You run a sports team so (hopefully!) you have a fanbase. It doesn’t matter if your fanbase is 200 people per game or 20,000 people per game they are still stakeholders for your team. And they matter.
It’s a bit like the ‘new customers only’ phrase which is banded about in the T&Cs of companies marketing. The new customers get everything. On a stick. All wrapped up with a big bow. And covered in chocolate.
You get the picture.
Your marketing team will obviously be keen to up the numbers of bums on seats and the number of people invested in your club. And that’s great. It is such an important job as fans do have a shelf life as things change. They get older, they change jobs, they have children. And they move away from the club. Sometimes for a long time sometimes for the short term but you should always be aiming to backfill those people with brand new folk (new customers only please) who will attend games. Hugely important. Even if you are full every single game you need to continually be attracting new people to your games.
BUT it takes time for these new people to become invested. You don’t become a die hard fan overnight. You don’t become invested in one game or even two or three. You become interested and that interest grows as you move through the various levels of being a supporter.
There are, however, people already heavily invested in your club. Your fans. The long term, die hard fans who have season tickets and jerseys and come to every game. Home and away. Rain or shine. When you’re getting tanked and when you’re riding high on a great win.
Yet so many teams don’t think to check whether those fans are happy. And why not?
Do you take them for granted because you know they will be there regardless?
When was the last time you asked them if they were happy? Or added extra value to their season ticket?
A simple survey can cost pence and could provide you with valuable data as to whether your fans are happy. Whether they’re considering purchasing a season ticket next year. That data could be really helpful to your club. How good would it be to know what percentage will renew and what that figure does to your planning for the following season?
How about offering extra value to those existing fans? Special events just for them, merchandise discounts, ticket discounts, forums, focus groups. All of these things could, and should, be part of your seasonal calendar.
Never forget your existing fanbase. They may be diehard now but, one day, they might not be. Don’t wait for that day to come and the apathy to kick in. Sports team change and evolve as team members change and league standings falter. If your fans feel wanted and invested in they are far more likely to ride those tough times than turn away.
So, are your fans happy? Just make sure you ask.