Fan Engagement: The Keys to Success for Sports Teams, Events, and Venues
Posted: March 17
In the world of live sports, entertainment and events, fan engagement is more important than ever. With so many options and distractions, keeping fans interested and invested in your team, venue and/or event is crucial for a memorable fan experience. And a kick-ass fan experience equals success. From increased ticket, merchandise and concession sales to social media followings and brand loyalty, fan engagement can have a major impact on the bottom line. In this article, we’ll explore what fan engagement is and why it’s so important, as well as some strategies for how you can increase your fan engagement.
What is Fan Engagement?
Fan engagement refers to the level of interaction and involvement that fans have with a particular sports team, venue and/or event. This can range from attending live games or shows, purchasing merchandise, following the team or event on apps, websites and other digital platforms, and participating in fan-focused events. The goal of fan engagement is to create a strong connection between the fans and the team, venue, and/or brand, making fans feel like they are part of the community and encouraging them to continue to come back.
Why is Fan Engagement Important?
There are several reasons why fan engagement is so important for sports teams, venues and events. First, it helps to create a sense of community and belonging among fans. When fans feel like they are part of the team, they are more likely to be passionate and enthusiastic about it, which can lead to increased attendance, merchandise purchases, and time spent in-venue and on-site.
Second, fan engagement can help increase brand loyalty. When fans are invested in a team or event, they are more likely to stick with it through thick and thin. This can be especially important for sports teams, where a strong and loyal fan base can help to weather difficult seasons, periods of poor performance, or external influences – just like we saw with the Covid-19 pandemic when sports came to a stand-still, then returned with reduced capacity.
Finally, fan engagement can help generate increased revenue for sports teams, venues, and events. When fans are engaged, they are more likely to purchase season tickets, buy merchandise, and introduce their family and friends to their favorite team, event and venue, all of which can provide a significant boost to the bottom line. According to teammarketing.com, the cost for a family to attend a Major League Soccer game in 2022 rose 7.6% from 2021 with a fan cost index® of $300.72.
Strategies for Increasing Fan Engagement
So, how can sports teams, venues and events increase fan engagement? Here are some strategies to consider:
- Eliminate friction: Why force your fans to download and install an app when you can deliver an equally engaging user experience via a web-based application. Solutions like Wayfyndr make it easy for fans to connect with the information they need to streamline and simplify their event experience. Any guest with a smartphone can use it by going to a dedicated domain, clicking a link in an email or scanning a QR code on site.
- Use social media: Social media is a powerful tool for reaching and interacting with fans. Teams and properties can use platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to share updates, behind-the-scenes content, and other exclusive content. They can also use social media to engage with fans through contests, polls, and other interactive activities.
- Offer special experiences: Teams, venues and events can offer special experiences to fans, such as meet-and-greets with players, VIP tours, and exclusive access to on-site events and games. This can help to create a deeper connection between fans and the venue or property, and make fans feel like they are part of the community.
- Gamification: Create anticipation and excitement during an event through inventive promotions and giveaways that capture your fans’ attention. For example, you could schedule a location on your Wayfyndr interactive venue map to show for a specific time frame and communicate to fans that the first 50 people to locate the pin on the map and make their way to the activation will receive a free T-shirt. Get creative and use Wayfyndr to generate excitement on game day.
- Reward fans: Teams and properties can reward fans for their loyalty and engagement through special perks and benefits, such as exclusive merchandise, ticket discounts, and other incentives.
If you are interested in learning more about how the team at Wayfyndr can assist you in elevating your guest experience, please drop us a message – our contact form is open 24/7.