeovers and further behind the scenes exclusive clips

“The significant advantage that Snapchat currently possesses over its counterparts, such as Twitter, is that for an allotted time it has the users’ full attention. Due to its format, the Snapchat will disappear in under ten seconds – with this in mind users must absorb the information quickly before they miss it. In the same light, this allows the users to keep up to date in real time, without having to read through a post or article. Most importantly the app offers its users a fun, interactive image that is exclusively unique to the platform.

Joe Enright at Roland Garros, with tennis consultant and UCFB lecturer Deepak Trivedi

“There is a real global interest within sport and the digital and broadcasting worlds with regards to where the expansion of Snapchat could lead. Will Snapchat replace traditional broadcasting companies? Will there be any need for television subscriptions with the rise of live streaming apps? Are there any copyright infringements to consider? This links directly to my BA (Hons) Football Business & Marketing degree that I’m about to enter my final year of at UCFB Wembley. As marketer’s we must be able to identify the latest trends, and then utilise them in order to maximise revenues or brand exposure, for example.

“Prior to departing for the 2016 Roland Garros finals weekend, I was intrigued as to whether or not the French Open would be embracing this new digital trend, particularly as neighbouring Grand Slam event Wimbledon had just signed a multi-year deal with Snapchat to share live moments. What I found both impressed and surprised me; the official Roland Garros Snapchat account was producing some incredibly unique content that was both entertaining and extremely engaging.

“This gave me the inspiration to use Snapchat to share my own experience of the weekend in Paris. I followed the same strategy that the official Roland Garros account used – to try and entertain my audience. This was achieved by utilising every component that Snapchat offers, in the form of added text, emojis and geo-filters. By including the additional features that I had at my disposal, I was able to engage my audience whilst also providing a fun video entry of a day at Roland Garros. Due to the variety of different engaging activities that were provided throughout the weekend within the grounds, I was able provide my audience with an array of snaps.


Examples of the official Roland Garros Snapchat channel

“Internally, around 200 people that follow the UCFB Snapchat account viewed my Snapchat story. This was fantastic as it gave current and future students exclusive footage of the possible work experience opportunities that can be achieved with UCFB. However, one of our Snapchats from the weekend was submitted to the global Snapchat story of Novak Makes History, which was subsequently viewed by 3.5 million people worldwide. This was an incredible achievement for us, as it was clear that even Snapchat itself felt that we were producing entertaining and engaging content. To have the UCFB account reach 3.5 million unique viewers was fantastic and really demonstrates that in 2016 there is a real audience that businesses and companies can reach out and market to.

“I really believe that Snapchat and live streaming is the future of news and live sport. The users’ attention is becoming more and more dependent on video and visual content, something which Snapchat is perfect for. It was evident by the number of people viewing our content from Roland Garros that it was a fantastic success, and something which UCFB can continue to utilise for future work placement opportunities.”

To view a part of the Snapchat Story please see below:

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