With sports teams, leagues and franchises looking for new ways to grow revenue, the topic of fan engagement has been scoring major attention lately. One example: Major League Baseball announced a new, multi-year partnership with Snapchat. Beyond the first “Snapchat Day,” there will be other opportunities throughout the year to give fans an inside look at games and exclusive MLB content.
I recently attended the Leaders’ Sport Business Summit, where fan engagement dominated the conversation. I got schooled in the nuances of English football (soccer to us here in the U.S.), along with three takeaways on winning ways to engage fans on and off the field.
Make Mobile Moments
With the new Major League Soccer (MLS) season just kicking off, Commissioner Don Garber spoke about how the MLS has focused on building their largely millennial fan base. Mobile is critical for keeping those connected and tech-savvy fans engaged.
Fans have traditionally used mobile devices to conduct real-time searches and connect socially with fellow fans. Now teams are using mobile devices to reach fans in relevant moments and deliver personalized experiences that go beyond what’s happening on the field or court. Authentic and contextual content is often part of that experience.
Keep It Contextual
Contextual content is the ability to create and deliver specific information that meets a fan right where he wants to be met. One example? A fan finding his way through the stadium to his seat thanks to a wayfinding feature in the team’s official mobile app.
But this can go beyond practical pieces of information. Thanks to new communication protocols like the one LISNR provides, teams have the ability to distribute exclusive and real-time contextual content on a large scale.
For example, as fans enter the stadium, they might receive a notification on their phone to watch video highlights of the coach’s locker room pep talk. Or on a crucial 3rd down play, everyone’s phone might vibrate with a special “Make Noise” notification to distract the opposing team. Both are examples of “right-time” content sure to elevate the fan experience.
Connect Outside the Event
Another popular discussion topic was creating fan engagement outside the bricks and mortar venue. Mark Wilf, president and co-owner of the Minnesota Vikings, explained how many modern stadiums are surrounded by mixed use spaces that feature additional entertainment and dining. Beyond game-watching, spaces like these give both die-hard and regular fans additional entertainment options.
And of course, beyond those who attend sporting events in-person, you can’t forget about engaging the hundreds of thousands of fans watching remotely. Sean McManus, chairman of CBS Sports, touched on the role of content creation and distribution through broadcast channels too.
The intersection of mobile and technology makes it possible to capture the hearts of fans at home, too. Imagine fans watching the broadcast at home and having their devices light up with a “TOUCHDOWN” notification every time their favorite team scores. Powered by LISNR. Talk about a winning combination.
Fans have always been a part of sports. But to win big, venues and teams have to make mobile, contextual content and the concept of creating an encompassing entertainment experience part of their playbook.
Stay in touch with the LISNR team by following us @LISNR.
LISNR is a high frequency, inaudible technology; a new communication protocol that sends data over audio. As the leaders of the Internet of Sound, we use inaudible sound waves called SmartTones™, to transmit information. LISNR essentially transmits customizable packets of data every second that enable proximity data transmission, second-screen functionality, authentication and low-fi device to deviceconnectivity on any LISNR enabled device. We enable this functionality better and more efficiently than bluetooth (proximity), ACR (2nd Screen), and NFC/RFID (authentication). As an integrated software partner, LISNR can power devices to connect with world around better than ever before.