Fan Engagement 101: The Best Platform for Diehard Sports Fans

Fanisko Engage offers some of the best-personalized content on the market.Many sports teams have a tough time interacting and engaging their fans over the many social platforms, but with Fansiko everything happens under the same ‘roof’ and under your watchful eye.

Sports marketing and fan engagement have changed a lot over the past several years. It wasn’t so long ago when broadcast TV held a monopoly over sports content and fan engagement, but things are now starting to change. Today’s sports fans are increasingly turning to social media and other forms of digital innovation for their daily dose of sports entertainment.

The multichannel world, where the sports industry is headed, offers a great deal in terms of opportunity and diversity. Yet, for all they have to offer, social platforms can become convoluted and somewhat hard to manage. Each of them specializes in only a few types of content, be it short clips, highlights, behind-the-scenes moments, and other such bite-size content.

Knowing how and when to post, what the fans are interested in, or what content should a team be focusing on is hard and needs a great deal of trial and -error before coming close to a good ROI.

 

Fanisko Engage

Pleasing a fan in this day and age isn’t hard. Because of the almost overwhelming amount of content on the internet, they are very likely to be satisfied with whatever they discover on the various social platforms. Some sports teams have developed their own apps in an attempt at funneling in their fanbase. But even if fans will keep themselves up-to-date on their team’s progress and upcoming events, they do it almost anywhere else than on the team’s own app.

With the goal of helping advertisers target and engage the right audience, Fanisko’s developers have designed a one-stop fan engagement platform designed to increase mobile fan retention and digital engagement, as well as drive revenue opportunities. Being a mobile-oriented platform, Fanisko Engage is aimed at targeting millennials by combining several marketing strategies into one.

Experience Management

In order for the platform to be an appealing option for fans, it has to deliver on three key components: convenience, diversity, and versatility. Fanisko Engage does this by allowing itself be personalized by both the team and the user. Fans have the option to filter, save, and favorite content based on their own preference.

Interactive content such as predictive gaming, motion sensor gaming, and Augmented Reality (AR) Gaming are just a few examples that are sure to keep fans entertained. The platform can also be personalized from the team’s perspective, showcasing its colors, logo, and font.

Content Management

Content is also easy to manage, allowing you to customize visibility based on geography for a targeted reach. The platform is also able to choose and present all trending content found on the internet. Polls and survey can also be used so as to drive engagement and get the answers you were looking for.

Analytics

Equally as important is to understand the fan’s wants and needs, when they’re most active, what their interests are and what trends may be presenting themselves in the near future. All of these can be seen and analyzed with Fanisko’s analytic capabilities. Metrics will be provided to measure subscriptions, clicks, page views, activities, and performance. The advanced features can offer an insight into what works and why; allowing the user to generate the right kind of content.

Conclusion

Fanisko Engage offers some of the best-personalized content on the market. Logged in users provide targeted reach which will enable you to offer personalized advertising based on age, gender, likes, geography, and interests, and much more. Many sports teams have a tough time interacting and engaging their fans over the many social platforms, but with Fansiko everything happens under the same ‘roof’ and under your watchful eye.

Millennial Fan Engagement, Smartphones, and Social Media: What They Mean for Sports Content

The way people are interacting with sports has changed drastically over the past 25 years. If we look back at the 1990’s, most sports content was centered on broadcast TV, with people gathering around the living room or going to the game itself. Radio and newspapers also played a marginal role in fan engagement.

The way people are interacting with sports has changed drastically over the past 25 years. If we look back at the 1990’s, most sports content was centered on broadcast TV, with people gathering around the living room or going to the game itself. Radio and newspapers also played a marginal role in fan engagement.

Fast forward to present day and sports content is now spread over most digital outlets. Fans can now watch full games on demand or opt for smaller, bite-size content such is the case on Snapchat. Twitter, for instance, is broadcasting college sports around the clock, Amazon is streaming Thursday Night Football, and as of last year, the NFL, the MLS, UEFA, the World Surf League (WSL), CrossFit, and MLB have all signed a contract with Facebook, featuring all sorts of highlights, game recaps, and other similar content.

A Major Shift in Sponsorship Trends

This change from TV to digital is not negligible either. As traditional media platforms are seeing a steady decrease in revenue growth, sports sponsorship is at an all-time high. As compared to 2017, this year has seen a 4.3% increase in global sponsorship revenue, adding up to a total of $65.8 billion; $24.2 billion of which being in the US. Sports sponsorship accounts for a whopping 70%.

