Sports fans are incredible. They’re loyal, vocal, supportive and invaluable. Yet so often they can be taken for granted. The word ‘Fan’, as we all know, comes from the word FANATIC.
Collins English dictionary defines FANATIC as:
‘a person who is extremely interested in something, to a degree that some people find unreasonable’
A sports fan is 100% connected with the sport they follow. There is a huge emotional connection and this is something which is, actually, incredibly hard to break. Often, this is why good engagement with supporters is not always a high priority. The thinking that these people will be there during thick and thin makes them perhaps less of a priority.
Your fans should be your number one priority when you work in sport. You cannot guarantee the result of the game they’ve come to see. Once the team’s out there that’s out of your hands (Unless you’re the coach or a player of course!) but what you CAN control is the experience for a fan.
Before, during AND after a game.
Fans want to feel engaged. They’re invested stakeholders. They want to feel important and they want to feel like they matter. Without fans a club is nothing. Yet so many sports teams do not have a gameplan in place to meet those needs.
And the crazy thing now is that it’s actually even easier to engage using digital platforms. More progressive clubs are using platforms such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook to bring the action and the players closer to the fanbase. Anyone else looking at their digital marketing plan would KILL to have access to the level of content a sports team can produce on a daily basis! Yes so many do not utilise this option or indeed their assets. And they don’t give their fans that exclusive insight they crave. They keep it all in house and don’t share it or they simply don’t have a plan.
And it’s really quite simple – Engage, engage, engage.
- Communicate via ALL available channels (not everyone’s on Twitter remember) before, during and after games.
- Give away value at games via competitions, player signings, free giveaways
- Use your assets and your venue to make the experience special.
- Listen to your supporters and ask for ideas and feedback – They’re your best source of what they want to see.
- Cater for YOUR audience and understand your data
- Under promise and over deliver. If they’re not expecting something free and they get it that will make the even happier!
There is so much competition these days for your hard earned money. It’s not enough to just rely on your die hard fans. They need to feel involved and they need to feel loved.
It is SO important that you do this and, more importantly, that you have a plan.