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The Game Within the Game: Fan Engagement

Understanding your audience is more important now than ever before. With distractions ever so abundant, the fight for attention is fierce. Read below how technology can be the key to revealing exactly who your audience is so you can create experiences that well and truly hit the mark.

As personalisation is an option in so many products and services we find in our daily lives, sports fans have grown to expect this in how they consume and experience sports too.

They want to follow their favourite sports in their preferred way and in a manner that feels customised to them. Innovations in tech are allowing this demand to be addressed.

Athletes, clubs, broadcasters, sponsors, and fans are the five pillars of the sporting world.

While discussions about which stakeholder is most important continue, I’m sure most of you would agree it is the fans who make the connection between all the other stakeholders meaningful and above all, fun!

Whether it is to understand performance, enhance an action like the perfect swing in golf, or keep track of errors that are repetitive, technology and data have a critical component in the world of sports.

Like most industries turning to data for transformation, it is no surprise that the sports industry has followed suit.

In addition to data being used to enhance the performance of athletes and teams, assisting coaches in team selection and impacting real-time decision-making while the sport is in play, data is also vital for being able to continuously optimise the personalised experience for the fans.

With the use of data analytics and digital engagement, fans can be brought closer to the games they love and follow.

Data captured simultaneously benefits both fans and the club as they learn and understand their fan base on a personal level and in turn allows them to create more personalised and unique experiences for their segmented audiences.

So you’re probably wondering...

How can the passion and zeal of fans, something so human, be connected to something virtual and digitised like data?

Well, with innovations that allow us to collect fan data in massive volumes, it’s ultimately what we do with that information that impacts fan engagement and connection to sports organisations and brands.

When we capture the right insights from fan data, we can leverage that to turn it into a narrative that moves people and encapsulates the thrill of the sport.

Most of this can be applied to enriching the live sports experience for fans.

Venues are moving to solutions that will raise the bar when it comes to how fans can engage with a sport while viewing a nail-biting game.

The combination of artificial intelligence and data analytics makes such an experience possible.

With video AI, visual coverage and analysis of the game can take place in real time, while allowing brands to publish highlights based on how fans react to certain moments in a game.

This isn’t just limited to audiences attending a live game, but can be modified for remote viewers too.

The next big thing, in my opinion, is giving fans a voice by connecting them to their favourite teams and continuing to enrich their overall experience and interactions with a sports team or brand not only live at the event but also during the pre-event hype and post-event play by play analysis.

Covid has ensured many organisations have embraced and adopted tech in unprecedented short timeframes to achieve all of this and ultimately compete to become more inclusive, more informative and more entertaining.

In the coming years, by embracing SportsTech such as AI and VR I believe more players will be part of this new digital landscape or fear being left behind.




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