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Samurai Japan keeps their fans entertained with Snapchat engagement

Samurai Japan, Japan?s national baseball team, has recently launched a team Snapchat account to provide fans both inside and outside their stadium a different perspective into the team.

The team began its excursion into the social media platform by broadcasting the account?s Snapcode on the Tokyo Dome?s big screens, allowing almost all of its up to 40,000 seat capacity to instantly friend the team on Snapchat. Going forward, the team will be able to leverage Snapchat to evoke online fan engagement, an absolutely necessary aspect of any brand looking to sell an experience rather than a product.

"Of all social channels, Snapchat creates the least amount of friction for users to capture and share their experiences," said Mohannad El-Barachi, CEO of SweetIQ. "As opposed to other social channels which dominate a more carefully curated feel (like Instagram) Snapchat is owning the quick, realistic, and fun interactions. 

"It?s the most seamless medium out there," he said. "Sports teams can optimize this by giving fans an in depth look at elements of the team they might not see otherwise. 

"Getting a glimpse into pre-game rituals in a change room or seeing the coach?s vantage point will sell an interactive experience to your followers."

Social engagement
The initiative is the result of a collaboration with Tagboard, a social media technology platform. The Samurai Japan Snapchat account was created last week to showcase Snapchat content curated by Tagboard in the Tokyo Dome: a first for sports stadiums in Asia and just in time for one of the biggest baseball tournaments of the year in Asia.
Samurai Japan has been a digital pioneer in the sports market in Asia. The baseball organization originally employed Tagboard two years ago, and has been working with the Seattle-area based social media software company ever since to display social content in embeds and live displays.

The Tokyo Dome will host approximately 42,000 fans at each game during this weekend's tournament.

Samurai Japan broadcast its Snapcode stadium-wide

This is not the first sports collaboration for Tagboard. Previous partnerships include the Minnesota Vikings, Seattle Mariners, and UCLA.

"Whether they subscribe to your accounts or not, a great way to connect with in-stadium fans is to create branded geofilters encompassing your stadium?s location," Mr. El-Barachi said. "With geofilters, your fans can share branded snaps of themselves in the moment.  

"At the end of the day, the user is the one who decides if they will use your geofilter and send it off to friends and family, effectively creating an open conversation between the consumer and the brand."

Snapchat for sports
For those who can't attend a game at the Tokyo Dome or just those interested in the happenings , the team's Snapchat account is samurai_jp.

The team has a wide following in Japan

The sports sector has quickly migrated to widespread adoption of mobile technologies as of late. Just last month, fans of the University of Notre Dame football team were able to watch their team in 360-degrees thanks to a new partnership between the team and virtual reality company NextVR (see story).

And Dos Equis is celebrating its inking of a deal with ESPN to become the official beer sponsor of the College Football Playoffs with a host of social marketing techniques that make use of mobile's unique traits, including a Snaphat filter (see story). 

"The LA Lakers have a notoriously great social media presence, and Snapchat is no different," Mr. El-Barachi said. "They often feature stories in Snapchat Discover or Live and have figured out how to package and capture the experience of heading to a Lakers game. 

"Snapchat has always held onto it?s 'fun' features. Sports teams who embrace this in their Snap content will do well. "