Punt, pass, Pin? Sports teams taking to Pinterest, Instagram

Almost every brand out there is finding ways to use emerging media to promote their brand and engage with consumers. Sports teams are no exception.

While it’s not surprising that sports teams are utilizing Facebook and Twitter to reach an audience, it is interesting the ways that teams are incorporating Pinterest and Instagram into their marketing campaigns.

Pinterest, a social network with a predominantly female user demographic, is an especially ingenious marketing strategy. As New York Giants director of digital media Nilay Shah says, “What intrigued us initially [about Pinterest] was that the platform seemed to be dominated by women. We certainly thought it was a great way to engage with that demographic and offer a different type of content than can be found on Facebook, Twitter, Google+.” However, although the Giants recognize Pinterest’s potential at reaching women, the team doesn’t actively use its Pinterest page.

The Denver Broncos' Pinterest homepage.

The Denver Broncos’ Pinterest homepage.

But both professional and collegiate sports teams are maximizing the site’s potential by posting photos of team-themed treats, fan fashion and merchandise, action photos and more. The Boston Celtics used Pinterest to promote a cyber sale; the Seattle Seahawks are gearing up for the Super Bowl; the Washington Redskins even use their account to share cool team Infographics. The University of Washington uses Pinterest to engage with fans by sharing fan-submitted artwork.

Pinterest isn’t the only emerging media gaining use among sports’ teams. Instagram, too, is a great resource for sports brands to engage with fans on a different level. Amid preparations for the Super Bowl, the NFL is sharing behind-the-scenes shots on its Instagram page. The LA Lakers also offer a behind-the-scenes look at the players, while the Cleveland Cavaliers showcase their promotions and community events.

And in perhaps the best use of Instagram by an athletic institution, the University of Tulsa mascot Goldie has an Instagram. If using Instagram to share photos of a dog donned in your brand’s logos isn’t a brilliant use of emerging media, then I don’t know what is. (Seriously, check it out. Cute puppy pictures.)