Paid social media advertising is an increasingly important piece of the social media puzzle, but not all International Olympic Sports Federations (IFs) use it. Are they missing a trick?

FIBA began to integrate paid social media advertising in 2012. REDTORCH sat down with José Pages, Digital Content Senior Coordinator (Europe), to discuss FIBA’s strategies and success.

Defining our audiences

We usually target our audiences in countries and cities important to FIBA and/or relevant to its current competitions. However, over the past 2–3 years we’ve also experimented with trial and error to discover which audiences react to specific content and campaigns.

Choosing a platform

Facebook is still our main platform: it has a wider audience than most, and provides more options for targeting and delivering campaign objectives. We divert some budget to Instagram, but as a platform for paid advertising it’s not as flexible or cost-effective for us.

Deciding our budget

We have an annual baseline budget for big promotions and a variable one for new developments. Approximately 50% of budget is used for Facebook, 25% for Instagram, and 25% for experimenting on other platforms, e.g. YouTube and Twitter.

The key to success

Clear targeting. We know exactly who and what to target, and we define a clear set of campaign objectives.

Measuring success

This depends on the campaign and its objectives. We’re currently pushing video content, so the total number of views is important.

Our most successful campaign

The high-quality highlights video of Slovenian prodigy Luka Dončić’s first NBA season – costing just US $50 – went viral and was reposted by various websites such as Bleacher Report. Thanks to Luka’s exploding popularity due to him joining the NBA, the campaign reported a very low cost-per-engagement.

Our biggest challenges

1. The rising cost of paid advertising as its popularity grows on social media.
2. Knowing what platform your audiences will use next: you might invest in one platform only to find that your audiences are moving to others.

Advice for IFs

First, study and understand your audiences. Second, launch a short, high-quality, high-impact campaign… learn and adapt from this to find the sweet spot.



Social media enables IFs to tell inspiring stories and build valuable relationships with global audiences.

Enter REDTORCH’s 2019 #SportOnSocial Survey Report – results and analysis from the world’s most comprehensive survey benchmarking IF social media practice.


60% of International Olympic Sports Federations do not use paid social media advertising

Of the IFs that use social media advertising, average monthly spend is US $1,575

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