Sport fans are a tight-knit community. They form fanclubs, follow their teams (sometimes even to other cities), care personally about the players’ lives, and buy a lot of branded merchandise. With loyalty like this it might seem like sports teams don’t need to do much to make money other than win games- but times are changing.
Some of the biggest names in sports – the Green Bay Packers, Corinthians, the Miami Dolphins, Orlando City, even the Masters Tournament – have custom mobile apps designed to push their fan engagement to the next level. These apps provide three main benefits to teams:
Promote fan engagement
There’s nothing fans like more than feeling like they’re part of the “family”. With a custom mobile app, teams can build relationships with their supporters. An app can have exclusive replays and interviews, detailed player profiles with fanmail links, updates on game scores or roster changes, and even push notifications for nearby events. Imagine being able to tell every team fan within 100 miles about an upcoming autograph session in their area, complete with a special discounted ticket for app users.
Users become bored with bare “announcement platform” apps. Luckily, there’s a host of options for two-way interaction with a custom mobile app. Fans can use an app to play trivia, suggest stops for trophy tours, find their seats on game day, and vote on music for half-time shows. Some teams even offer the option to “register” a sports fanclub through their app, allowing local fans to find each other more easily.
Using an app to buy tickets cuts the risk of forged tickets to almost nothing. Fans can’t lose digital tickets, and scanning smartphones is both more eco-friendly and cheaper than dealing with trash bags full of used tickets. The same app that allows ticket purchase can be used to promote peripheral services like parking, stadium tours, and concessions. A few game-day apps have even begun tracking concession supplies and using beacon technology to advise fans when snacks are running low.
Custom mobile apps provide sales opportunities outside game day, too. They can be used to promote both regular branded merchandise and app-exclusive campaigns. The potential profit ishuge; in 2015 revenue from team sports merch passed $27 billion.
Learning more about fans helps inform service offerings and marketing campaigns. With a custom mobile app you gain more “detailed activity by demographic” data than is possible through surveys or social media exploitation. You can track fan activity on many levels: brand interactions, opinions about players, individual attendance history, which sports fanclubs are most active online and at games, and much more. Better yet, you own the data generated by your app. You don’t have to share it with any third parties, and there’s no risk a social media platform will suddenly remove your access.
People are more active on mobile devices than ever. They want 24-hour contact and availability, and they respond well to the perceived personal attention offered by a custom mobile app. Ignoring that fact means taking a pass on a huge chance to increase monetization, both on and off the field.
There are a ton of reasons why Sport Teams need their own mobile application that they can share with their fans. Learn more about how FanHero can help you build stronger relationships with your fanclub today!