In 2017, the International Paralympic Committee’s (IPC) social media accounts enjoyed one of the biggest successes among sports governing bodies, breaking into the top 10 in the most followed accounts in the world.
According to the Sportcal Social Media Index 2017, which analysed the growth and development of the top 65 sports governing bodies’ social media accounts, the IPC was the only major movement in the top 10 in the overall rank and percentage growth for international sports federations, as it moved up seven places to No. 9.
The landmark moment for the IPC makes it to No. 12 in the countdown of the Top 50 Moments of 2017.
“The IPC’s digital strategy is all about bringing fans closer to the action during events, and creating engaging content between events,” said Natalia Dannenberg-Spreier, IPC Digital Media Senior Manager.
The IPC manages 45 social media accounts both for the Paralympic Games and for the 10 sports for which it acts as International Federation. The IPC is active on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat, YouTube, Weibo and G+. The accounts grew by up to 230 per cent in 2017, and the IPC now reaches 2.3 million fans across all its accounts.
“This year, we have been focusing increasingly on creating multi-media content and also on developing our non-English content,” said Dannenberg-Spreier.
“As a global governing body, it’s important that we don’t just reach English speakers, so we have an amazing team of volunteers creating posts for us in French, Spanish, Portuguese, Russian, Korean, Chinese and Japanese.”
In 2017, the IPC livestreamed 16 major sporting events on YouTube and Facebook including eight World Championships. The livestreams combined with a more video-focused social media strategy achieved 20 million video views on Facebook and 19 million on YouTube. In addition, the Snapchat Live Story at the World Para Athletics Championships London 2017 achieved 45.1 million views.
The IPC is also transferring some of its knowledge to elevate the social media of other sports in the Movement. In 2017 it began a volunteer programme covering eight sports where volunteers were recruited to create content for those channels. Since the project began, those sports have seen growths of up to 50 per cent.
“It’s important for us that we strengthen the whole Paralympic Movement on digital media. Only that way can we make a real impact in our aspiration to change attitudes towards persons with an impairment,” said Dannenberg-Spreier.
The IPC is also increasingly working with media publishers such as UNIlad to amplify Paralympic news. The IPC partnered with Unilad to livestream major events such as the World Para Powerlifting Championships and World Para Alpine Skiing World Cup, as well as facilitating the live streaming of the IBSA Blind Football European Championships there, bringing the sports to millions of viewers from new audiences.
The countdown of the IPC Top 50 Moments continues until 31 December.