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 “we 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.” He also went on to say that “A GenZ’er 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’re back on the TV screen.”

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 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.

Fan Engagement 101: The Best Platform for Diehard Sports Fans

Sports marketing and fan engagement have changed a lot over the past 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.

Sports marketing and fan engagement have changed a lot over the past 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, 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 specialize 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.

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 various social platforms. Some sports teams have developed their own apps in an attempt at funneling in their fanbase. But even if fans 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 to 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 surveys 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 leagues and teams has changed drastically over the past 25 years. If we look back at the 1990’s, most sports content were 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 leagues and teams has changed drastically over the past 25 years. If we look back at the 1990’s, most sports content were 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 the present day, sports content is now spread over several digital outlets. Fans can now watch full games on demand or opt for smaller, bite-size content. 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 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 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 to 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.

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.

Role of Sponsorship in Digital Fan Engagement

It is estimated that over 65 Billion dollars were spent on sponsorships worldwide in 2018. That’s a $2.5 billion increase from 2017. Furthermore, 70% of all that money went into sports. In other words, sports sponsorship is a thriving business and here is an example to prove it.

It is estimated that over 65 Billion dollars were spent on sponsorships worldwide in 2018. That’s a $2.5 billion increase from 2017. Furthermore, 70% of all that money went into sports. In other words, sports sponsorship is a thriving business and here is an example to prove it.

It is somewhat hard to consider soccer as being part of the American sports culture. Yet, interest in the sport has been steadily rising over the past few years. In fact, some 50% of US citizens said that they have at least a basic interest in the sport. The 18 to 29-year-old demographic shows the most interest in soccer, which presented an incredible opportunity for sponsors. In 2006, Red Bull bought the MetroStars, a Major League soccer team from New York. It should not come as a surprise then, that US soccer fans consume 63% more Red Bull than any other energy drinks on the market.

Soccer is the highest-grossing sport in the world and brands flock to it in an attempt at ‘getting a piece of the action.’ The US soccer market is relatively new and still presents ample opportunities for a high ROI. But soccer is not the only sport in this category. Skateboarding, surfing, and snowboarding are just a few other examples of sports whose main fan base are people under the age of 30 and who present an opportunity for high sponsorship ROI. This demographic is also the one most likely to use social media as their main platform for engagement.

Engagement Platform, Sponsorship, and Sports 

Sponsorship executives agree that social media will be the road going forward. Over 80% of fans use it from home or even at the stadium. On Twitter, for example, sports-related content is the most popular type of content, and this should not come as a surprise based on the platform’s commitment to live sports streams. In short, brands and sports leagues/teams now have a wider range of platforms from which to generate revenue.

The challenge that remains, however, is to generate entertaining content so as to maximize the potential that social platforms have to offer. A lot of sports teams have digital apps of their own, but because of the wide array of social outlets out there and the diversity in content that exists; fans keep themselves updated about their favorite teams, but do it almost anywhere else except on their team’s app. The potential is there, but the delivery is still lacking in many places.

Platforms like Fanisko Engage are able to address the issue and aid sports teams and leagues retain the attention of their fan base. It does this by providing all sorts of engaging content like live play-by-play predictions, AR/VR games, engagement rewards, or personalized streaming of news and events, among others, all specially tailored to keep fans engaged on the team’s own app. Sponsored content is provided via non-intrusive videos, native ads, surveys, and several other types all powered by analytics so as to not impede fan engagement.

The video below discusses putting a financial value on digital engagement for the sponsors. 

The future of sports sponsorship is certain like John Abbamondi, vice president of the NBA’s Team Marketing & Business Operations division, said back in 2014: “Sports is a people business, so we’re looking for ways to use technology to further engage with people.” His statement has since become a mantra for teams and leagues; given the increased attention digital sponsorship is receiving just a few years later.

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.

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.