Keeping up with the Millennial and Gen-Z Tech-Savvy Sports Fan

The world is changing, and it’s changing so fast that many businesses, big and small, can hardly keep up. The same thing can be said about sports leagues and teams who are finding it increasingly hard to engage with their fans in today’s times.

The world is changing, and it’s changing so fast that many businesses, big and small, can hardly keep up. The same thing can be said about sports leagues and teams who are finding it increasingly hard to engage with their fans in today’s times.

It was not that long ago when broadcast and cable television dominated sports viewership. This made it somewhat easy for sports leagues to track their fans’ likes, dislikes, habits, and preferences since TV acted as a sort of “funnel” where most supporters gathered to consume their product. But those days are fast disappearing and TV’s monopoly on entertainment is now over.

Statistics show that traditional TV viewership is in decline among all demographics below the age of 49. Teenagers between the ages of 12 and 17 are showing the greatest decrease, with their viewership dropping by a whopping 11% year after year. Sports also seems to take an extra hit as people between the ages of 18 to 24 show the least interest in it among all other entertainment shows.

From TV to Social Media

Despite these facts, there is still some hope. While traditional TV viewership may be declining, digital usage is on the rise. What’s more, 86% of Americans still consider themselves sports fans. Even more hopeful is the fact that the majority of these fans, especially those between the ages of 15 and 36, are willing to pay for quality sports content.

Among millennials, the most commonly used outlets from where they get their sports content are Facebook and YouTube, and a total of 92% of sports fans between the ages of 18 and 24 use social media as their main source for sports information.

What really draws millennials and the so-called Generation Z (those born after 2000) to these digital outlets is the convenience of having access to all sorts of highlights, bloopers, or behind-the-scenes perspectives that keep the entertainment going long after the game is over.

Enter Fanisko Engage

Sports teams have tried to get ahead of the game here by creating their own digital apps in an attempt at keeping their fans entertained. But while fans are consistently engaged with their teams, they are doing it in all sorts of digital places except within the team’s app.

What Fanisko Engage does here is to bring both the benefits of social media and traditional TV viewing into one platform. Fans no longer need to change from Facebook to YouTube to Instagram to Twitter and then back again since all they need is within this one-stop engagement platform. It also offers live play-by-play predictions, AR/VR games, engagement rewards, and personalized content to keep the fanbase “under the same roof.”

Fans are sure to respond to this sort of diversity as well as the convenience of having everything they need on one single platform. It increases their engagement time, it keeps them on the team’s page for longer, and because of the integrated analytics system, it helps the marketing department better understand their wants and needs for a better overall experience.

Fanisko offers a one-stop fan engagement platform, Fanisko|Engage, that helps sports and entertainment brands increase mobile fan retention, digital engagement and revenue opportunities. Today’s fans want more from their leagues and teams. We help leagues and teams embrace today’s “SmartFan” demand while maximizing fan potential for sponsors. Our mobile first, one-stop platform targeting millennials with a combination of unique content strategy, product offering including gaming, predictive and behavioral analytics and AR/VR technologies will target and engage the right audience.

An Inside Look at Manchester United’s Staggering Revenue Through Fan Engagement

With a breathtaking number of 659 million supporters, it is safe to say that the fanbase of EPL giant Manchester United (https://www.manutd.com/) 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.

With a breathtaking number of 659 million supporters, it is safe to say that the fanbase of EPL giant Manchester United (https://www.manutd.com/) 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.

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 ($102 million)  per year in additional revenues apart from their primary revenue via broadcasting rights, brand endorsements, and sponsorships.

Now let’s see 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 ($256 million). That’s in addition to the usual business Manchester United conducts during the transfer windows, which tends to be quite substantial already.Moving on to the most amusing factor about their 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 soccer 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 including gamification and mixed reality 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.

In summary, Manchester United’s staggering revenue generated through fan engagement include the following:

  • Robust content
  • Gamification
  • Mixed Reality
  • Fan loyalty
  • Sponsorships
  • MUTV subscription

About Fanisko:

Fanisko (www.fanisko.com) offers a one-stop fan engagement platform, Fanisko|Engage, that helps sports and entertainment brands increase mobile fan retention, digital engagement and revenue opportunities. Today’s fans want more from their leagues and teams. We help leagues and teams embrace today’s “SmartFan” demand while maximizing fan potential for sponsors. Our mobile first, one-stop platform targeting millennials with a combination of unique content strategy, product offering including gaming, predictive and behavioral analytics and AR/VR technologies will target and engage the right audience.

