The opportunity for fans to dictate their own conversations is
compelling, Mr. Bowman added. "They haven't been told what to say
yet," he said. "They haven't heard from experts on TV. What they
tweet is their original thoughts."
The traditional TV platform will persist at least as well in
sports as in any other genre, Mr. Bowman suggested. "People will
always watch sports on the largest screen they can find," he said.
The second screen is just complementing viewers' traditional
"In baseball, both TV viewing and online viewing move together,"
he said. As Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton hit two, then
three and ultimately four home runs in one game on Tuesday night,
fans' chatter in social media drew in more viewers. "As a player
hits that third home run, fans are all over the place, chatting
about it. I think it's complimentary. As soon as something is
happening, fans want to get to as many people as can."
Social engagement isn't limited to the main event or even TV for
sports, either, panelists said.
WWE has used live pre-shows on YouTube to generate social buzz.
Last week it tested in-person social engagement at an event in
Hunstville, Ala., encouraging fans to share photos and vote on the
type of match at the top of the card. "Twenty-five percent of the
crowd voted," said Jason Hoch, senior VP of digital at WWE.
"These are incredible content experiences," Mr. Hoch added. "It
was a two-way street with fans, getting them involved."
Initiatives that reach fans on a large scale and across
platforms will ultimately prove the most attractive to brands,
especially if they are still unsure how exactly the second screen
factors in, said John Kosner, exec VP for digital and print at
"It's the excellence of the experience that ultimately matters,
and it's important to note that advertisers really value integrated
scale," Mr. Kosner said. "Ideas and experiences that don't have
scale are unlikely to connect."