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Saturday, June 22, 2024

How Instagram’s New “Live With” Feature Can Work For Sports Teams

It could be a game-changing feature.

(Via Instagram)

On Tuesday, Instagram announced its plan to add a new feature to its live video streaming capabilities. While it has no formal name, social media users have dubbed the update “live with” since the update will enable the initial broadcaster to allow any user currently watching the broadcast to join as a co-host in split screen fashion.

Included in Instagram’s announcement was the news that the new feature is “currently testing with a small percentage of [the] community and will be rolling out globally over the next few months.”

While Facebook and Twitter/Periscope both already have live streaming capabilities, this adds a new dimension to the idea with the ability to see two views at once. My initial thought is there are few cool ways that teams and brands can utilize that difference to create some interesting and engaging content.

1. Interview and Talk Show Content Becomes Easier To Produce

(Photo via washingtoncollegesports.com)

While some teams already do some interview/talk show style content, this gives a new way to do it remotely fairly easily since all you need is two phones.

Picture a smaller athletic department without the funds to send the sports info or marketing department on a long road trip with the basketball team. If the team captures a big win, it could be hard to get some immediate celebratory content without anybody physically there. Now, with this, a host or an SID can jump on a video chat with a player or coach right from the court or locker room to talk about the game’s events.

When you have your content team centered on campus or central location, things like this make it exponentially easier.

2. Alternate Views For Live Streaming Events

(photo via Sports Illustrated)

Picture that same small athletic department again. The sports info/marketing department wants to utilize live streaming via social media in order to broadcast games. In a lot of cases, this just consists of propping up a single camera (in some cases a camera phone) with a tripod in a press box or high up in the bleachers and filming that way.

Now, you can still have that camera phone in the usual spot capturing a bird’s eye view of the action, but you have the option of allowing other people with a camera to jump in with an alternate view of the game.

For example, a student worker or intern can roam the sideline/dugout to capture some interesting behind the scenes content or just a closer view of a certain part of the field. Another way this can be utilized is allowing fans to jump in on the broadcast and share their own view of the game from the stands or a tailgate party. If this were the case, it would probably be smart to only allow fans who have been pre-screened in some way to do this.

Bigger teams already utilize Instagram live to broadcast things like batting practice and warm ups. Now, theoretically, fans could see batting practice from behind home plate and from the pitcher’s mound at the same time.

3. Chats Between Players and Influencers

(photo via mirror.co.uk)

For the sake of this example, let’s use Manchester United. One of their players, let’s say Juan Mata Garcia, scores a late game winning goal. An event like this obviously excites the entire fan base. That includes Man U’s passionate celebrity fans, who have big followings in their own right. A great example of this kind of person is Olympic sprinter Usain Bolt.

Now through a seemingly incredibly easy process, Bolt can chat with Garcia on the team’s official Instagram page, and fans can watch that conversation happen in real time and engage with it. There’s plenty of possibilities in this regard even in college athletics where in addition to tweeting congratulatory messages to players, famous alumni can have full conversations and experience the excitement in the moment.

How do you see teams and athletic departments utilizing “live with”? Let us know on Twitter!


Front Office Sports is a leading multi-platform publication and industry resource that covers the intersection of business and sports.

Want to learn more, or have a story featured about you or your organization? Contact us today.

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