Popular myths associated with Digital Fan Engagement

2020 was surely a challenging as well as interesting year for the sports fraternity across the world. The Covid19 outbreak had posed a completely new challenge for the sports industry with multiple sports events being cancelled, being played behind closed doors without crowds or with limited crowds being allowed in the stadiums

2020 was surely a challenging as well as interesting year for the sports fraternity across the world. The Covid19 outbreak had posed a completely new challenge for the sports industry with multiple sports events being cancelled, being played behind closed doors without crowds or with limited crowds being allowed in the stadiums. 

This challenge posted a new series of questions that sports teams needed to find answers for. Two prominent questions were ‘How do we engage our fans and get them to cheer our team and players remotely’? ‘How would we engage sponsors if there is no in-stadia viewership’? In a nutshell, the answer to these 2 fundamental questions lie in the new buzz word that everyone is talking about – DIGITAL! 

Covid19 has accelerated the Digital Fan Engagement initiatives across the world when it comes to sports teams, leagues and even sponsors. Many teams had heard this term before and also contemplated doing something around it, however since it was never a compelling need. With business continuing as usual, it was always a ‘nice to have’ thing than a ‘must have’ as a part of the team strategy. Some of the teams were far-sighted and adopted to this new trend and strategy much earlier than others and are now reaping rewards for the same. However, even now, it’s not too late to ‘think digital’ and cater to the needs of the modern day fan in a way that they consume sports content. 

Even though Digital is the ‘in-thing’ in today’s sports environment, there are many myths associated with it. Here are some of the popular myths concerned with digital fan engagement in the modern day sports ecosystem:

  1. Digital means social media and content – Social media is just a medium for reaching out to fans, it’s the means to the end but not the end. Social media should be used to engage and funnel your fans into your own platform like a team or league’s own mobile app which has exclusive content that can be monetized with sponsorship elements.  At the end of the day, social media platforms are rented properties that have publicly available content. While it can engage fans at some level, it does not serve the team’s bigger purpose to identify, engage, retain and eventually monetize their fan-base. Having your own digital platform allows your access to fan-data and gives bigger ROI and viewership metrics to sponsors with a proper call to action. 
  1. Fans can only be engaged during game/tournament days – A fan is a fan 24×7 and 365 days a year. By limiting their engagement strategy to tournament or game days only, teams and leagues are missing out on maximizing the opportunity that only digital initiatives can provide. Digital is a platform that allows for gamifying experiences & interactions for fans and also creating unique and immersive experiences through Augmented and Virtual reality platforms. Fans don’t need to wait for game days or tournaments to begin to feel engaged or connected with their favourite teams/leagues/athletes. 
  1. Sponsors would only come if we have enough digital fans – This is a classic case of the ‘Chicken & egg’ story. What comes first, digital sponsors or digital fans? Teams have to think big and futuristic when it comes to digital fan-engagement. Both fans and sponsors would come on-board only if teams innovate and think futuristic with ‘never-seen-before’ kind of experiences. Gone are the days of the traditional sponsorship models of ‘logo slapping’ on the ground, billboards and jerseys. Today’s sponsors demand newer and cooler experiences where they can showcase their brands and also get instant feedback on fan-behaviour and engagement which only digital can offer. 
  1. Digital Fan Engagement would make a team or league rich overnight – Like any other new initiative, digital fan engagement is a structured process. None of the teams which are having digital revenues were able to achieve this overnight or within one season. Fans have to be incrementally introduced to new initiatives and experiences through consistent marketing and touch points that are meaningful to them. There would still be a section of fans who would want to see sports in a stadium environment, the question for the teams would be ‘how can we balance traditional and digital platforms to make the entire game viewing experience more enriching for the fans’? Digital can be used effectively to provide stadium fans much more than what they used to get before. For e.g. Digital ticketing, facial recognition/touchless entry, ordering of snacks through the team’s app with special discounts and offers, augmented reality and other immersive experiences both in-stadium and on the digital platform. 

