As a sports marketer, one of the most important goals is to engage with your fans meaningfully and capture new fans and connect with them. With the rapid rise of digital media, sports marketers are coming up with creative ways to engage with their fans.
Gone are the days where companies and brands focus on ‘traditional’ marketing such as newspaper advertisements. Many companies are shifting their focus to digital engagement with the fans. Here are some lessons sports marketers can take away to improve fan engagement.
One of the most important things in sports marketing is building brand loyalty to fans. Through sports marketing, many brands and companies have the opportunity to connect with these fans.
Creating loyalty programmes for these fans would certainly make them feel like they are part of the club, and strengthens the relationship companies and brands have to these fans.
In 2013, Major League Baseball team, Los Angeles Dodgers, launched an engagement programme that ‘rewards fans for supporting the club online, via social media and at Dodger Stadium.’
This creates a connection between the fans and Los Angeles Dodgers, and these fans would feel like they are a part of the club. Supporting your favourite club and getting rewarded at the same time? Who would not want that?
With more websites providing personalized content to the user, sports marketers should consider starting on customizing their relationship with their fans. Advertisements which are relatable to their fans would not only attract attention, but also make them feel that the organization understands them.
Take a look at the “This Girl Can” campaign, where they wanted to encourage women to start leading an active lifestyle. The message was clear, that no matter how they look or how they do it, they can do what they set out to do.
More than a million women started to exercise, and now Sport England are looking at other “pinch points” that are preventing women to get active.
By showing people something that is relatable, it would not only make it easier for them to connect with it, and identify with the characters which are involved.
Engage in Fresh Content
As you have already know, sports fans enjoy following their team through social media platforms such as Twitter and Facebook. Right now, the experience you get from watching sports is not only confined to the stadium, or the television. It has become something more than that.
This is a great opportunity for sports marketers to give these fans fresh content, to keep them updated with what is going in with their favourite team. Heineken are sponsors to many sporting events such as the UEFA Champions League, Formula 1 and Rugby World Cup.
As you can see on their Twitter account (@Heineken), you can see that they have a lot of content towards the sports events that they are sponsoring. During the Mexico Grand Prix last year, Hardwell had a performance after the race, which Heineken did a live stream of.
Giving the fans content would certainly improve fan engagement, and make fans want to be associated with your brand.
These are just a few lessons sports marketers should take note of when thinking of to get better fan engagement. With a better understanding on sports marketing, sports marketers can come up with better strategies to engage with the fans.