SINGAPORE: Twitter is ramping up its involvement in live sports in Asia Pacific with the expectation that sports bodies prefer it to the likes of Amazon and Facebook.

The company has been keen to promote itself as the go-to platform for “what’s happening right now” where people can talk “in the moment” – a proposition that Twitter put forward in an ad campaign that coincided with this year’s Cannes Lions.

That is also the view of Laura Froelich, Global Director of Sports Partnerships, who spoke to The Drum at the company’s APAC headquarters in Singapore.

She said that Twitter realised five years ago that “incredible conversations” were happening on the platform about sports, news and entertainment, leading it to form content partnerships to drive the conversations further.

“We struck partnerships with all of the major leagues, teams, athletes and broadcasters to bring their incredible content on to our platform. We now have over 300 partnerships with rights holders in more than 25 countries around the world,” she said.

“It has allowed us to bring incredible content to fans and helps our sports partners to access those audiences, as well as new audiences that are becoming harder to reach as the media landscapes change.”

And with Amazon entering Asia Pacific in July and announcing the launch of its Prime video service earlier this month, the pressure is on to ensure Twitter keeps its appeal with APAC audiences.

Included among its activities in the region this year were the livestreaming of the Melbourne Cup, Australia’s most prestigious annual horse race, the 2017 RHB Singapore Cup, a football tournament, and Senbatsu 2017, a Japanese high school baseball tournament.

Twitter has also partnered with the National Basketball Association (NBA), particularly in the Philippines where the sport is very popular.

It created an exclusive show after research found NBA fans didn’t just visit the platform during live games, but also wanted to find out more information about their favourite teams and players.

Sourced from The Drum; additional content by WARC staff