At its core, fans want to engage with their favourite teams and athletes on levels beyond the physical realm. Digitally conducting fan engagement processes should be at the forefront of every sporting organisation's mind. Read below as we share the importance of this and why fans crave digital engagement.
Sports teams and clubs are only as strong as their fans.
Knowing what creates value for fans is worth its weight in gold.
Without dedicated fans who religiously attend games, sports events, buy merch, and show their undying support through social media, clubs and teams would cease to exist.
With social media, gamification, virtual reality, NFTs, closed online groups, forums; sports organisations have much to explore to make fan engagement meaningful.
With the increased adoption of immersive digital platforms, the sports industry is not only encouraging more fans to watch games but also pushing to increase fan interaction, participation and engagement.
While engagement in sports is the result of an emotional connection; today I’m going to share with you some top reasons why it’s a good idea to digitally conduct this process.
1. Options. Options. Options
All teams have certain players whom fans connect to or follow most.
When these players are the focus of your content through digital media or press, the fan experience is a lot more enjoyable.
Fans are more likely to follow an individual player rather than a club.
So it's important for them to know the person behind the player, what their life is like, what causes they may be associated with, and how they interact with their families.
Brands can showcase this by capturing interviews or home training sessions, showing a sports person doing a viral couple challenge or just a glimpse of them in their regular home life.
This type of candid content provides an entertaining insight into the life of athletes and more importantly builds a relatable connection from a fan perspective.
Finding common ground between those we look up to or whom we deem successful is not just inspiring but can also become very addictive to follow, especially for those who are aspiring to reach an elite level.
From an organisation standpoint, this can only be a great thing as more eyeballs on the assets that are representing their brand will in turn reflect greater merchandise and ticket sales.
2. Focus on the team!
Any activity we engage in on social is a lot more fun to do when the content is shareable and presents the different facets of our personality. This could be through our opinions on something, or the people/communities we support.
For sports fans in particular, nothing is as satisfying as showing their love and support for their favourite clubs. They may do this through photos, videos of their favourite moments from a recent season etc.
As a sports brand looking to take this up a notch, you could get fans to be part of a poll or a Q&A with a top athlete.
These activities are great to keep fan spirits soaring even in off-seasons.
3. Fan voices matter
Nothing allows sports fans to voice their opinions and comments like social media does.
To encourage an effective fan community, get fans to weigh in and provide their views and thoughts.
It’s a great way for them to feel heard and is particularly effective if you can allocate a social media admin to respond to their engagement, initiating a deeper, more meaningful connection.
You could conduct polls where fans can draft players, choose MVPs, vote for which charity a sports club should donate to, or what artists should perform at the opening or half-time for the next season.
People have more respect and trust for organisations that enable their consumers to voice their say to affect decisions related to participation or purchase.