As the 2016 Texans season comes to an end (in 2017, I know right?), we begin the process of recapping what took place. For me, that means not just analyzing the results on the field, but what happened in the digital space. A year in the tech space can feel like an enternity, with trends and platforms coming to prominence and disappearing completely in the same time frame it takes to play 16 football games.
Don't believe me?
This time last year, Vine was an exploding platform that was a key part of any team's digital strategy. Now, its a camera feature for Twitter. Last year, Meerkat was the go to live streaming app, now, every platform has some version of live streaming and Meerkat doesn't exist. Like I said, trends change fast, and what is here today (and booming) can be gone tomorrow.
As part of our digital strategy this season, we ventured into native posting for our videos. For those not sure of what that means, it essentially is putting a video onto another platform (Facebook/Twitter) for consumption, as opposed to making fans watch it at HoustonTexans.com. Now, you can have a debate as to the value of each strategy (native vs. website), but that would take longer than any of us want this post to be. In short, we wanted to experiment with the idea, especially on Facebook, where we have such a large built-in following (2 million likes). That said, the results were pretty amazing.
While the definition of a view on Facebook seems to change rather regularly, for now, we are all (teams, publishers, etc.) playing with the same numbers. So, during the course of the past six months, we strategically placed certain videos and series directly onto Facebook and Twitter's players, and the results were really impressive. On Facebook alone, we've generated well into the mid-eight figures in views, including a few content pieces that really took off.
So, what were the top five most viewed videos on our Facebook page this year? Glad you asked. Check them out below.
5. Houston Texans clinch the AFC South: 1.53 million views
This video was a compilation of several angles from the exact moment the Texans clinched their second straight AFC South Championship.
4. Who's up for a game of catch...with J.J. Watt?: 1.73 million
Oh, that J.J. Watt fellow. This was taken on September 11, and chronicles Watt as he does his famous game of 'catch' with fans in attendance on gameday. It is a shame we didn't get to share this types of moments more, as Watt got injured a few weeks later and missed the rest of the season.
3. The Reunion Seen 'Round The World: 2.29 million
Sometimes the most memorable moments from Texans games don't happen during the actual game. This video was an example of that. This content piece captured a poignant moment, as a soldier returned home to surpise his wife. And surprise her he did.
2. J.J. Watt Bose commercial: 2.59 million
There goes that man again. This is Watt's Bose commercial, where he 'listened' to how the technology behind Bose's speakers worked. I know this is the YouTube version, but you get the gist of it.
1. J.J. Watt meets the Mexican National Team: 5.54 million
This video single-handedly showed the power of social media native players. Taken during Mexico's visit to NRG Stadium for Copa Amercia, Watt surprised the Mexican National Team with a visit to their practice. This video broke every record we had for views, eclipsing 6 million views when you count all platforms. It also spawned one of our most famous GIFs, when Javier 'Chicharito' Hernandez first meets Watt. He even shared the moment on his social media channels, which you can see below.