The first full slate of games for the 2018 college football season is highlighted by the return of a traditional rivalry matchup, as the University of Michigan visits the University of Notre Dame Saturday night, and NBC Sports is using social media to help fuel the hype machine.
Coverage of the clash starts at 7 p.m. ET Saturday with Countdown to Kickoff on NBCSN, followed by NBC’s presentation of the game at 7:30.
NBC Sports Group vice president of consumer engagement Lyndsay Signor said the network tried to look at the game from a bunch of different angles, adding, “What are all the ways we can talk to people about this game? There are really fun things you can do to raise awareness.”
The network leaned on students as campus ambassadors for home games, with Signor pointing out, “College kids understand social media better than anyone.” Those campus ambassadors capture content for NBC Sports, which then uses that content on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram Stories and Snapchat.
NBC Sports will host a Snapchat Live Story from Notre Dame’s campus in South Bend, Ind., on game day, featuring Snaps from the campus and the stands, as well as highlights, which Signor said does not necessarily mean plays during the game, and could include the bands, or fans in the stands.
She mentioned NBC Sports’ relationship with Snapchat, including its “very robust plan” around the 2018 Winter Olympic Games, and said the network will produce college football Live Stories throughout the season.
On Twitter, NBC Sports will use the social network’s conversation cards feature to make it easier for fans to share hype videos and custom content to @NDonNBC, and Signor said the network plans to test the use of conversation cards in other sports broadcasts.
Outside of social media, NBC Sports will team up with its NBC Sports Chicago regional sports network and owned-and-operated station WMAQ on events in Chicago including a Pot of Gold Tailgate at the Navy Pier and marching bands performing the two schools’ fight songs throughout the city.
The network will also host Notre Dame takeovers of bars and other locations in markets including New York, Boston and Nashville, Tenn.