#TeamWork: Is a Fan Truly Connected to their Team without the Web?

"When a fan invests their energy to a team they want to received something back in return and with this invention of these mobile team apps, they now get want they always wanted - a chance to become attached to their team."

The issue of how to properly approach a fan and connect them to a team is a tricky aspect to do. Especially when it deals with how the team will prosper from their fans connectedness to them. When dealing with the concept of, “How does a team better connect to their fans through linear television or just online in general”, you have to view if their sports marketing side is effective or not. One cannot simply use the same concept of the ideology of a selling a customer on a product when comparing to a sports fan. A sports fan is a person that isn’t just loyal to their team, they identify with them, and so an organization needs to build on a personal relationship to further their success.

When organizations look at the bigger picture, they tend to lead towards how they can invest more team and fan time into a person’s everyday life. The struggle with this is, the fact that most people cant invest every second of their life in front of a TV learning more about their team’s latest updates. Instead they need something mobile and on the go that reflects who they are. That’s why many organizations in all areas of sports have invested their program into marketing an app or cell phone alert systems that will help notify them on all areas of the team’s newest news. This not only allows people to stay connected and apart of the organization but builds off of the idea that the team will be with you every second of the day because they care about their fans. Many sports programs base who they are on their past successes to continue a legacy of not only fans, but believers. Meaning, a fan-base is a crucial part of an organization’s programs success because not only do they help fund the team by seeing games or buying merchandise, but they make the players feel apart of something that’s bigger than who they are.

By “Identifying the motivations of sports fans gives us the grounding we need to explore their future” (Fotball). Mobile marketing in the past few years has bonded with sports marketing due to the fact that, “it permits them to interact and engage, on a personal level, with their fans (consumers), both at the stadium and throughout the season” (Books. Google). 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. Dave Goldstein director of the app AppBoy stated, “We’re already seeing an uptick in mobile engagement… but individual apps with up-to-the-minute player news, exclusive offers, deals at concessions and more would only help feed the mania and better cater to the specific personalities of a team’s fans” (MoblieMarketer). Most apps like the NHL app come with two versions (Live or Premium), which allows their fan base to choose what sort of access they will be receiving (Sports Business Daily). When a fan invests their energy to a team they want to received something back in return and with this invention of these mobile team apps, they now get want they always wanted; a chance to become attached to their team.

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.



Johnson, Lauren. “NHL arms teams with mobile apps for in-stadium engagement.” Mobile Marketer. 17 October 2013. Accessed 11 April 2017.

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.

Sheridan, Amie. “App Review: NHL Game Center for iPhone Scores with Video Offerings.” Sports Business Daily. 15 October 2013.  Accessed 11 April 2017.

Smith, Chris. “NFL Teams Turn To Social Media To Connect With Fans.” Forbes. 10 September 2012. Accessed 3 April 2017.


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