Everyone understands that a team is only as good as its fans. Audience engagement is critical for sponsor revenue, ticket and merchandise sales.
As digital connections through partners increase reach, engagement, fan loyalty, and revenue, leagues and teams face the challenge of increasing audience engagement.
The ideas that we are going to mention in this blog will help you boost audience engagement the right way.
Ideas To Boost Audience Engagement in Sports Events
1- Put Players at the Center
To be honest, fans are most likely motivated by a player or two on a team who appears to exceed their expectations on a more consistent basis than others.
As a result, these players should be at the forefront of much of the content that sports organizations put out on social media or in other forms of media.
This is frequently visible on social media when the sports league has a sizable following, but individual players have a much larger following. Instead of the league itself, fans prefer to interact with or stay connected to their favorite players.
Videos of fan-favorite players doing something personal or charitable for their family or community are some examples of fan engagement. People want to know that athletes are human and make mistakes just like them.
2- Create Video Content
Everyone enjoys watching highlight videos, regardless of the age of the sports organization’s fan base — especially when they have an authentic feel to them.
When fans are focused on what they enjoy, they experience the game as if they were in the stadium. It should come as no surprise that fans enjoy watching videos taken by other fans.
It’s important to note that not all fans use the same social media platforms. This is especially true when you consider that your fans could range from teenagers to retirees.
In other words, sports marketers and other digital media experts advise teams to create a variety of content that will appeal to the various audiences they are attempting to reach.
When catering to those aged 25 and under, you can use social media platforms such as Twitter, Snapchat, or Instagram, whereas for an older audience, you may want to include Facebook as well.
It is also suggested that these videos vary in length and content to ensure that different audiences are catered to. This is due to the fact that depending on when different fans view the content, they may only have a limited amount of time.
3- Use Social Media Walls with User-Generated Content
Social media wall during the events is one of the most engaging audience engagement tools at the moment.
People love posting content on social media platforms especially when they attend an event like a sports event.
After coming from the event people start posting their experience on social media platforms in the form of images and videos.
This user-generated content can be aggregated to create a social media wall that showcases brilliant photos and videos of the event in place.
This creates an engaging experience for the audience that attended the event and also for the people who are connected to the event in some form or another.
Audiences who attended the event can post their content directly onto the social media wall making it even more standout.
4- Offer Loyalty Programs & Memberships
Loyalty programmes and memberships are excellent ways to make fans feel valued. These programmes can take on a variety of forms.
Fans who accumulate enough loyalty points can get freebies or discounts on tickets or club merchandise.
For example, the highly regarded Manchester United official app provides subscribers with a variety of exclusive deals, including the ability to make predictions and win prizes every match day, the ability to select a favorite player and receive exclusive news and updates, and more.
5- Give Fans a Free Hand To Provide Input
If you truly want to encourage and build an effective fan engagement programme, you could recruit fans to have a say in major organizational decisions. This does not imply that they have the final say in such matters, but their voices are heard.
When fans believe they are being heard, they are more loyal and will strive to give back to the organization in various ways.
People generally respect companies and other organizations that give fans and customers a say in purchasing or participation decisions.
6- Showcase Sponsors Content
Sponsors are essential to any sporting event. Sponsor logos are commonly seen on player jerseys, stadium barricades, and a variety of other surfaces. But isn’t that what most people do?
Make your sporting event stand out by displaying your sponsors’ social media content, logos, and other promotional content on the exciting Social Media Wall.
This gives your sponsors space and allows the attendees to interact with them. It makes your sponsors feel special, and when they see the benefits of a social wall, they will be eager to sponsor future sporting events.
When it comes to fan engagement, it only makes sense to put the fan and their experience ahead of sales.
If a league or team focuses too much on immediate benefits, such as direct sales impact, it may miss out on long-term opportunities to grow and nurture its fan base.
Simultaneously, increased engagement enables the organization to strike more lucrative sponsorship and broadcast deals in the future. After all, fans are what define any sports organization.