Fan Engagement Strategies Used by the Famous Sports Clubs

When it comes to fan engagement, sports leagues need to find new and innovative ways to connect with their supporters or risk becoming obsolete. With that said, here are some strategies used by famous sports clubs in their attempt at generating more fan engagement. 

Sports entertainment is a multi-billion-dollar industry that’s going through a severe disruption at the moment. Now, the entire world, be it in business or otherwise, is going through a vast transformation, facilitated in large part by new digital technologies. What some may call it the 4th Industrial Revolution; others see it as an incredible opportunity.

When it comes to fan engagement, sports leagues need to find new and innovative ways to connect with their supporters or risk becoming obsolete. With that said, here are some strategies used by famous sports clubs in their attempt at generating more fan engagement.

Turning to Mobile

Even as far back as 2014, 83% of sports fans were regularly checking their mobile phones while attending a live sporting event. As expected, this number has not shrunk over the following years, with various sports teams even taking it a step further.

The Denver Broncos of the NFL, for instance, has recently undertaken a $6 million renovation of their stadium to provide free Wi-Fi to everyone present at the event. It is by no means the only way sports leagues are addressing the issue. The Seattle Seahawks, on the other hand, have a team mobile app that provides fans with in-game stats and video, as well as the possibility to order food, drinks, and merchandise directly to their seat.

The Chennai Super Kings (CSK) of the Indian Premier League (IPL) is using Fanisko Engage, a unique one-stop fan engagement platform. It is an AI-powered, backend plugin, perfectly able to provide fans with hybrid fantasy games, personalized fees, AR and VR gaming, as well as play-by-play predictions. Fanisko can also offer sports teams behavioral analytic tools, enabling them to understand their fans better, turning them into hardcore followers, in the process.

Virtual and Augmented Reality

Digital technologies enable sports teams to develop their fan base abroad. The trend, however, means that most of these international fans will never have the possibility or opportunity to attend any of their matches. Interestingly enough, however, the CEO of English soccer team Aston Villa, Keith Wyness, has said in an interview at the Telegraph Business of Sport in 2017, that sports teams are not that far away from selling Virtual Reality season tickets.

These tickets initially will be sold to fans from other countries as a means of replicating the matchday experience without actually cannibalizing on the real ticket opportunity. If this trend continues, the expectation is that sports clubs will scale down their stadium sizes, focusing more on luxury areas and amenities.

Augmented reality (AR), is yet another area where sports leagues are turning for more fan engagement. In September 2017, the MLB has announced its new AR app called ‘At Bat.’ With it, baseball fans in the stadium can point their mobile devices at the field and receive all sorts of information such as player profiles, arm strength, catch probability, base percentage, batting averages, as well as the speed and trajectory of every single hit.

Conclusion

In short, mobility and convenience are the two main elements that drive the strategies employed by famous sports clubs to engage with their fans. The key to success in this changing environment is to pick up on trends as they form and apply new technologies for better engagement.

 

Common Mistakes to Avoid in Fan Engagement

Even the most successful sports clubs make some errors in how they engage, depriving them of the possibility of forming deeper and longer-lasting relationships. With that said, here are several common mistakes to avoid when trying to engage with your fans. 

Fan engagement is the lifeblood of the sports industry. Nevertheless, this doesn’t exempt many sports teams or leagues from making mistakes in how they engage with their fans. Even the most successful sports clubs make some errors in how they engage, depriving them of the possibility of forming deeper and longer-lasting relationships. With that said, here are several common mistakes to avoid when trying to engage with your fans.

Generalization

The first mistake many sports clubs make is to generalize their content regardless of the often fragmented fanbase. Depending on the notoriety of the club, its fanbase can be spread out over numerous areas or even countries. Some of these sports teams present their content as if these fans were all centered in the same location and with the same interests. But while the team itself is what ties all of them together, other content may not be as relevant to everybody involved.

Arsenal FC, for instance, has a Hindi Facebook page that talks to its entire Indian fanbase in their native language and presents some other relevant content that only Indians may find engaging. Fanisko Engage is a highly-customizable fan engagement platform that can address this issue, ‘talking’ to each fan, based on their preferences.

Diluting the Fan Experience

Somewhat similar to the point above, some teams and leagues focus too much time and energy with separate products and promotions that ‘dilute’ the overall fan experience. While in and of itself, this activity isn’t a bad thing, doing it too much, however, will take away from the overall fan engagement. Known as the Pareto principle, or more commonly known as the 80-20 rule, it implies that just 20% of causes drives 80% of results. This principle is found everywhere in nature, finance, and even in personal relationships.

When applied in fan engagement, the Pareto principle implies that only about 20% of a team’s followers are diehard fans, but they are the ones that drive 80% of the revenue. And while these fans spend up to six times more money than their casual counterparts, bombarding them with too many promotions may have the adverse effect. Fanisko Engage can separate raving fans from the rest and target each of them with the relevant content for higher engagement and revenue generation.

Connecting but Not Interacting with Fans

Plenty of clubs spend much of their resources and energy connecting with their fanbase. Video content, for instance, is gaining a lot of ground in the marketing world and it’s shown to generate a high ROI. Nevertheless, when it comes to engagement, fan interaction is a definite must. In fact, 81% of marketing specialists agree that interactive content such as polls, quizzes, or all sorts of interactive games can better grab and retain attention than video content. Likewise, interactive content is better able at converting visitors.

Conclusion

All in all, proper fan engagement revolves around one’s ability to understand the fans, their wants, and needs, as well as the place they reside. It is to provide them with the most relevant and engaging content possible. Luckily, however, Fanisko Engage is a platform that can quickly achieve this.

By making use of its back-end analytics, every team can connect and interact with their fan base like never before, providing them with all sorts of interactive content like Mixed and Augmented Reality for gamification, and Artificial Intelligence for personalization. All of these are sure to allow your fans to stay connected 24/7, and helps you avoid the many mistakes other clubs are making when trying to engage with their fans.