Go Birds! Football season is finally back, and in Philadelphia, we are extremely loyal to the Eagles. While many diehard fans have supported the team before modern Internet culture ever existed, in recent years, the Birds have used a “Content as a Community” archetype on social media to nurture and grow the fan base. As stated in “Key Elements for Building a Content Strategy”, “value to customers here isn’t just the content, it is the social interaction that the content supports.” The more Eagles fans engaging with the team’s posts, the more hype is built around the team and its players. If the team is popular among fans, more people will come out to the games and purchase team merchandise.
The best part about rooting for your favorite NFL team is the sense of community you feel with everyone in your city on game days. There is nothing better than walking the streets of Philly after a big Eagles win and seeing everyone out celebrating (and don’t even get me started on the night we won the Super Bowl)! The Eagles use a mix of “graphics, photography, illustrations, and videos” on their various social media platforms to try and replicate that home game feeling and engage fans “across the world.” The Eagles’ social is media is also focused on bringing fans “inside the organization,” especially on their TikTok account which was created in 2019. In addition, this community-based strategy has been especially useful for the team in the offseason; posts keep the team front of mind for fans even when there are no games currently happening.
While building the Eagles’ engagement through this community-based content strategy online is mostly beneficial for the team, it can be a double-edged sword and a calm crisis communication strategy is required. Famous for throwing snowballs at Santa in the 1960s, we all know what Eagles fans are like when the team is not doing well. Our attitude has not changed in the modern era, but how we complain has. Social media is a great tool for bringing fans together during winning seasons, but it also amplifies the largest critics. In the 2020 season, critics of the Eagles’ (now former) quarterback Carson Wentz came out in full force online, calling for him to be removed from his starting position. During situations like this, the Eagles’ social media accounts have kept quiet, letting the fans get their feelings out rather than amplifying negative messages by responding to critique.
Overall, as long as the Eagles franchise is prepared for their fans’ engagement in both good times and bad, using their social media platforms and the content they create to promote the community will help grow the team’s reach.