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.
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.