Answer These Four Questions To Know If You Are Delivering a Great Fan Experience
Sports are nothing without fans. The fan experience is key. You cannot have a viable game without them, said CIO of the European Tour Mark Lichtenhein,.
On field performance is vital but what happens off-field is becoming equally important in defining the success of a sporting event. Creating new audiences, while catering to the needs and desires of existing fans is critical for sports teams to thrive in the long run.
Delivering a great in-venue experience has become a priority for teams, players and stadium authorities. Digitization, Wi-Fi, and geo-location technologies have transformed the way fans consume and interact with sports.
Chief digital officers and chief branding officers are investing in cutting edge technology to deliver unmatched experiences. The hi-tech AT&T Stadium in Texas was created with the single intent of providing an immersive fan engagement experience that would get people off their couches, said CBO of Dallas Cowboys Charlotte Jones Anderson. Designed for a capacity of 80,000, the venue ranks among the top five hi-tech stadiums in the world.
So, are you as an enterprise doing all that it takes to engage your fans to keep them coming back? Answer these four questions to track your efforts in providing a wholesome entertainment to your fans across their journey.
1) How do you reach your fans? Are you connecting?
Targeting and connecting with the right audience is integral to any event’s success and that step needs to occur long before the actual game. Focus and reach out to your fan base through customized advertising and marketing to generate awareness for the event.
Social media can be leveraged in a big way to reach your fan base. According to the Sports Fan Engagement Conference quarterly report, “five out of six people in the US aged 18-34 connect with teams and brands primarily through Facebook and Twitter.” However, you need to exercise caution in selecting the relevant medium and research where your target fans are spending their time. While you are more likely to connect to millennials on social media, you might have to rely on television to reach baby boomers Also, the medium that might have been popular yesterday may not be very relevant today. Reportedly 25% of people between the age group 13-20 left Facebook for Instagram and Snapchat. So amid all these dynamics are you able to trace your target fan base and successfully connect with them through an effective medium?
2) How do you know what type of fans are in your stadium?
Statistics show that 7% of fans present in the stadium are focused on the game, but 93% are there to engage with in-venue experiences. It could be a difficult task to engage your fans unless you know them close enough. Obviously, any information on fan demographics, age groups, behavior patterns becomes critical as it provides valuable and contextual insight into what would appeal to your target audience. Are they interested in an offer or a discount, or a chance to meet the team, or the ability for seat upgrades? The list is endless, but the point is to send only relevant information. Do you know what form of communication your audience prefers, whether it’s through email, text message, or push notification? To engage on this level, you need technology that can compile rich data, understand behavioral patterns behind it, and engage your fans based on that information. So do you have the ability to understand and know the type of fans walking into your stadium?
3) How do you engage fans once they set foot in the stadium?
We know that 93% of fans in the stadium are there to be a part of the action and engage in the stadium experience. It is important to keep these fans, who have dared to ditch their couches for a live experience at the stadium, thoroughly engaged and entertained throughout their stay. So go ahead and offer engaging incentives; they love giveaways, discounts, theme nights and more. Take their level of enthusiasm and participation higher through unique game hashtags to create organic social media activity and involvement. Strive to improve the overall experience and keep innovating. If your fan engagement plan sounds like this, then you are on the right track.
4) How do you retain your fans to enhance loyalty and keep them coming back?
Meaningful and sustainable relationships do not start and stop when the season ends. Fan engagement is a continuous process. To enhance fan loyalty, it is important to engage with fans throughout the year. Untapped opportunities are always there to drive awareness and engagement during the off season. It is important to recognize fan loyalty and aptly reward them to make sure they’re in your stadium the following year.
Proximity MX: Connect, Know, Engage, Integrate to Deliver a Wholesome Fan Experience
We covered the distinct elements of fan engagement to help you gauge if your engagement plan has what it takes to keep your fans coming back. The difference between success and failure is often choosing the right technology platform for a well-designed engagement program. Look for a platform that has been built, from the ground-up to implement the engagement marketing principles.
Proximity MX is a mobile engagement platform that leverages location-based technologies to help you connect, know, engage and integrate with all your visitors. Request a demo to know how Proximity MX can provide a wholesome fan engagement at the stadiums.