There’s one thing that excites men, women and children alike — getting on the jumbo TV screen at a sports game. Whether they’re on the Kiss Cam or dancing like nobody’s watching, seeing your face on a stadium’s big screen is a major thrill.

This is nothing new of course. Teams have been showcasing excited fans in stadiums, arenas and ballparks for years now. Online, it’s a very different story. Why aren’t sports teams showcasing the treasure trove of photos and videos fans are posting online everyday? Whether it’s a viral photo of a little kid in an adorable, miniature Tom Brady jersey or a guy wearing his New York Yankees cap at the pyramids in Egypt, user-generated content (UGC) should be a major source of content for sports teams. But at the moment, it’s incredibly under-utilized. Why is UGC so valuable?

  • Fans make and share it for free.
  • Those fans are showcasing team jerseys, hats and other apparel — making them look far cooler than the team’s marketing department ever could.
  • They show in-the-moment fan reactions.
  • Teams need to supplement the images they share on social, which are predominantly in-game photos of players.

“Historically, from a marketing standpoint, we’re always trying to recreate these magical moments in sports, like people cheering in a bar or jumping off a couch with the chips and snacks flying in the air. It did feel a little bit artificial at times. Now, we’re at a point where we can deliver on these moments with authenticity, and do it in a way that’s real time, and people are accepting of it, almost in a non-edited format,” Jeremy Carey, Managing Director of sports marketing agency Optimum Sports, told CNBC in a recent interview.

The Brooklyn Nets do a good job of capturing UGC from fans, gathering content hashtagged #WearBrooklynAt and housing it all on a dedicated page on their website. It’s a good place for people to discover apparel and get excited about the brand.

Gathering UGC is good place to start. Connecting that imagery to commerce is even more effective. Curalate’s discovery-driven commerce platform helps teams like the Washington Redskins and Miami Heat revolutionize their digital marketing strategies. Curalate clients see a 79% increase in time on site, a 16% increase in average order value and a 31% conversion rate.

What can Curalate do for your team?

Connect images to commerce: See a pic of jersey, click to buy the jersey. The lifestyle photography that fans are showcasing online make your jerseys, hats and other apparel look really cool. They let other fans visualize how they look on real people and are much more intriguing than a boring product image shot against a white background. Curalate removes the friction between the moment when someone discovers your product and when someone buys it — leading to increased revenue.

Connect imagery to highlights: See a pic of a player scoring a touchdown or making a slam dunk? Use Curalate to connect it to a video of highlights from the game. Or a box score. Or an article wrapping up the game. By connecting imagery to game recaps, you can increase clickthroughs to your website.

We identify top-performing imagery, so you don’t have to. Our data can help you easily identify which photos are getting the most engagement. We examine much more than vanity metrics (likes and comments), offering analytics you can share with your team to help determine your digital marketing strategy going forward.

Request rights with automatic messaging. Asking permission to use a photo or video? Just click the checkmark and you’ll send an automatic rights-request message to the user. As soon as they say yes, the content is automatically uploaded to the gallery of lifestyle content housed on your website. No more steps required — saving your team lots of time.

Productize imagery in seconds. In our dashboard, it only takes a few clicks to make your products shoppable and actionable. It’s even faster if you upload your product feed, which will allow you to quickly search for the appropriate product right from our dashboard.

Ready to get started? Sign up for a free Curalate demo here.