To conclude, it makes sense to say that ‘Digital fan engagement’ is not a fad of the day, but is here to stay. 
To know more about how we can help teams & leagues digitally engage and monetize their fans, write to us at info@fanisko.com

Is AI “Creepy?”

Look, some people just don’t like the idea of artificial intelligence.

To them, it’s the kind of thing that spooky science fiction is made of. They don’t want to hear about the ever-increasing capabilities of computers and robots. They like to believe that people will always be in the driver’s seat, and that robotics is just a fad.

Seriously – in our view, you don’t have to be afraid of artificial intelligence. It’s just a set of capabilities, backed by digital technology. There’s no sinister face behind it.

AI and Big Brother

First, the idea that artificial intelligence is the same as centralized surveillance is kind of a myth.

If a computer is trying to figure out what you like with algorithms, that’s not the same as big brother spying on you. It’s guesswork based on technicality. It doesn’t compromise your identity or make you less of a person, or something like that.

Instead, AI brings efficiencies that help us to do more. That’s really what all of this is about. When we talk about augmented reality and gamification, we’re talking about helping your brand to succeed in a fan environment. Gamification requires some kinds of input. It’s not done to oppress somebody. It’s done to help them to have fun or get matched up with services that they want.

Sports is an excellent example of how technology can help us instead of making us feel funny. Yes, some sports fans are kind of reactive to cutting-edge technology. That’s fine, but there are really positive things to be gained from learning a little more about the tech world. Other sports fans are really into the kinds of tools that their apps offer them.

To that end, to know more about how all of this works, you can download our Digital Sponsorship Activity in Sports white paper to get a lot of information about what we have found to be effective in the sports advertising world. You can read case studies that show you in detail how some companies have made all of the stuff their own, and why it doesn’t constitute creepy activity, but is just a regular part of business, albeit one with a lot of positive potential.

Computers are not going to become our overlords – at least, not anytime soon. It’s okay to relax a little bit about technology. It’s okay to learn a little bit more and put that to work to enhance what you do as a human person.

For more on modern advertising, talk to us at Fanisko. We speak this language!

How to Create an Emotional Connection with Your Fans

There is a huge issue that many brands, sports teams, and anyone offering a service face today when it comes to building their fanbase. They do not put in the time or effort to make an emotional connection. Too many people want to skip the “real work” and go right to the part where they have engagement and a loyal fanbase. Without creating this emotional connection, this is virtually impossible. 

While it may seem like an impossible task, creating an emotional connection is not as hard as it may seem. Use the tips and information here to begin building yours today

Consider Your Fan’s Journey

The fan’s journey means how they find out about you and how they become a fan initially. What is the journey they have gone on to discover you and fall in love with your team? 

Usually, this is going to happen via television, online, or from personal experience. Once a potential fan gets a “whiff” of what you offer, what you stand for, and what you can do, they will want to learn more. Where will this journey go? This is what you have to consider. Take time to connect the dots to provide the best fan journey possible. 

Remember, a crucial part of any fan’s journey is likely going to be social media. They want to see what their friends say and what random people have to say. Be sure to monitor what is going on and being said to put your best foot forward. 

Build an Email List Then Use It

If you are a fan of something, you want to learn more about it, right? Your fans are going to want to hear from you. It is up to you to keep this line of communication open. While it may seem daunting at first, there are an array of methods you can use to make email marketing easier and more efficient, including automation. Take time to build an email list and then use it to your advantage. By connecting with your fans in this manner, you will be building that ever-important emotional connection. 

Take Your Fans Behind the Scenes 

One of the fastest and most effective ways to build an emotional connection with your fans is by taking them behind the scenes. Use features like Facebook Live and Instagram Live to give your fans a glimpse of something unique. When you provide an exclusive look behind the scenes, your fans will appreciate it and want to see more. Also, this helps them go on the journey with you, which is going to deepen their loyalty. 

If the process of building an emotional connection with your fan base seems daunting, do not worry. The professionals can help ensure you create the connections that mean the most and that you are able to build something that will last. By using the tips here, you will create loyal fans that stick with you for life. 

