Snap! You've got 10 seconds, so make them count

Michelle Sammet explains how SPIKES is leading the snapletics revolution to engage with young athletics fans

It’s 2016 and we’re all suffering from a fast-spreading disease: FOMO. Don’t worry, no need for jabs, FOMO means ‘fear of missing out’, defined by UrbanDictionary as “anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may currently be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website”.

Feel like you’re missing out?

The good news is there’s a cure. It’s called Snapchat. In an effort to heal athletics fans around the globe from FOMO on live track and field action, Haymarket Network’s SPIKES, the online platform and young voice of athletics’ governing body IAAF, led the snapletics revolution.

Snapchat is one of those things you can’t properly understand until you’ve used it for yourself. This is how I recently explained it to my mum: Snapchat’s an app that allows users to send each other photos and videos of up to 10 seconds that delete themselves after being viewed. You can choose whether you send ‘snaps’ to specific friends only, share ‘stories’ with all of your friends, or make them public to everyone who ‘follows’ you. Stories are only available to view for 24 hours – after that they disappear forever.

What’s the point?

Our attention span in the digital age is about that of a fruit fly. That’s why Twitter works. Everything you need to know in 140 characters.

More so, we are visual consumers. Tweets that include media (photos, GIFs, videos) receive twice the engagement rate of those without. That’s why Snapchat took social media to a whole new level. The immediacy of Twitter, the intimacy of Instagram.

During the inaugural IAAF World Indoor Tour, SPIKES went behind the scenes to snap athletes during their pre-meet practice, find out what they’re having for breakfast and snapped a world record the closest you could possibly get.

We went even further for the IAAF World Indoor Championships in Portland, Oregon, in March. Together with the IAAF Event Presentations team, we designed a bespoke Geofilter.

During the four days of competition, Snapchat users in and around the Oregon Convention Centre could use the Portland 2016 World Indoor Championships Geofilter to share their unique world champs experience with the world. Athletes were snapping from the warm-up area, broadcasters snapped from their studios, fans from the stands – and we snapped from everywhere we could get in to.

People thousands of miles away were able to feel part of the event.

More than half of Snapchat’s 100 million daily users are below the age of 24, which means Snapchat and its Geofilters are an effective way to reach our young target audience by hitchhiking on relevant content created directly by the athletes and other influencers in the sport.

And even the critics agreed. Snap!