Behind the Scenes with the Philadelphia Eagles
Have you ever wondered what goes into producing the fan experience for an NFL game? Earlier this season, the Philadelphia Eagles gave us exclusive access to see first hand what goes into producing their gameday experience for 70,000 fans in stadium and millions of followers on social. We also caught up with the Eagles’ Vice President of Content & Production Eric Long and Event Production Coordinator Kelly Rafferty to gain insight into the pivotal role live social content plays in bringing fans closer to the action.
As the Eagles faithful arrive at Lincoln Financial Field on any given Sunday, they’re ready to be entertained. They’ve come to see the Eagles fly, and the anticipation leading up to kickoff is palpable. But the action isn’t limited to the football field alone.
Inside the production room is where the work begins. Leading up to and throughout the game, the curation and display of live social content from Instagram and Twitter onto the video boards is a huge factor in providing fans with a more interactive experience. For the Eagles organization, Tagboard is a key player in making this magic happen.
“Tagboard has impacted our fan experience by giving our fans a way to interact in the moment,” said Eric Long, the Eagles’ Vice President of Content & Production. “It makes it more of a two-way conversation experience. So now a fan doesn’t have to sit and watch the game, they can actually participate.”
We saw this unfold firsthand as the production team swiftly and seamlessly displayed live social content posted by fans inside the stadium. When the Eagles make a big play or rumble into the endzone for a score, the production team is on it – amplifying those moments by showcasing live Instagram and Twitter posts on the video boards while also engaging with their millions of fans on social.
The Eagles have over 3.3 million Twitter followers and more than 1.6 million followers on Instagram. To capitalize on this fanbase, they’ve evolved their content production to be less broadcast-focused and more socially-driven over the past few years. Last season the Eagles became the first NFL team ever to display live Instagram Stories at home games, just before their postseason run and ultimately their Super Bowl win.
And much like the Eagles’ postseason record, their social campaigns also came out on top.
“Having Tagboard as one of our gameday vendors allows us to create quality content in lightning speed,” said Kelly Rafferty, the Eagles’ Event Production Coordinator. “It takes us almost no time during the week to prepare, and our outcome is five to six gameday elements that our fans love, and it’s super easy for us.”
The rise of live social content platforms such as Instagram Stories and Twitter Moments has completely changed the way broadcast networks, entertainment brands and sports teams interact with fans in the moment. The giant video boards in stadiums are no longer just highlight machines. They’ve evolved into a tool for teams to tap into the emotion of the fans and increase engagement.
Live content is also a big hit with Eagles’ sponsors. Rather than just displaying sponsored content with standalone logos or branding on the video boards, sponsors now have a wider range of activations that can be integrated on gameday.
The Eagles promote a “Coke Social Media Wall” where fans can submit their photos using a gameday hashtag. With Tagboard’s platform, those pics are displayed on a Coca-Cola sponsored video board in stadium. During the game, the production team runs a segment called “Coke Social Spotlight” where they highlight one lucky fan as the winner.
“When it comes to sponsored content, Tagboard can bring life to something that would otherwise just have logos and branding on it,” said Long.
The Eagles aren’t the only NFL team tapping into live social content to enhance the gameday experience for fans. 13 other NFL teams around the league use the Tagboard platform to discover and display hyper-local content with fans in the stadium. Heading into this year’s NFL playoffs, the role live social content plays in the gameday experience has never been greater.