15th FINA World Swimming Championships, Barcelona 2013

The World Swimming Championships are the top international competitions for water sports. They are held since 1973 by the International Swimming Federation (FINA).

Over 200 million users followed Barcelona 2013 live on Social Media

The first Social FINA World Swimming World Championships took place in the summer of 2013 in Barcelona. The Organisation offered an unprecedented level of coverage in the different social networks, in order to disseminate the information and message of the Championships.

48 people, including 12 professional journalists and 38 volunteers, joined forces to make Barcelona 2013 the first 2.0 World Swimming Championships.

Our Online Operations Director, Andreu Ballesteros, designed and directed the Social Media Operation in the position of Organisation's Social Media Manager.

Goals

  • Increase the recognition and visibility of the BCN2013 brand and the image of the Worlds, supporting ticket sales, sponsorship and merchandising.
  • Position the social channels of the World Swimming Championships as an informational reference in the world of Swimming.
  • Increase traffic to the Championships' website, with multichannel content syndication (news, press releases, newsletters, promotions).
  • Have a better knowledge about the users and how they perceive our brand and offer.
  • Increase the participation of the users in the competitions, offers and other actions of promotion and PR.

Development

The Social Media operation of the World Swimming Championships began in 2010, 2 years before the event. During the previous phase we developed a Social Media Plan on which we have involved the whole Communication Department. Although outwardly we acted as a single voice, internally we developed our work as a team.

The functional structure was designed as follows:

  • 3 Content Managers, experts in swimming. Their role was central, as they were the "expert voice" of the Organising Committee, which provided credibility and gradually built our reputation as an informational reference.
  • 1 Community Manager, who coordinated the technical integration and dynamisation of the different social channels. He was also responsible for the monitoring, metrics and analysis of all the channels used, as well as the strategic adaptation to cover the changing needs of the Communication Department.

In the Barcelona 2013 World Swimming Championships competed 5 different sports disciplines: swimming, synchronized swimming, diving, open water and high diving. One of the major difficulties of this operation was the simultaneous competitions happening in different venues (Palau Sant Jordi, Piscines Bernat Picornell, Municipal Swimming Pool of Montjuïc and the Port of Barcelona), ​​getting to have in some moments 4 sporting events happening at the same time in 4 different competition venues.

During the operational phase the Social Media Team was configured as follows::

  • 2 Social Media Managers, in charge of supervising all editorial programming and coordinating the different teams.
  • 10 Community Managers, responsible for moderating and generating engagement in the different social profiles, as well as coordinating the teams of volunteers assigned to each competition venue.
  • 36 volunteers, divided into the "MPC Group" (Main Press Centre), in charge of Customer Support, and the "Live Twitter Staff", decentralised in the different competition venues, responsible for the live communication of the different sports events.

A total of 48 people took part in the Social Media Operation of the Championships.

The communication produced was multilingual and was carried out in the 3 official languages ​​of the Championships: Catalan, Spanish and English. All sports communication was done in English, while Spanish and Catalan were reserved for corporate and institutional communication.

Results

The official hashtags of the World Championships, both the generic #BCN2013 and the specific ones of each sport discipline, were positioned in the World Top 5 in the moments of maximum media attention, and in the Spain Top 5 every day of the operational phase.

The Organisation's social channels were raised to a Klout index of 80 during most of the operation. This is a reputation level normally reserved for the media and big influencers
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BCN2013 Klout Score

 

You can also read the full article about the Social Media operations of the World Swimming Championships on the International Sports Press Association website.

 

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Who We Are

Alfavisions.com is a Barcelona-based Digital Marketing Agency leaded by Andreu Ballesteros. We are an interdisciplinary group of professionals dedicated to Online Marketing with a wide experience in the demanding world of Major Events Production. We have managed many successful online operations, such as the 2013 Swimming World Championships or the Barcelona World Race 2015. You can find some examples of our work in the "Success Stories" section.