Soccer and Snapchat

By | April 17, 2015

This is a pretty cool article about Snapchat at the US vs. Mexico friendly this past weekend.  I personally forgot the friendly was even taking place—until I checked my Snapchat in the middle of the afternoon and found a “Live Story” of the game.  The Live Story allowed people attending the game to submit a Snapchat (a 10-second-or-less video or picture) to potentially be a part of an approximately 300-second-long video/photo stream of the event, able to be viewed around the world.  In the past, there have also been Live Stories of the NCAA Final Four, the Daytona 500, and the Superbowl.

The reason soccer made it to the forefront of one of the most widely-used social media platforms?  Jill Hazelberger, Snapchat’s VP of Communications, said it was because of “increased interest in the sport over the past decade” in the United States.  She also mentioned partnering with Univision to launch the Live Story because “no one can match Univision’s reach into Spanish-speaking America,” and that the friendly’s coverage was Snapchat’s first clear attempt to do so.

Whatever Hazelberger and Snapchat’s aims, for me, it was a pleasure to witness the game through the eyes (or smartphones) of those in attendance.  I often take a look at the Live Stories just for fun or when I’m bored, whether they display a sporting event or a peek into a big city (Dubai was a cool one this past week)—but, as Hazelburger suggested, and as we’ve been learning all semester, the appeal of soccer is “increasing” and even more so widespread around the world than mostly any other event a Snapchat Live Story could cover.  From the tailgates, to the U.S.’s two goals, to the cheering and jabs between the U.S. and Mexico fans in the crowds, the Live Story was an amazing sight to see, and made me feel as though I was right there in the action.  If Hazelburger’s implication proves to be correct, this won’t be the last Live Story surrounding a soccer event (actually, when I was in Madrid, there was a Live Story for Real Madrid-Barcelona!).  It’ll also provide a chance for soccer, on such a popular and widely used platform, to not only reach Spanish-speaking America, but to also reach many other Americans who are just looking at their phones in the middle of the day.

Category: Fans United States

About Danielle Lazarus

Danielle is a junior at Duke University, majoring in Public Policy and History. Although she loves Real Madrid, Philadelphia sports are her true passion, from the Phillies to the Eagles—and even the Union, too.

4 thoughts on “Soccer and Snapchat

  1. Reyina Senatus

    I usually don’t go on snapchat very often but I get excited when I see some new stories. College makes it really for me to keep up with the outside world so it’s always fun to be able to take part of an event by watching the stories. I, unfortunately, did not get to see the story for the game but I think it’s really interesting that there is such a thing as a team account (thanks Connie!). I’m looking forward to keeping up with the soccer world through the lens of the players and fans.!

  2. Deemer Class IV

    I remember the Snapchat story being used also for the 2014 World Cup which was exciting to be able to see the culture and fandom of all the different fans from different countries in attendance in Brazil. Certainly a fantastic feature and the more it is used it will be able to create more buzz around the sport, especially in the United States.

  3. Connie Cai

    Thanks Dani for making this post and bringing attention to the new relationship between Snapchat and soccer. The existence of team Snapchat accounts is now growing as well, something that definitely captures the attention of the modern youth and provides a great form of “free” publicity. While I was researching more on this topic, I stumbled upon a blog written by Jeff Mason – he has a great post (updated last on April 15: that outlines the various US professional sports teams with Snapchat accounts. In MLS, 13 out of 20 teams (65%) have a Snapchat account, while only 12 out of 32 NFL teams (37.5%) have a Snapchat account. Clearly MLS is trying to capitalize on a new area for marketing in social media, which is definitely in line with their hopes of targeting American youth and grow interest in soccer from a grassroots approach.

    Also worth noting, MLS is allowing players to “take over” the official MLS Snapchat account, and even Duke alum Sean Davis has already participated (source: It’s cool to see the various ways that MLS is using Snapchat to their advantage.

  4. Justin Fu

    According to viewership numbers that combined Fox Sports1, UniMas and Univision Deportes viewers of the game, the match drew an audience of 4.5 million viewers. This made the match the most watched soccer game in the history of Fox Sports 1, which launched in august 2013. The UniMas boradcast drew the highest number of viewers with 2.76 million, while Univision Deportes drew 890,000 and Fox Sports 1 drew 806,000. These numbers do not include the exposure the game received through social media platforms, however, and factoring in those who experienced the game through Snapchat would provide an interesting comparison of traditional media forms and social media for viewing soccer matches in today’s era. The use of Snapchat by this generation to view a variety of events without actually watching them on TV exposes them to new sports and cultures that can only benefit soccer’s reach with our youth.


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