Share of Voice

Bridging the Gender Fan Gap in Sports Through AI: A Focus on TikTok Engagement for Paris 2024

TikTok: Female vs Male Followers of International Sport Federations (IFs) Paris 2024

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The upcoming Paris 2024 Olympic Games marks a historic achievement in gender equality in sports, with an anticipated equal representation of male and female athletes. Despite this milestone, the disparity in fan engagement between genders remains a significant challenge. The gender breakdown of fans, particularly for federations participating in the Paris 2024, shows a considerable gap that needs to be addressed. This report examines how Artificial Intelligence (AI), especially on platforms like TikTok, can help bridge this gap and foster a more inclusive fan base for women's sports.

Current State of Fan Engagement
A recent study revealed that 17 million Canadians consider themselves fans of women’s sport, highlighting the potential market for women’s professional sport in Canada[Businesswire]. Furthermore, athletes like Angel Reese, Caitlin Clark, and others have shown the power of social media in increasing viewership and attendance, particularly in women’s NCAA basketball.

The WNBA has also seen high levels of social media engagement and sponsorship influence, with 80.8% of surveyed fans reporting sponsorship influence.

The Role of AI in Enhancing Fan Engagement
The integration of AI in sports marketing and fan engagement strategies presents a promising avenue for increasing the visibility and popularity of women's sports. AI can analyse vast amounts of data to identify patterns and trends in fan behavior, enabling federations and brands to tailor their content and outreach efforts more effectively.

Personalization and Content Creation
AI can help create personalised content for fans by analysing their viewing habits and preferences. Through machine learning algorithms, AI can suggest and generate content that is more likely to resonate with individual fans, thereby increasing engagement. For TikTok users, this could mean receiving customised video recommendations featuring women's sports that align with their interests.

Predictive Analytics for Trend Spotting
AI can predict emerging trends by analysing social media data. This can help sports federations and athletes stay ahead of the curve and capitalise on viral moments. For example, if a particular type of women's sports content is gaining traction on TikTok, federations can quickly produce similar content to engage with this growing audience.

Enhanced Fan Interaction
Chatbots and virtual assistants powered by AI can interact with fans in real-time on social media platforms like TikTok. These AI tools can answer questions, provide game updates, and even facilitate the purchase of merchandise or tickets, thus fostering a stronger connection between fans and women's sports.

Targeted Advertising
AI can optimise advertising campaigns by identifying the most effective channels and times to reach potential fans. On TikTok, where the user base skews younger, AI can help brands and federations target ads to demographics that are more likely to engage with women's sports content.

Implementation Strategies on TikTok
To leverage AI on TikTok effectively, federations and brands should consider the following strategies:

- Collaborate with Influencers: Partner with popular TikTok influencers to create engaging content that promotes women's sports.
- Leverage User-Generated Content: Encourage fans to create and share their own content related to women's sports, using AI to identify and amplify the most engaging posts.
- Interactive Campaigns: Develop interactive campaigns that use AI to personalize challenges or competitions based on user engagement.
- Data-Driven Insights: Utilise AI to gain insights into the content preferences of TikTok users and adapt strategies accordingly.

The Paris 2024 Olympic Games presents a unique opportunity to address the gender fan gap in sports. AI offers a suite of tools that can help federations and athletes engage with fans on platforms like TikTok, where the potential for viral content and youth engagement is high. By harnessing the power of AI to create personalized, engaging, and interactive content, the sports industry can make significant strides toward equalizing fan engagement between genders.

17 Million Canadians Consider Themselves Fans of Women’s Sport According to New Research. Business Wire, 22 Apr. 2024
Women Athletes Are Changing the Culture of Fan Engagement. Forbes, 12 Apr. 2024
Angel Reese, Caitlin Clark, Cameron Brink Usher in New Era of WNBA Fan Engagement; New Data Shows. Forbes, 14 May 2024