The way fans view sports is changing drastically. They have more options for watching and interacting than ever before, and they’re looking for a closer connection with the teams they love. A branded sports app lets you identify your most dedicated fans in order to deliver tailored communication and offers. You can also grow the value of moderate users with this kind of personalized service, resulting in a richer experience for fans and higher engagement and ROI for teams.
Digital disruption in sports
Younger fans have grown up with rapidly advancing technology. They expect digital engagement as well as live action. 70% of fans bring their smartphones to the stadium. 87% use their phone to interact with the game by checking player statistics, looking up past games, watching instant replays, and listening to commentary from their favorite channels. Those watching at home tend to have coverage from a different network to provide alternate views of the action.
In order to grow their audience (or even maintain current levels, considering the declining attendance rates among younger fans) teams need to embrace the mobile movement. There are countless opportunities for engaging fans in the mobile sphere if teams are willing to reach out and take them.
Giving dedicated fans a personal experience
Fan-generated data is like gold. Data gathered through an app lets you know who your fans are and what they want. This information is considerably more valuable than buying third-party reports by virtue of having been created by your fans themselves.
With an app, you own all the data you collect. It can be used to improve your customer segmentation and build intelligent profiles that highlight the important traits of your most valuable fans. Once you have identified these superfans, you offer them innovative in-app features to keep them excited.
Exclusive live stream interviews are a popular feature. Consumers consistently report that live streams are more intimate and genuine, so letting players talk to superfans before or after the game builds rapport on a personal level. For a more interactive experience, set up question and answer sessions through the app.
Exclusive in-app merchandise is a simple yet successful way to bring the digital experience into the real world. It builds a sense of community; users can sport these limited offerings in public to show their pride and recognize other superfans.
On Game Day, step up your engagement with stadium incentives. Allow your team app users to vote on the pre-game music or play big screen trivia at halftime. Host special concessions discounts found only in the app. Some teams have had success running loyalty programs, where fans get points for checking in at games, buying merchandise, and scanning their app at concessions stands.
Engaging casual fans
In addition to catering to superfans, apps provide a chance to re-engage lower value fans or those who might be at risk of slipping out of the fan base. Data collected through the app could suggest opportunities to build a more consistent (and valuable) relationship.
Push notifications of upcoming games and scores are great way to reach out to casual fans. 68% of consumers opt in to push notifications; 50% will click through to view suggested content. Seeing repeated updates makes checking on the team part of the user’s daily routine.
WIthin the app itself, a highlights library offers the best moments of the game even on atight schedule. Fans who don’t have time to watch an entire game can still have something to contribute when talking about it with friends. Also, easily accessible player profiles let them feel like experts
Engagement leads to profit
Prioritizing engagement puts fans in seats on Game Day. In the past, watching the game at home was something people did when they couldn’t afford the money or time to travel to games. Now, 57% of fans prefer to watch games at home or in a bar. Engaging those fans withmobile features increases the likelihood that they’ll make the effort to attend games in person.
Are you ready to engage your team’s fans like never before? Contact FanHero to start expanding your digital strategy with a custom sports team app!