Fan Advertising and Audience Segmentation

Fan oriented branding and sports and recreation advertising is a very interesting field. It’s something that is developing new facets in the new world of digital advertising and new technologies like responsive design for mobile. 

In this kind of marketing, you’re talking about appealing to people’s interest in sports teams and other similar brands.

We can help – at Fanisko, we’ve developed specific advertising and development services that work on a particular knowledge about how sports advertising and digital branding works. This is something that we’ve thought about quite a bit, as we put together solutions for our clients that match the realities of today’s business world. 

A Core Audience

Unlike a lot of broader digital marketing campaigns, fan-based advertising speaks specifically to a particular audience.

It takes a subset of the population with a specific interest and makes a deep connection. So it’s different than just trying to attract a general audience.

That’s where audience segmentation comes into play. The best campaigns in this type of advertising work when they identify that audience and segment the marketing accordingly. The precision in identifying the fan base is a solid foundation for the actual marketing efforts. It’s almost impossible to overstate the importance of this. Think about the visceral reaction that somebody has when they see their favorite team’s logo on something! That’s the idea that we work from in developing specialized plans for fan base building and sports branding operations. 

Augmented Reality and Gamification

After you’ve done your audience segmentation, you still have to build the user experience.

In our opinion, this is something that a lot of companies really don’t put enough effort into.

We often talk about the power of gamification to improve advertising and customer engagement, and that’s even more important in this special type of campaign. To the extent that you can visualize your efforts, you get really impressive outcomes. In some ways, gamification was “made for” fan advertising!

There’s also the use of augmented reality to improve interfaces. People think about this as Robocop with a digital map over his field of vision but that’s not all that AR represents.

Our use of AR in marketing is a cutting-edge example of how to bring the fruits of modern technology to a specific kind of outreach use application. And it’s something that works. 
Look for more on our web site and get connected to get this branding power for yourself. We are excited about these technologies, and we think that you will be, too.

Benefits of Gamified Marketing for Fan Engagement

Marketing often gets a bad name. That’s simply unnecessary, however, when you gamify your advertising and keep your fans engaged. We’ll help you add the fun that your marketing’s been missing so that the fans you’ve been trying to reach will continue to engage with your mobile application on a regular basis – viewing your advertisements in the process. If you’re not familiar with gamification, we’re here to help you learn about the numerous benefits, including the following: 

Add Fun to Your Marketing
When you opt to gamify your marketing, you add what everyone’s looking for throughout their day – fun! As sports fans go through their workday or spend time at home with their loved ones, they’re likely looking for a few minutes here and there to do something enjoyable. When you gamify your fan app, you’re providing them with just that. Whether they’re swiping to select their picks, playing a mobile game, or engaging with other fans, they’re enjoying the fun that we’re helping you create, without realizing that they’re also taking in advertisements as part of the process. 

Keep Users Engaged with Your App
Our unique gamified marketing helps keep your users engaged, as well. This means that they’ll spend more time interacting with the app, clicking, spinning, and making selections. Throughout this process, they’ll also be exposed to ads and learning more about the things that you’re promoting. Gamification is a great way to keep users engaged with minimal effort, as there’s no need to try to convince them to watch or read an ad. The advertisements are instead embedded in the game that they’re already engaged in throughout the day. This helps keep them interacting with your ads, playing the games that we offer them, and enjoying every moment. 

Affordable Marketing
In-app gamification is one of the most affordable marketing methods available. You can keep your fans happily engaged, spending time with your marketing materials, far more easily than you’d be able to keep them watching actual advertisements. This type of marketing takes a bit of set up on the front end, which we are happy to assist you with, and then you can enjoy the numerous benefits of affordable digital marketing. This is an easy marketing investment that’s sure to get you the results that you need. There’s no reason to drop big money on internet ads, tv spots, or billboards when you can use more affordable marketing methods for more successful results. In-app advertising is a great way to reach customers who are already engaged and interested. Fanisko can help you reach the right market demographic at the right time so that they’ll stay active and engaged. Reach out to us today to learn more about how we can help you gamify your apps and guide your fans to make the important choices.