Helping sports clubs change the game: Part one
How we engage with sport is changing rapidly
As fans look to connect with the teams and athletes they support, we’re seeing touchpoints emerge and develop that allow an ever-deepening level of engagement between fan and idol; between local support and global audience. These changes transcend everything from traditional and social media to memberships, from rule changes to the spectator experience.
And that final touchpoint is key.
Being a supporter is membership of a club; a sense of belonging rooted in a shared interest and passion.
The ways in which clubs, teams and national sports bodies foster a positive spectator experience – regardless of proximity to the action – is one of the core levers that can help deliver results off the pitch as well as on it.
A sense of belonging amongst spectators can help build deeper engagement
Spectating is a direct and sensory experience of the shared belonging fans feel. It is the celebration of history already written and the thrill of watching it be made.
Fostering and harnessing a positive spectating experience amongst fans contributes to that belonging and can play a powerful role in retaining, maintaining and recruiting fans into different sports.
- Refreshing connections: how can we challenge apathy and inertia and help make latent fans active spectators?
- Deepening connections: how can we build on strong spectator experiences both within and beyond the stadium to maintain and strengthen the connection with our existing fans?
- Building new connections: how can we create a spectator experience that brings in the next generation of fans?
There is a need – and a challenge – to balance maximising the fan experience while also realising commercial realities and ambitions.
These considerations can help teams, athletes and franchises grow through deeper fan engagement, allowing us to make the most of new opportunities and revenue streams.