No matter what industry you are in, your business is nothing without its customers or clients and in the case of sports teams, those customers are the fans. That is why fan engagement is key.
Fostering long-term relationships with fans is essential in order to sustain an organisation’s future. The very nature of competitive sport and what makes it so appealing to audiences across the world is its unpredictability, with the opportunity for different teams to overcome others no matter their size or previous success. However, this also means that income can also fluctuate, whether that be in the form of prize money or sponsorship deals.
This is why fans need to be seen as more than simply a paying customer. If you have a highly engaged fanbase which feels a bond with your club, they are far more likely to continue to buy your tickets and merchandise should the team fall on harder times. While it’s an unquantifiable metric, having a higher volume of supporters who are passionate towards your team attending matches can make a difference to your sporting success.
On-field performances are the predominant attraction of your club, but you can’t rely on this entertainment to maintain your fan engagement. By definition, supporters are loyal, and it is important to recognise and repay this loyalty. Season tickets and membership cards are a common way of giving back to the fans at matches, but it’s also important to give back through content.
As significant as the matches are, they only make up a small portion of time each week. Outside of that, supporters are will be reflecting on the previous match and looking ahead to the next. This is where organisations should be looking to engage with fans and whet their appetite for their team and sport.