How EA Sports targets the Right Fans with the Right Content in Social Media and Sports

Not all fans are the same. When devising content, most will go for content that will reach the widest and get those metrics we’re all after. But is it all about the greatest reach and the greatest engagement rate?

On the surface, the answer would seem to be a resounding yes. But when evaluated a bit more, there is the reality that there are different segments of fans. Different segments with different interests, wants, needs, and even optimal outcomes from the perspective of a team or brand.

The ability to learn more about and specifically target these varied groups of fans makes it easier than ever to have a multi-faceted content and engagement and marketing strategy. For a mega sports brand like EA Sports, they know not every fan is a diehard gamer (but some are) and not every is a fan of specific team or player, among so many other differentiating factors. This thoughtfulness goes into their strategy, targeting specific “cohorts” of fans, according to their Senior Social Media Manager, Kurt Stadelman. (listen to my conversation with him)

“We create content aimed at each cohort,” said Stadelman, who oversees the brand’s social media properties, but spent years behind the Madden NFL and Tiger Woods PGA game accounts. “We’ll go into creating a trailer specifically for cohort 3, and then we’ll do another for cohort 1, for cohort 2. We’ll do our targeting when we do paid media….we’ll target these audiences with promoted posts, containing those pieces of content”

It’s about being aware and analytical about the different types of potential fans and customers, and how best to engage them. Each piece of content and social media has a goal, and the goal of each is not the same. By knowing the desired objectives AND the the desired audience, it allows for more effective use of the platforms and better delivery on strategic goals. Not to mention a better experience for fans, too.

Stadelman elaborated on their cohort-focused strategic content. “If we want to target a cohort 1, which is hardcore gamers, the trailer that we’ll use will probably have a focus on the new FIFA Ultimate Team promotion that we have coming up, as opposed to — if you try to target the casual gamer with something like that, they’ll be like ‘What the Hell is a FIFA (or Madden) ultimate team?…”


It’s no secret that there are different types of fans, varying levels of fandom and avidity — across games, across sports. So do something about it. Map it out – can you define your cohorts? Are you delivering the right content and the messaging to serve them? Yes, mind the macro metrics and the biggest KPI wins, but heed your KPIs for each fan segment within your reach.

Some fans want the X’s and O’s, some want the player personalities most, others enjoy the fan community and connection and game day atmosphere, and still others may just be casually looking for a good time or something to do or watch. There are different fans for whom there are different desired outcomes and different paths to get there.

It’s one size fits all. So don’t treat it that way.

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