"When you think of something as seminal as the World Cup," said Kay Madati, Twitter's vice president and global head of content partnerships, "it just presents this opportunity to marry the conversation that's happening around the sport, and amplify it on our platform." He said that, through efforts like the 2018 World Cup live show, Twitter is able to connect fans to the sport in a new, creative way -- especially those who won't be attending the event in Russia. Madati said that during the 2014 World Cup, which took place in Brazil, there were nearly 700 million tweets about it, noting that to this day the Brazil-Germany semifinal match is still the most-tweeted event in Twitter's history. "I'm hoping to see that we break some of the records that we set before," he said.
Madati pointed to these type of partnerships as being core to Twitter's business strategy. The company also teamed up with People TV recently on an Oscars show, and it now also has a live NFL news and analysis program. Not surprisingly, Twitter isn't the only one ramping up its video efforts, other industry giants like Facebook and Amazon are investing billions of dollars in the space.
But regardless of the competition, Madati believes Twitter continues to be the best place for interactive commentary, as it lets people have conversations with one another around something they love (or hate) in real time. "For us," he said, "I think that we present a unique value proposition for users, and our business partners to actually extend reach, engagement and visibility, and fandom around sports or any other kind of activity in general."
Catch up on the latest news from SXSW 2018 right here.