So, if you are any sports association, league or a club planning to deliver an amazing mobile based fan engagement platform to build your fanbase, 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*

 

 

 

Focus on Your Superfans

Superfans in sport are not as rare a sight as you may think. There’s always that one guy leading the chants, going to every game or being the life of the party in the stands.

Superfans in sport are not as rare a sight as you may think. There’s always that one guy leading the chants, going to every game or being the life of the party in the stands. Do the teams benefit from their presence and activity?

The short answer is yes, although being a distinctive superfan can sometimes even bring trouble to those dedicated individuals. However, the benefits greatly outweigh the risks. If you want to learn why you should focus on your superfans and how to do it, we have some insight, as well as stories about the most famous superfans in the world.

Identifying Your Superfans

Not all teams have superfans like the New York Jets’ Fireman Ed or the Chicago Cubs’ superfan Ronnie Woo-Woo. While some superfans will be boisterous and impossible to miss, there are types of fans who buy their season tickets and don’t miss any matches, but might otherwise keep a lower profile. Even if no fans are sporting special accessories and leading the chants on your team’s games, that doesn’t mean you don’t have superfans.

For example, have a look at your social media — there are indeed fans who engage with your content, who always comment and facilitate discussion. People who regularly attend games are also easy to identify. They are your superfans, and rewarding them for their loyalty can be rewarding for your team, too.

Offering a Loyalty Program

Your fans aren’t supporting your team for the rewards it might bring, but it’s certainly a good incentive and a friendly approach to nurture loyalty. One way of doing that is through loyalty programs. If you can make it into a win-win situation — providing increased revenue for the team while making your superfans feel appreciated — then it can be one of the best things you can do for your team’s future.

Make sure that your loyalty program operates on a system that’s fair to all fans while giving the most significant rewards to those who are most loyal. Purchasing season tickets is always an excellent parameter to go by, but there are other things you might reward and even stimulate. For example, if you want better engagement on social media, all you have to do is figure out what a valuable reward for encouraging that may be.

Combining Loyalty Programs with Great Fan Experience

Ultimately, the most successful loyalty programs rely on more than offering incentives and rewards. When you manage to pair it up with providing the best fan experience out there, then you’ll know you’re on the right path.

Of course, there are different ways of accomplishing that. The most recent rising star and the future of fan experience is the team app. Most fans spend a lot of time on mobile devices, so provide them with an app that delivers the information they crave. Contextual prediction gaming that nurtures their competitiveness, along with trivia that’s entertaining, is one of the most valuable assets of any team.

With Fanisko Engage, you get a way to enhance your existing team app and provide your fans with the most engaging experience. It’s certainly something your superfans will appreciate, and it can help with your efforts to create a valuable loyalty program. For more information on our platform and its features, visit our website.

Reasons Why You Need a Fan Engagement Platform

It’s difficult to lose fans in the sports industry, but you’re certainly not taking advantage of a tremendous growth opportunity if you’re failing to engage your fans.

Even the biggest football clubs in the world must engage their fans via social networks or by organizing fan days. It’s difficult to lose fans in the sports industry, but you’re certainly not taking advantage of a tremendous growth opportunity if you’re failing to engage your fans.

To stay relevant, you have to make an impact in the engagement game as much as you have to do it on the field. Your biggest ally could be an excellent fan engagement platform, so let’s have a look at the reasons why you need one:

Communicating with Fans

Communication with your fans via modern communication channels such as social networks is crucial for engagement. However, social media isn’t the only place where you can engage fans. With a fan engagement platform, you don’t have to worry about maintaining a social media presence for your team on every social network there is. That can be time-consuming and not yield enough return.

You’re in the driver’s seat, so lead the conversation and be innovative. Fan engagement platforms are on the rise, and might soon become the fan-preferred way of communicating with their favorite teams, especially if they let them express their passion for the team.

