3 min read

Exclusive: How TikTok Is Creating Platform For Fans And Athletes


In an exclusive interview with Ministry of Sport, TikTok ANZ sport business development lead, Jonathon Oake, discussed how the social media platform is creating a platform for athletes and fans to create compelling sports content.

Jonathon Oake, Sport Business Development Lead @ TikTok ANZ

Creating a platform to enable creators to make sports content:

Commenting on TikTok as a platform, Oake said it is a vibrant hub of sporting content for millions of users across Australia.

“Sport is a huge category on our platform as leagues, teams and players have the ability to show a different side of their game that’s more than just highlights,” Oake said.

“TikTok is where all fans play. It’s the platform where fans come together to laugh, smile, celebrate and commiserate. Short form mobile video is one of the most engaging and effective formats to reach Aussie sports fans and it is our goal to be the home of sports content for all Australians.

“The power and diverse reach of TikTok’s community enables us to deliver fresh and engaging content to a passionate fanbase across Australia, as well as encouraging creators to make sports content like some of their sporting idols,” he said.

TikTok recently launched a ‘search hub’ for all official FIFA World Cup content, including FIFA, official broadcasters and national teams which also involved partners, the Subway Socceroos.

Creating a platform for creators to promote women’s sport:

On TikTok creating a platform for women’s sport, Oake said women’s sport is an integral part of their partnership strategy.

Recently, TikTok welcomed the AFLW, Matildas and Netball Australia, where all respective accounts feature content that’s engaging, entertaining and exclusive, resulting in their partners seeing higher engagement numbers.

TikTok has also offered consulting and instruction to women’s sporting bodies, including Football Australia, AFLW, NRLW, Netball Australia, Tennis Australia and Cricket Australia, and athletes, including Rueben and Kennedy Cherington, Jess Fox, Megan Anderson, Olivia Vivian and Charlie Rule, on how to best utilise the platform, how to grow an audience, and how to create content to compete side-by-side with male-dominated sports. In fact, one of the most-followed NRL players on TikTok is NRLW’s star Katelyn Vaha’akolo,” Oake said.

Using athletes as ambassadors:

On using athletes as ambassadors to create content, Oake said TikTok encourages all their sport partners to profile their athletes as it really resonates with fans.

“In the leadup to the NRL Grand Final, the NRL did a series of TikTok LIVEs featuring Johnny Tuivasa-Sheck, Kennedy and Rueben Cherrington. They all saw incredible engagement, which helped drive NRL’s follower count to over 1 million,” Oake said.

“We’ve also seen athletes like Brittany O’Brien, Sam Fricker, Tilly Kearns and Aimee Massie become incredible ambassadors for sports including diving, water polo and skateboarding respectively, by creating engaging and humourous content about their training regimes, life as an elite athlete whilst interacting directly with their fans via TikTok.

“Right now, TikTok is working with the majority of the leading sporting organisations (aforementioned) in Australia to elevate women’s sport, as it is of incredible importance to us. Ahead of the FIFA Women’s World Cup AUNZ 2023 in July, we will be working with all national teams globally, including the CommBank Matildas, to help elevate their content on platform during this time,” he said.

To read the previous MOS Brand Break, where Sportradar’s Jarod Pickering discussed the success of their fielding data collection, click here.

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