One other interesting development here is the increased sponsor desire for an early exit from at least one of their sponsorships. Over 58% of sponsors find themselves in this category. One explanation may be the rightsholders’ unwillingness or inability to change with the times. When asked about their priorities, sponsors placed the presence on social and mobile media, as their second most important criterion after category exclusivity. By comparison to only last year, social and mobile jumped from the sixth to the second place in sponsor-desired priority order.

The Pros and Cons

For the most tech-savvy fans, namely millennials, this steady transition from TV to digital is more than welcome. Instead of queuing behind hundreds of other fans in the hopes of getting an autograph, they now prefer to go on Twitter and engage with their favorite players digitally. With a single push of a button, teams and players can now go live from the locker room, gym, or from home and interact with their fans.

And this is just the tip of the digital iceberg. Other trends such as VR and AR technologies can ‘place’ any fan right in the middle of the stadium, or allow them to watch the game from multiple angles while having access to on-demand instant replays. Convenience, versatility, and diversity are what millennials, smartphones, and social media bring to sports content.

For the sports teams themselves, this trend can be seen as a double-edged sword. On the one hand, this diversity and room for experimentation will allow teams to be more on par with their competition and reach out to their fans in more meaningful and engaging ways. But on the other hand, however, the tangled web of social platforms, apps, and other technologies may be too much to handle.

Platforms such as Fanisko Engage can help sports teams by bringing all this bite-size content into a more easily manageable form. Instead of posting on all the different social apps in the hopes of engaging with as many fans as possible, teams can now use this one-size-fits-all platform and deliver their fans the convenience and content diversity they so much desire.

Like all meaningful changes, sports content and fan engagement are now going through a transition period where those who catch on quickly will have the most to gain.

Fan Engagement Drives Business and Millennials are willing to pay for it

Platforms like the Fanisko Engage help both teams and fans alike by providing all of this scattered content under the same roof. It increases the fans’ engagement time with the team, it offers live play-by-play predictions, top trending content, AR/VR gaming, engagement rewards, fan behavioral analytics, call-to-action campaigns that draw fans to the stadium, all making up for lost revenue.

The TV Era of fan engagement is slowly but surely coming to a close. People are still watching sports on TV, yes, but it is not the only entertainment provider out there. Now it’s all about social media and the different outlets it provides. In a 2017 interview, Robert Kraft, principal owner of the New England Patriots, said that “[Millennials] don’t watch TV, they don’t have TVs or subscribe to cable. So we have to bring that audience in.”

He is right, of course. A lot of revenue came from TV ads, but since people are no longer watching TV as they used to, naturally, that revenue also went down. Sports leagues are now scrambling to find ways on how to make up for that loss but they feel stuck in the ‘stone age,’ not knowing how to approach the issue.

Fan Engagement in the 21st Century

Millenials and the younger generation are all over social media nowadays. The general interest in sports has also waned a bit, especially with those 24 and younger, but most people still consider themselves avid sports fans. In the US, that number is around 86% of the general population, with millennials showing the most interest in sports.

But since they’re no longer watching TV, what they do instead is to turn to the almighty internet and get their sports content there. In fact, 92% of all those under 24 get their sports information from social media. What they like most about it is the fact that the entertainment keeps on going long after the game ended. Like Brian Hughes, senior VP of audience intelligence and strategy at MAGNA Global USA puts it “[Their] increased interest in short-term things, like stats and quick highlights… has funneled some young viewers away from TV.”

And it’s precisely because of those “short-term things” that sports leagues and teams find it so hard to engage with their fans. Most of them have mobile apps of their own, but millennials are almost anywhere on the internet, looking up their team, except on the team’s app.

Platforms like the Fanisko Engage help both teams and fans alike by providing all of this scattered content under the same roof. It increases the fans’ engagement time with the team, it offers live play-by-play predictions, top trending content, AR/VR gaming, engagement rewards, fan behavioral analytics, call-to-action campaigns that draw fans to the stadium, all making up for lost revenue.

The Really Good Part

Statistics show that over 90% of sports fans are willing to pay for sports programming. Millennials, unlike their older counterparts, are willing to pay the most for premium sports content, probably because the older generations got used to receiving theirs for free from TV.

Whatever the case, the market is there waiting to be seized, but the problem still remains with the sport’s teams who can’t seem to find a way of capitalizing on this fan engagement. Platforms like Fanisko can provide this bridge and allow for a streamlined and all-encompassing fan engagement virtual space.

An inside look at Manchester United’s staggering revenue through fan engagement

EPL giant Manchester United is engaged in fan interaction with over 100 million followers digitally, with over 70 million followers on Facebook, 20 million on Instagram and 17 million on Twitter. Furthermore, they have over a million subscribers to their official app and close to 175,000 subscribers to their MUTV app and digital cable channel which is available to 165 countries.

