For fans being a supporter is more than just about the game – it is, as described in previous articles, about social connectedness and identity. Sports Fans thrive as part of a community. Whether on game day or beyond Sports marketers need to focus on providing authenticity and authentic content: what is it really like to be part of the Team or part of the supporter community.
The younger sports fans (Gen Z 14-25) consume and connect with sports in bite-size clips. They use digital to stay connected and seek out social stories to be part of the conversation. They are looking for reality rather than polished.
Any program that seeks to engage and add value to the fan base should incorporate this form of content to deliver a sense of “special access” to the Team.
On Game Day
Leading Teams and sporting events now employ “live content creators” (LCC’s) with a free license to roam on match day. Their goal: to capture as many real, authentic, original photos and videos as possible. Traditionally these have been shared on social media – however increasingly this content is being prioritised for fans as part of their membership & loyalty programs. Within this space it adds to the sense of status and connectedness promoted by the program.
Task these creators to give fans up-close, in-venue views from mobile devices. This is not designed to be broadcast quality. With shots from the locker room and sidelines, and of other fans in the stands, they help bring the live game-day experience to life. This content makes remote fans feel like they’re part of the action.
As part of your program activate your superfans to create original photos and videos for the program. Request images and videos from supporters directly through the program. This directly drives engagement rates. User-Generated Content (UGC) is authentic and helps develop a sense of a creative community.
Every event, every reward, every activity is an opportunity to remind each fan that being part of the engagement program is valuable to them. Use LCC and UGC to cover the moments of sheer surprise and delight when the member is rewarded with that special moment courtesy of the program.
Short-form digital media is key to building engagement within the loyalty program. It also however opens-up new channels to monetize those interactions
More digital assets create more continual promotion and sponsorship opportunities
These videos and photos shared across platforms reach even more out-of-market fans and promote enrolment into the program
Exclusive content helps keep members engaged in the program, and in particular attracts and retain younger fans
Fan-creators become more invested in the program
This form of authentic media reduces staff time and is highly cost effective content compared to agency-produced media
Tapping into the power of LCC and UGC is a must for your program and should be part of the planning process when designing your next generation of loyalty and engagement program.