Now more than ever, how teams, organisations and leagues interact with their passionate fans has never been more important. Fans have swarmed to stadiums in their thousands across the world as gates re-opened.  

Before the current digital age, fan engagement was usually kept to within the hours of game day. Meet the mascot, kicking competitions, and face painting would litter the perimeter of stadiums to entertain fans in the hours before kick-off or the first bounce.  

With the seamless integration of technology into our lives however, sporting organisations were challenged to keep fans actively invested year-round.  

To fans, sports have become far more than the time spent in the stands or in front of the TV between lights out and the checked flag, or tipoff and the final siren. Now, fans are logging on year-round, looking for new content and experiences from their favourite outfits. Fan engagement is no longer a game day – let alone a season long – experience, now teams need to engage their fans every day of the year.  

These new challenges have pushed sporting organisations to think outside the box to look for creative and innovative ways to keep fans engaged with their brand, with some of our favourite examples below.  

 

Gold Coast Suns Footy Frenzy  

2021 represented another tumultuous year for the Australian Football League (AFL), with lockdowns and state border restrictions wreaking havoc once again. With fans barred from attending games throughout the year, the Gold Coast Suns launched Footy Frenzy which encouraged fans to submit videos of themselves commentating the highlights of Suns games. The campaign garnered thousands of impressions across multiple social platforms and kept fans engaged with a unique activity they could complete whilst they were unable to travel to games in person.  

 

 

AFL Clubs ignite fans through their rivalry 

Both Collingwood Football Club and Richmond Football Club tapped into the potential of their longstanding rivalry in 2020 to re-launch the Covid interrupted AFL season. Both teams joined forces to create an online space designed for fans to complete various games and challenges against the opposing teams’ fans. The strategy was an overwhelming success, creating hundreds of new data points for each team and allowing fans stuck at home to meaningfully engage with their club. 

Red Bull Racing’s “The Paddock”  

Named after the exclusive enclosure in Formula 1, “The Paddock” is Red Bull’s main fan engagement program. Fans can earn points through interacting with the team’s website and content including driver interviews and race wrap ups. As they engage with the team’s articles and videos, the bank of points grows with exclusive experiences and merchandise available for purchase through these points. The Paddock rewards year round access and engagement with Red Bull’s content to ensure fans are invested in the team both inside and outside the Formula 1 season.   

 

NBA in the Metaverse 

Launched to help celebrate the 25th anniversary of the world famous league, NBA Lane celebrated the basketball’s greatest legends and the modern day stars who have succeeded them. For a couple of weeks in June this year, NBA Lane was open in the metaverse and allowed fans to use VR to immerse themselves in the themed landscape which included free throw shoot outs, dunk contests and selfies in the trophy room.  

 

 

Although the digital landscape has forced the sports industry to shift to year-round fan engagement strategies and campaigns, it has tapped into a newfound creativity. Fans want to engage with their favourite teams, and now they can in thoughtful and exciting new ways.  

A crucial pillar for the success of these campaigns is a robust CRM that can turn these engagements into meaningful value for sports organisations. EngageRM can help organisations effectively utilise these connections to extract their full value potential through the omnichannel platform, allowing multiple departments to connect with customers like never before.  

 

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