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.

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.

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*

 

 

 

Things To Remember When Looking For A Gamification Service Provider!

Gamification has changed the face of sports marketing. Not only does it help you engage with your fans but also has the potential to generate revenue for your team even during off seasons and when the players are outside the stadium.

The many uses and subsequent benefits of gamification as mentioned in the previous articles are clearly evident. Gamification has changed the face of sports marketing. Not only does it help you engage with your fans but also has the potential to generate revenue for your team even during off seasons and when the players are outside the stadium. Gamification has not only improved the experience of fans but also stem the company’s positioning in the view of the audience.

Courtesy: Polygon

There are many ways to using gamification as a part of your strategy, as discussed in the previous articles in the e-book. The constantly evolving technology has in particular only made gamification more effective with time.

Gamification is all about execution!

Like you, other teams and sports marketers across the world also understand the various applications of gamification. This understanding has resulted in teams choosing to use gamification techniques. Unfortunately though, there are many among these teams who face challenges when trying to cash in on the benefits of gamification.

A look at the challenges faced by sports marketers!

There are varied type of challenges that sports marketers face when trying to use gamification techniques. A few challenges commonly faced by sports marketers are:-

  1. Lack of good content – As a marketer, not just a sports marketer, you need to always remember that content is the absolute king. If your content isn’t good enough or engaging enough then your fans are not going to be impressed. For example, if your trivia on the app of your team isn’t engaging then chances are your fans will not lap it up the way you expect them to.
  2. Lack of collaborative efforts – Partnering with other brands could actually help make the gamification efforts more effective. Imagine having rewards sponsored by reputed brands to further attract fans to be engaged with the app. Sports marketers lack in terms of understanding of this part with regards to gamification.
  3. Lack of innovation – Your fans need updates. Yes, updates! Take the creative route and present your fans with features that will have them hooked to your application regardless of it being On or Off season time. Failure to bring creativity to the table doesn’t really leave a lot of scope for gamification to ply in.

A little assistance is what Sports Marketers need…

When bogged by these challenges but with the aspiration to use gamification advance your team’s interests still intact, a sports marketer should take help from the experts. These issues and many others can easily be tackled with a tactful and resourceful partner. There are companies out there who specialize in helping companies set up and manage their fan engagement function. These are usually, technology based fan management & engagement platforms.

Having a partner of this specialty will not only help with gamification but will also open doors of possibilities for work on other things concerning the relationship between the team and its fans. But choosing a credible partner to work with in the capacity of a gamification partner isn’t an easy feat to achieve.

There are various factors that play a role each when you decide to partner with a fan engagement platform or a gamification service provider. These are factors which if ignored could, and have in the past, caused losses to a team when their marketing efforts didn’t reap benefits.

At this point, based on the assumption that you have already started to give some thoughts to the whole idea of adopting gamification as a part of your marketing machinery, we suggest you make your final call only after speaking to a gamification service provider.

To help you pick a partner who will help you make the most out of gamification and achieve marketing objectives you have set for your team, we suggest you keep in mind the following conditions and parameters. These will help you make the right decision and award yourself with better than ordinary results to say the least.

  1. Experience is critical – Go for an engagement platform that has experience, successfully achieving the type of objectives you have in mind. Choosing a partner that hasn’t had any good projects to its name in the past or doesn’t have experience in this domain could prove detrimental to the potential success of your marketing efforts.
  2. Not just any but experience with gamification – When you are looking for a partner that has done what you intend to see being done with your marketing through gamification, it is critical that you pick a platform that has experience with gamification. Only a partner with experience in handling gamification projects in the past will be of any help to you.
  3. Industry knowledge – Opt for a gamification service provider that is well aware of the technological as well as sports industry updates and developments. You need a partner who will be make only logical and sensible recommendations to you.
  4. Be careful with the pricing models – Among the companies that you review, go for one that has a variable pricing model in place of a high fixed fee cost model. Your requirements revolving around gamification could and would be highly dynamic in nature. With the changing nature of your requirements, a variable pricing model might be the best option to place bets on. This is because if one month you decide to go for fewer activities for your fans on your application and if the usage of gamification is lesser as compared to other months then you just might save your team a few bucks. A variable pricing model may also be priced based on the number of fans you wish to engage with for example. In such a case, the metrics could be well defined to measure success and to later on compare the achievements with the price initially quoted as per the model.
  5. Pick the best practices only – Now brands from varied fields have time and again undertaken activities that have stirred up controversy. You wouldn’t want to find yourself in a soup of this kind so it is best you hire a gamification service provider that is well versed with the best practices in your industry. So basically, you need a provider well versed with the sentiments of fans of the sporting industry and also practices deemed best in the same industry.

Eventually it all boils down to your hunch too. Pick a partner you feel will be fully committed to your cause.