With a breathtaking number of 659 million supporters, it is safe to say that the fan base of EPL giant Manchester United is nothing short of colossal. Let me explain you the significance of this number – this is twice the population of the United States of America and almost half the population of China. Constituting to 8% of the world population, the fan base of  Premier league’s most successful could hold its own ground to become the fourth largest practiced religion after Christianity, Islam, and Hinduism.

Photo by John Peters/Manchester United via Getty Images

The club is engaged in fan interaction with over 100 million followers digitally, with over 70 million followers on Facebook, 20 million on Instagram and 17 million on Twitter. Furthermore, they have over a million subscribers to their official app and close to 175,000 subscribers to their MUTV app and digital cable channel which is available to 165 countries.

Revenue through fan engagement

It’s one thing to create a massive fan base but it’s a whole different game to metamorphose it into an effective revenue model and that’s exactly what Manchester United have been successful at. The revenue generated through fan engagement has contributed effectively, helping the club to post a record-breaking overall revenue of  £581 million ($817 million) last year. Manchester United converts only 1% of its 659 million fans to MUTV subscription at an average of just £1 per month (the pricing will vary by country, taking fans’ respective purchasing power into account and is as low as around £1.60 per month in India to around £6.30 per month in Finland). This helps the club to generate nearly £80 million per year in additional revenues apart from their primary revenue via broadcasting rights, brand endorsements, and sponsorships.

Now let me explain as to how this £80 million transcends on to the pitch. This money can fund the signing of as many as two to three top players with five-year contracts or could contribute to one-third of the club’s overall annual wage budget of the entire squad which, is around £232 million. That’s in addition to the usual business Manchester United conducts during the transfer windows, which tends to be quite substantial already.

*screenshot taken from MUTV app*

Moving on to the most amusing factor about this fanbase is that close to 85% live in developing economies around the world, with more than half in Asia and only close to 7% of the fanbase turns up to their stadium through the course of their footballing season. This makes the club to keep fans engaged between matches through social media and their dedicated apps. The fans are provided with the right and robust content at the right time in as many as 27 languages, through various mediums. This creates more interaction, greater advertising and merchandising opportunities among its predominantly young fanbase.

About Fanisko:

Fanisko offers a one-stop fan engagement platform, “Fanisko Engage”, that helps sports brands increase mobile fan retention, digital engagement, and revenue opportunities. We are built on a unique company culture where everyone is passionate about sports, entertainment and care about better fan experience and engagement.

So, if you are any sports association, league or a club planning to deliver an amazing mobile based fan engagement platform to build your fan base, we would like to hear from you.

 

*Revenue and fan base statistics were taken from BBC, Independent, MUFC’s social media accounts, and official website respectively*

Its all about the fans

Whatever might be the size of your sport- big or small, popular or unpopular- nothing without fans.

Leagues like EPL, NFL has an enormous fan following everywhere, and the players are treated as Gods even though they live in a distant land. We must appreciate, analyze their marketing and branding strategy, and the way they take the games beyond boundaries but do they engage the fans off the field?

Let’s face it!

Whatever might be the size of your sport- big or small, popular or unpopular- nothing without fans.

Leagues like EPL, NFL has an enormous fan following everywhere, and the players are treated as Gods even though they live in a distant land. We must appreciate, analyze their marketing and branding strategy, and the way they take the games beyond boundaries but do they engage the fans off the field?

 

What are the keys for fan engagement? 

Knowing your fans: 

Firstly, You must understand your fans well. Their needs and what do they love plays a major role.

The fans love to hear about their favourite team/player often. Notifying them about their favourite’s recent activities can keep them glued.

Also, a platform where they can have their say on the topics related to their team or league. Never mind, if it’s implemented or not. Having such a platform itself will make the fans feel empowered and part of the team.

Giving back to the fans: 

Fans never care about monetary rewards, all they want is to be loved and respected in the same way as they show it for their team but few gestures like charity matches or creating a charity foundation help fans to build a bridge of trust and compassion among the fans.

Engaging them during off days:

Did you know?  

The fans are attracted more by the pre-match content. Match days – certainly – will keep the fans involved but around-the-clock fan engagement platform can go a long way in keeping fans engaged for longer durations. As modern technology grows and fans start accessing more digital content, it is important to keep the fans engaged throughout.

About Fanisko: 

Fanisko offers a one-stop fan engagement platform, “Fanisko Engage”, that helps sports brands increase mobile fan retention, digital engagement, and revenue opportunities. We are built on a unique company culture where everyone is passionate about sports, entertainment and care about better fan experience and engagement.

So, if you are any sports association, league or a club planning to deliver an amazing mobile based fan engagement platform to build your fan base, we would like to hear from you.