A short time ago, we had a blog post about converting your casual fans into hardcore fans. Essentially, what you want to do is to try to stand out as much as possible while exposing casual fans to what it's like being a hardcore fan. Today, we'd like to dive deeper into community engagement with casual fans to take them to the next level. Taking the right approach to cultivating a strong community is one of the best ways of growing your hardcore fan base.
Posts about Fan Experience:
There’s nothing that can top the stadium experience. While there are perks with the home experience; better camera angles, softer seats, free food, as well as the potential for augmented/virtual reality and multi-platform, multimedia experiences; nothing tops the roar of the crowd and the collective energy of the fans. But that doesn’t mean that there isn’t pressure on stadiums to deliver an experience that the living room or pub won’t ever match. It needs to be about more than just atmosphere and loud chanting; there needs to be something magical about their in-person viewing. Thankfully, fans know what they want from their stadium experience, and clubs that can deliver can get the ultimate reward; loyal and engaged fans.
Once upon a time, the only thing that fans in the stands were holding in their hands during a live game was a hot dog, a pint, or a supporter’s flag. Now, it’s a mobile phone.
Sadly, instead of watching the greatest stars of our generation score epic goals live, fans are experiencing it through a screen, never experiencing it with their own eyes, and doing it for the likes. This is an all too common occurrence in stadiums these days. They’re losing that intimate fan experience of seeing history in real time, because they’re doing an Instagram Live, live-tweeting from their seats, or posting a TikTok, while players looking up in the stands in celebration see nothing but outstretched phones, instead of thousands of screaming fans.
First thing's first: what makes a casual fan different from a hardcore fan? A casual fan is someone who cares about the sport and watches it but isn't too invested. They may tune in to the game once per week, or maybe once every few weeks when there's a big game, and other than that, football isn't a big part of their life. The casual fan probably (but not certainly) has a favorite team they root for, but it's a very superficial kind of support. They're unlikely to attend games in a stadium, and they might buy a jersey… maybe.
With 24/7 sports channels, dedicated sports radio, and no shortage of fan-focused podcasts, fan-run websites and social media accounts, there is no “true” off-season for a sports fan. In reality, it’s just an exceptionally long break between games. But just because there are other sources out there for fans to share and celebrate their teams, doesn’t mean a sports organization can completely go radio silent in the offseason. In fact, there have never been as many opportunities for teams to stay connected with fans all year long, and there’s no excuse not to.
Social media is an overall great addition to the world of sports. It allows for more people to enjoy the games we all love, but also for more depth of discussion and more personal interactions between fans, teams, and players. It’s always smooth sailing, however. Sometimes, social media can be a negative influence on sports and on fan experience. Here’s 7 ways in which social media has failed the world of sports:
There is a beautiful connection between being a sports fan and feeling like you’re a part of a supportive community. When we all gather together to watch a game, all divisions seem irrelevant, and we’re all just chanting and enraptured by the competition in front of us. And nowhere is this more prevalent than in the football community. Fans of the beautiful game just get what it feels like to be in a family of fans that live, breathe, and dream of their club.
Live-tweeting is an ever growing trend on Twitter, and its reach seems to be limitless - whether its individual fans live-tweeting their reactions to the finale of Game of Thrones to their 50 followers, or media outlets live-tweeting their coverage of a breaking story - as long as something is happening in real-time, live-tweeting is an exciting and engaging approach to discussing it. This rise of live-tweeting has made Twitter into a pseudo-media outlet in and of itself. People will turn to it in order to get instantaneous updates about things they care about.
Social media has been an athletes' playground for many years now. It should be no surprise that the top competitors in sports are always posting incredibly high numbers on their social networks. For example, Ronaldo is the most followed person on Instagram and Facebook and not without reason. He is the most popular player in the most popular sport globally, and his social media reflects that. It should be known, however, that merely having a large number of followers on social media is not enough.