When you think of a professional sport; you think of their fans. The team’s main goal is to connect with their fans, because it’s crucial for teams to continue their current supporters happiness and to gain future fans. When reflecting on the sports world, we see that there’s a culture that comes along with fans and the teams that they support. Fans are the bloodline to why teams have the success and popularity that they receive because without a fan base or believers, the sport would be (in a version) considered nothing. That’s why when dealing with the marketing side to a team, its important to try and bring in as many fans as possible, not only to the team but to the sport as well, in whatever way possible.
The sports industry has to think about the future and how they can keep promoting their team to continue their success. “Identifying the motivations of sports fans gives us the grounding we need to explore their future” (Fotball). When dealing with how to strengthen the connections between a fan and their team, companies need to reflect on how they approach them and decide what works and what doesn’t. Taking time to reflect if fans are engaged with the team, if the game is growing, or even if what the company is doing, and creating a vibrant atmosphere for games is important. That’s why most teams in recent years have turned to social media and mobile apps to create a better bond. Other ways teams can keep interest in them isn’t through social media but through interacting the local community or even setting up meet and greets with team members through open practices. By allowing fans to come and see the team, not just in games, social media create better connections, so when it comes time for games, fans are there to do their job and create the atmosphere companies and teams want to see.
When dealing with social marketing through media and promotions, teams have turned to apps and websites. Which allow fans that aren’t able to view the game in person, still experience the same thrill of seeing their team play. An example is the New England Patriots, who have partnered with SessionM, “a tech startup that helps increase user engagement, to turn that app into an engine of fan involvement and interaction” (Forbes). Fred Kirsch who is head of the football team’s media stated that because of the team’s connections with this app, it greatly helped the team have better interactions with their fan base. The way the app works is by allowing fans to be rewarded which helps bring them back for more and through word of mouth brings new fans, as well.
Author: Alexandra Grace Vignona (University of Vermont) – sophomore at the University of Vermont majoring in public communication.
Advisor: Rob Williams, Ph.D. (University of Vermont); Professor of Media and Communications.
Mezzetta, Rudy. “What Can The NHL Do To Get More Fans?” The Hockey News. 28 December 2014. Accessed 3 April 2017.
Raincock, Charlie. “The Future of the Sports Fan,” Performance Communications. N.d. Accessed 3 April 2017.
Smith, Chris. “NFL Teams Turn To Social Media To Connect With Fans.” Forbes. 10 September 2012. Accessed 3 April 2017.