Keeping the Fans Entertained

As modern technologies are becoming more widespread, fighting for attention gets harder. Everyone can send their message into the internet ether, and consumers can’t pay attention to them all. Even the biggest teams in the most profitable sports can struggle to get people to follow them online.

That’s because no matter how big you are or how many fans you have out there, you still have to make it worth it for the fans to follow you. To do that, create content that fans find interesting, use video, ask for their opinion, and above all, aim to include fans into everything the club does, so they’ll feel like a part of it.

Analyzing the Data to Figure out What Works and What Doesn’t

With a fan engagement platform, everything you do can be measured. You can see how many people engaged with your content – for example, whether they preferred a video announcement or a fan contest. Analytics is the most important thing for determining how successful your engagement strategies are, and whether they need changes. Not every team will be able to utilize the same tips and tricks – what works for an industry giant might not work out so well for a smaller group. That’s why it’s imperative to make informed decisions based on real hard data and not assumptions.

How Fanisko Engage Can Help

With Fanisko Engage, your team gets a fan engagement platform that can answer your needs and stand the test of time. Engaging your fans throughout the year is not an easy task, especially in the off-season, but fan engagement platforms such as Fanisko Engage certainly make them more manageable by offering the options you need to keep interest alive.

For more information, please visit our website to find out exactly how Fanisko Engage can make your fan engagement hopes a reality.

How Do You Engage Fans in the Age of Short Attention Spans?

We live in the age of short attention spans – the fact that scientific research has confirmed. Digitalization of all aspects of our lives has brought us some good things, but also plenty of distractions. According to Microsoft Corp. study, we now have an average attention span of about 8 seconds. Whether it stagnates or continues to deteriorate, one thing for sure: the current downward trend is being felt in all industries.

We live in the age of short attention spans – the fact that scientific research has confirmed. Digitalization of all aspects of our lives has brought us some good things, but also plenty of distractions. According to Microsoft Corp. study, we now have an average attention span of about 8 seconds. Whether it stagnates or continues to deteriorate, one thing for sure: the current downward trend is being felt in all industries

When it comes to sport, the decline in ratings and general TV viewership is undoubtedly becoming more worrisome for sports executives. Since fans are overwhelmed by options across a multitude of devices, they can’t keep up. So how do you engage fans in the age of short attention spans?

Millennials as Part of the Equation

While millennials are hardly to blame for the overall drop in ratings, it is interesting to take a look at how they approach sports. For example, Nielsen data for the NFL shows that even though it may seem that ratings have decreased among millennials, the number of millennials who watch NFL has in fact seen an increase. So what caused the drop? It was that millennials watched fewer games, and there was also a decline in the minutes observed per game. As it turns out, fans are starting to watch sports less often, and for shorter periods of time.

The Importance of Keeping Fans Engaged

A decrease in fan engagement is the last thing any sports executive or club desires. In more ways than one, sport thrives precisely off of fan engagement, being the only industry where you get fans and loyalty even if you lack results. For this reason, it’s critical for the sports industry to find ways to battle short attention spans. TV is losing relevance, but merely to alter the platform from TV video to PC and mobile might not be enough. But what if the digital sports experience could innovate in ways that drive more fan engagement?

Battling Short Attention Spans

The fear of missing out drives Today’s generation and that fear should be exploited in productive ways. There are plenty of suggestions for improving fan engagement by feeding them information and making sports even more accessible to follow. Designing products that can make the best out of the digital age is the way to go. Make content more interactive and relevant to the fans, to keep them engaged even on days when no matches are being played.

Digital Platforms for Fan Engagement

Fortunately, some platforms can help clubs and teams engage fans so that they don’t leave to do other things. Fanisko Engage is one such product, as it offers plenty of features that have helped our clients see increased session times and higher engagement. It’s an SDK integration platform that utilizes Mixed and Augmented Reality as well as AI to improve the fan experience, gamification, and personalization.

Conclusion

Industries need to move fast and evolve in the digital era, and sports is no exception. Our product Fanisko Engage provides teams with just the kind of solution they need to stay relevant and attractive to fans. Visit our website for more information on it.