Turning Sports Enthusiasts into Hardcore Fans

Hardcore fans, unlike simple sports enthusiasts, see themselves as part of the team and not just simple spectators in the arena. With this in mind, teams, leagues, and clubs should cater to these needs as much as possible. Luckily, however, this has become increasingly more feasible, thanks in large part to all the technological achievements in recent years.  

Hardcore fans are the lifeblood of any sports team, league, or club. These fans are the ones that live and breathe for their favorite teams and are the ones more than willing to go to every game, purchase merchandise, and follow their teams wherever they go. Not all sports teams enjoy this high level of fidelity and idolization, meaning that their bottom line has to suffer, stifling, in turn, their possibility for expansion, sponsorship acquisition, and better results, in a sort of positive feedback cycle that is incredibly hard to break.

Nevertheless, some sports teams such as FC Barcelona,¬†Real Madrid CF,¬†FC Bayern Munich, among many others, seem to be blessed with fans spanning the entire globe. So, what are these teams doing right that others aren’t?¬†And more importantly, what do fans want and expect from their favorite teams?

What Do the Hardcore Fans Really Want?

Hardcore fans, unlike simple sports enthusiasts, see themselves as part of the team and not just simple spectators in the arena. With this in mind, teams, leagues, and clubs should cater to these needs as much as possible. Luckily, however, this has become increasingly more feasible, thanks in large part to all the technological achievements in recent years.

These fans want to be in touch with their teams 24/7, if possible. And while this was somewhat hard to do, say, back in the ’90, with today’s many social media platforms, like Snapchat, Instagram, or Facebook, this is no longer a problem. Teams and individual players alike can live stream¬†from the locker room or their own homes, all to their fan base delight and satisfaction.

What Key Elements Facilitate Hardcore Sports Fans?

No person is born a hardcore fan, so, certain things must be turning them. Knowing what these are, can help teams to turn them into their loyal fans better.

For starters, and this is somewhat obvious, hardcore fans are usually from the same city. In fact, roughly 60% of all hardcore fans of any given team, especially those that hold international recognition, are from the same town or area as their team. An equally important aspect is the family tradition of rooting for a specific team. It is unlikely, though not unheard of, for children to endorse a different team than that their parents, siblings, and relatives do.

Then, there’s the matter of a team’s performance. Scientific studies have shown that fans whose team won a game see an increase in their testosterone levels. Likewise, some sports fans tend to follow individual players and not the teams themselves. It means that they are willing to change teams as long as their favorite player is part of it.

Lastly, there a matter of convenience. Today’s sports fans are all about convenience and versatility when it comes to their engagement with their teams. And as we’ve mentioned before, this trend has been facilitated, in large part by the rise of social media and other such digital technologies. The downside to this development, however, is the fact that there are too many platforms from which fans engage with their teams, which is somewhat the opposite of what convenience is about.

Conclusion

Fortunately, specific platforms such as Fanisko Engage are fixing that by funneling all this fragmented content, and more, within a single source. This is a win-win situation for everybody involved.

How GenZ and Millennial Sports Fans Are Changing the Game of Sports

Millennials and GenZ’ers are already the majority of the population and only by addressing their¬†needs and viewing preferences will the sports industry be able to maximize its profits and fan retention capabilities.¬†Times, they are changing.

Time does seem to pass faster now that we are in the digital age, doesn’t it? It’s still a bit hard to come to grips with the fact that the 90’s started almost 30 years ago. Yet, those born in 2000 are turning eighteen this year. These ‘kids’ are the so-called Generation Z (born between 1995 and 2015) and are taking the world of sports by storm.¬†¬†

This change was already in the making of the millennial generation, but unlike their successors, millennials are more of a transition breed, born and raised predominantly in the pre-internet era. Nevertheless, statistics show that by 2020, 40% of consumers and a third of all US citizens will be, in fact, part of GenZ. That’s less than two years away.

And for the great amount of¬†influence this generation will have in the immediate future, many marketers don’t seem to give it too much consideration. This is probably because they’re still trying to figure out millennials to even consider taking on the younger generation.

The Change Is Already Happening

Kids or not, many are already active members of society, either going to college or being part of the workforce.¬†Jonah Stillman, an 18-year-old keynote speaker, author, and generation expert at¬†GenZGuru, is¬†for all intents and purposes the voice of his peers. In September 2017, he was hired by the Minnesota Vikings to conduct research and predict trends based on the viewing habits of his fellow GenZ’ers.

In an interview with the New York Post, Stillman said that¬†‚Äúwe may not be your core consumers right now, but five or 10 or 15 years down the line, we are going to be your avid spenders, your avid fans, and the time to get on our radar is now.‚Ä̬†He also went on to say that “A GenZ‚Äôer will watch on the TV for 10 seconds, look at their phone for the next two minutes, then back at their laptop screen, then the next 20 minutes they‚Äôre back on the TV screen.‚ÄĚ

In other words, sports content will be highly fragmented and will appear on a multitude of digital channels, other than TV. In fact, the more of these viewing options there are, the more TV will lose its central focus, tying everything together. This trend is already beginning to happen and will only accelerate as time goes on.

Such a development presents ample opportunities for sports teams and leagues to engage with their fans in more meaningful and intimate ways. Yet, this diversity in terms of both content and viewing channels can quickly become too complex, being hard to follow, predict, and monetize.

Certain platforms such as Fanisko Engage can offer the benefits of both content diversity and the convenience of having that content on the same app. Fans will be able to watch all trending topics about their team without having to change between TV, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook to get it. Highlights, behind-the-scenes moments, games, VR/AR simulations, and other such customizable content will be easily accessible on a single platform.

Millennials and GenZ’ers are already the majority of the population and only by addressing their¬†needs and viewing preferences will the sports industry be able to maximize its profits and fan retention capabilities.¬†Times, they are changing.