26th May 2023 - By: alda09x024

How Gamification in Sport is Driving Fan Engagement

Gamification on mind map

Sports companies are utilising the effectiveness of gamified experiences to boost conversions and retention rates for their fan engagement efforts. 

Gamified experiences may be beneficial for sports groups, generating income through subscriptions, retail sales, ticket sales, sign-ups and other conversions.  

But what is Gamification? It doesn’t mean creating games for people to play inside apps. When we speak to “gamifying” an experience, we mean applying strategies that guide users through regular encounters in a way that makes them feel like a game. Gamifying an experience is making it enjoyable, giving it a sense of direction and making it seamless—where each component seems lively and important. 

Here are some gamification examples that drive fan engagement: 


eSports (also known as electronic sports) is one of the most well-known instances of gamification in the sports business. It is a competitive gamified experience in which fans compete against one another, frequently in front of onlookers like in conventional sports. Games like Fortnite, League of Legends, Counter-Strike, Call of Duty, Overwatch and Madden NFL, to mention a few, are played by competitors from different eSports leagues or teams. With points and prizes up for grabs, leaderboards and reward cycles, eSports create a competitive environment that keeps players interested and craving more. This kind of gamified experience is a potent technique for attracting a large fan following on a worldwide scale. Some legitimate leagues have their own official eSports leagues, and many sports franchises have their own branded and well-funded esports teams. This technique worked well to increase fan interaction before, during and after the pandemic lockdown. 

Official sports teams’ apps: 

Users are frequently prompted to sign up or register when they first download and use a team’s app in order to access exclusive content and games. This method of collecting first-party data is quite efficient. Sports companies can collect data that identifies behavioural tendencies by incorporating gamified components across the app. To help marketers understand user behaviour, such as their fondness for a certain player, brands may offer unique match graphics and video replay material with interactive layers—like a poll or quiz. Brands may utilise this to tailor the information the user sees moving forward and provide them with things they are likely to buy. Another tried-and-true method to boost user retention and gather willing first-party data from users is to employ regulated conversation and community interaction. Chelsea FC excels at doing this. Over 70,000 people watched a recent league game virtually thanks to the official “Chelsea 5th Stand” app. 

Sports Betting: 

Many athletic groups use the sports betting market to promote their brands and get sponsorship. Gamified bets are used by betting companies themselves to draw in and engage new customers. Sports fans who believe they have a skill edge are encouraged to connect with their betting product and, as a result, spend more time following the team(s) in question to learn more about their brand while placing prediction bets or “what will happen at X time”-type bets. 

Fantasy Leagues: 

In a fan-to-fan competitive event, fantasy games bring enthusiasts together to commit their time, money and emotion. They encourage passionate, devoted usage, including app downloads and ongoing involvement, and they expand interest in the sport beyond the scope of a particular club. For example, Fantasy Premier League, which was initially introduced in 2002, links more than 7 million players each season. Fans may purchase and trade players, get points for goals, assists, saves, and other acts on the pitch by adopting the position of “manager” in this game. This may produce a lot of talkable subjects, shareable successes, and of course the crucial “League Invite” that promotes viral adoption.  In general, sporting events serve as a platform for marketing a sport in developing economies. India, a market for the sport that is extremely competitive, with more than 200,000 players. Players who understand the necessity to preserve their scores and maintain them up to date embrace the registration process, which is frequently perceived as an access barrier. The game creates individualised, dynamic click-throughs to specific club shops, acting as a direct conduit into products. 

In conclusion, sports organisations have used gamification as a potent strategy to increase fan involvement. Sports teams have been able to boost conversion and retention rates, make money and grow their fan base through gamified experiences. Gamification has improved experiences by turning routine interactions into games, giving them a sense of purpose and streamlining them. Gamification has been used successfully in esports, sports betting and fantasy leagues to keep people engaged and wanting more. 

Did you enjoy this blog? Why not head over and have a read of our other blogs on fan engagement?