Redtorch spoke to Olly Roland-Jones, Brand Partnerships, Sports at TikTok to find out why sports need to be on TikTok.

Olly Roland-Jones, Brand Partnerships, Sports, TikTok

Why is now a perfect time for sports to be on TikTok?

TikTok is fast becoming a home of fandom and sport culture. It’s a place where fans anywhere in the world can connect with their favourite teams, clubs, players and events, as well as create their own sporting content like memes and goal celebrations. You can see the love on the platform with 39 billion views on #sports and almost 94 billion on #football content.

This the year of sport on TikTok. We’re excited to be an official partner of UEFA EURO 2020 – the first time a digital entertainment platform has sponsored a major tournament for UEFA. Through its partnership with UEFA, TikTok is looking to cement its reputation as the home for football fans to share their passion for the game.

As an official partner, TikTok will provide a place where fans can follow their favourite football content creators, share the best TikTok football content, and create their own special moments, reactions and celebrations around the tournament.

Our community loves to celebrate sport in creative ways, and I can’t wait to see how they engage with all the unmissable content we expect for the UEFA EURO 2020.

In addition to the incredible amount of content created by our community, we’re seeing many more national and club football teams coming on to the platform, quickly achieving amazing success and lean into the trends on the platform. In addition we’re also seeing an increasing number of players join the fun and tell their own stories – on TikTok they can showcase their creative experiession, let loose and be their authentic selves.

How does TikTok differ from other social media platforms?

So I’d start by saying we’re not a social media platform, we’re an entertainment platform. But it’s not just for entertainment that people turn to TikTok for; they come to learn something new, to acquire a new skill, or simply get inspired to do something they’ve never done before.
Despite being a relatively new app, TikTok has received an amazing reception from people around the world, showing that everyone is a creator at heart. From day one, our mission has been to inspire creativity and bring joy, cultivating a safe space for positive, creative expression. The way we do that is by:

  • Firstly, making it easy and fun to express yourself. We give people incredibly easy-to-use, inventive and fun ways to add sounds, music and visual effects to videos shot right on your phone – making it easy and quick to bring ideas to life.
  • Second, we recommend videos to you based on what, rather than who, you like. The For You feed is the feed of videos you first see when you open TikTok – and the way it works is by learning what you enjoy so you can find more of it easily, from creators you don’t follow and might never have heard of, and it helps you discover challenges, trends, music and memes that you never otherwise would have done. That unique way of recommending content is how creators on TikTok can go viral without having a single follower.
  • Third, we bring people and communities together through original, witty and creative trends and memes that are programmed on the Discover page of the app – surfacing the best of what the community is enjoying, and responding to what’s happening in the world and in culture.

What is key for sports to be successful on the platform?

Sport on TikTok is all about passion. Sports content can be framed by a variety of emotional triggers – inspiring, funny, emotive, creative – and this makes it a perfect category to capitalise on our users story telling capabilities.

One thing to rememeber is that we’re a sound on platform, so the sounds of sport are key. This can take a number of forms, from passionate moments becoming even more emotional through our immersive sound on environment to the example of the F1 channel, which does an amazing job of showcasing the conversaion between driver and mechanic during a race.

If you could give just one piece of advice to a sport considering a presence on TikTok, what would it be?

Get started! You’re first piece of content likely won’t be your best performing, but that’s fine. Try to establish your own tone of voice and work towards delivering content that is increasingly native to the platform. Where possible, join in with the latest trends and be an active part of the incredible TikTok community.

What have you got up your sleeve for Tokyo 2020?

TikTok is such an exciting place to be at the moment, whatever sport you’re in – particularly as we gear up for an incredible summer of sports. From Wimbledon to UEFA EURO 2020, and of course this year’s summer Olympics in Tokyo – there will be so many high stakes sports moments for the world to watch and love.

To mark one year to go until the Tokyo Olympic Games last year, TikTok teamed up with Team GB to challenge people to get active with fun, physical TikTok workout challenges that people could try at home. Via the #TeamGBGames challenge, top Team GB athletes, including snowboarder Aimee Fuller, hockey player Sam Ward and taekwondo star Mahama Cho set challenges for the community to try, including handstands, juggling and some unique press-ups. The hashtag gained more than 538m views.

There’s plenty to more to come from us before the Games itself, so watch this space.

In one word, describe the past 12 months …


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