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Snapchat Makes the Final Four

Posted: April 3, 2015, 12:05 p.m.

by Esther Workman.

Snapchat is on the fast track to becoming the Kentucky basketball of social media, making slam dunks on and off the court.

According to Adweek, Amazon and Hollister paid the company a hefty $750,000 each for a Snapchat Story featuring the 2014 Black Friday frenzy. And who could forget McDonald’s “Choose Lovin’” campaign in early January?  Most recently, Snapchat signed a deal with the NCAA to cover March Madness.

8579445892_69edf2cbe0_oThe latest and greatest picture-messaging app announced an agreement with Turner Sports, CBS Sports and the NCAA to feature live broadcasts of the Final Four on its Our Story platform. The Our Story feature aggregates content from fans at the game, players in the locker room and even those watching at home in Indianapolis to create a running “story” and bring the live experience to all of its users.

In a Digiday article, Rohit Thawani, director of digital strategy and social media at ad agency TBWAChiatDay, said, “Snapchat is turning into the SportsCenter of cultural moments.”

There is no financial arrangement in place for the deal. Instead, Snapchat is using this partnership as an opportunity to explore its future involvement in other sporting events. According to an executive involved in the deal, Snapchat is looking to obtain sponsorship and media-rights deals with sports leagues featured on the mobile app.

The company previously released stories from the 2014 World Cup and various college football games this past season; however, sports leagues are known to be stingy with broadcast rights, and Snapchat is attempting to avoid any legality issues.

By launching paid opportunities that highlight popular sporting events, Snapchat is giving the industry an outlet to reach new audiences. For those who don’t have cable or lack access to games outside of their region, Snapchat provides a live stream of the fan experience so everyone can feel a part of the action.

This venture is just another in a line of successes for Snapchat. In January, the company unveiled the Discover feature that allows brands such as ESPN, CNN and Comedy Central to create channels that feature one-of-a-kind content.

Snapchat is currently undefeated with brands this season headed into Indianapolis (no, Charles Barkley, not “In the Annapolis”) for the Final Four. Watch out Kentucky, you might be next.

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