The world of sports has experienced an overwhelming growth in participation of fans and members in fantasy leagues, video games, and other forms of sports. Fan and member involvement have been a critical segment of the growth happening in the sports world. Just like in our businesses, customer satisfaction is also a crucial factor that is imperative to consider. There’s a popular saying that a satisfied customer is a loyal customer, the same goes for a fan too! A satisfied fan is a loyal fan. Due to the advancement in technology (social and mobile), sports have experienced an increased rate of participation; it has become highly competitive and almost unpredictable.
At the 2015 Australian Market Research Society Conference, held in Sydney, Dan Fergusson tried to look for ways to develop a stronger and more reasonable relationship with fans. He used two football codes; AFL and NRL. Interacting with the audience, Fergusson presented on the four ways to create a good connection with fans; give your fans a platform to speak with you, use fan intelligence to guide your big decisions, dig deeper and be super relevant, and make it fun for your fans to participate.
Below are some of the reasons why we think tracking member and fan engagement in sports is vital and is an essential part of the growth sequence in sports.
Creating Emotional Bonds
Engagement of fans and members has been an integral part of sports. Everyone wants to know, or to be reminded that he or she is important. When fans are engaged in supporting their club’s progress, they tend to remain loyal, creating a stronger fan base which serves as a pedal for a successful sports’ year. When fans are engaged, an emotional bond is being created in them. They feel as though they are connected to the supporting club, they can say one or two things about the club, they can predict events, etc. For example, a research made by an access panel in Australia found that 30 percent Americans and 18 percent Australians left their team for another team. It is reasonable to deduce that some people switched teams because they were feeling disconnected with their previous team of choice. Tracking fans and members engagement is a way of building a strong fan base or maintaining a ready-made strong fan base.
Creating a longer lasting fan experience
There are different ways of engaging your fans. Putting your fans on the front and center platform, rewarding fan loyalty, making use of their opinions and advice to make certain decisions, creating live platforms to interact with them are all great examples. By doing these little things, a longer lasting experience is being created in fans during and even after the season.
Increasing the role of fan engagement
When there is fan and team member engagement, typically the fan base will increase. Fan and member engagement creates a sense of community within your fan base. People seeking a strong sporting community will gravitate towards this type of interaction, whether becoming aware through word of mouth, social media or other media platforms.
Creating a measurable positive impact
Elite athletes are renowned for having a significant influence on youth, and are role models to many. The AFL are often celebrated for their engagement and positive community impact, with players spending time visiting schools, regional communities and hospitals to spend time with their young fans. This kind of engagement shows the club cares about the community and their fans, and shows that the players conduct off the field is just as important as it is on
Ensuring total profitability in the future
Never underestimate the power of a strong fan base. A club with an engaged fan base ensures sales are consistent and your team remains profitable, and keeps team morality high.
Establishing the fan’s loyalty And Rewarding it
Fan involvement is critical because it helps to establish fan’s loyalty. Fan loyalty keeps the team going and growing. If you see your fans engaging with your content on social media, then acknowledge this! Reward them and let know you see all they do. You can give them a shoutout, or a simple gesture like liking their picture or retweeting their post will really go a long way. You can also consider rewarding your fans by doing giveaways, and contests for them. They will feel a sense of being valued, and this will make them continue being loyal to you.
Thinking Beyond Your Country
Always remember that your fans won’t be from your country or nearby countries alone. Your fans can be from anywhere in the world, even places you might have not heard of. So when you post on social media, always remember that some fans might not understand English. So turning on the translation option on your post makes it easy for these fans to understand, and also know that they are not forgotten. This helps to increase their loyalty more!
Tracking member and engaging your fans is so important, and this doesn’t stop at match day. Reward fans loyalty, have your athletes spend time in the community and engage with your fans on a variety of platforms. And when you do this, listen to what they have to say!