The way brands connect with fans is constantly changing. What was once limited to jersey sponsorships and stadium signage is today a multi-faceted approach encompassing limitless touchpoints.
One of the key benefits of this shift to a less linear and digital journey is the ability for brands to build their own addressable audience. In order to do this they need to capture first-party data – the personal and contact details of their audience – which any marketer knows is easier said than done. People just don’t like sharing their details with advertisers.
Gamification is here to change all that.
By wrapping their brand around fan games, such as daily and season-long fantasy contests, quizzes and polls, advertisers create a sticky piece of content while building a database of fans at the same time.
Gamification offers the dual benefit of driving awareness, like traditional campaigns, while also giving marketers the crucial data they need to convert fans into buyers.
By allowing fans to test their sports knowledge for a chance to win prizes, fan games represent a fun and unique experience that fans are willing to exchange their data for. This is known as “zero-party data”.
Data on each fan, such as which club they support and their content consumption preferences, then allows marketers to personalize content and messaging, in-turn moving them along the funnel and growing purchase intent.
In Jersey Mike’s case, its “Tailgate Trivia” game helped build a first-party database of 185,000 fans.
When done right, fan games make your brand an integral part of the sports experience. They keep fans coming back to your channels to share their opinions and compete with friends.
When Buffalo Wild Wings launched its “Picks and Props” contest, the brand attracted over a million fan sessions in 2021 alone, with a return rate of over 60%.
Like with any activation, gamification delivers the best ROI when tied to your brand story.
For example, Tailgate Trivia worked extremely well for Jersey Mike’s because it was easy-to-play and engaged casual fans across the 49 college football teams it sponsors.
Fans were asked questions on each of these teams – both in-store and in-app – for a chance to win tickets to the NCAA Rose Bowl, fitting nicely with the brand’s overall Tailgate Tour campaign.
The key is finding the right game to support your overall brand goal. You can browse a fan games menu here.
An official sponsor of over 40 NCAA schools the U.S. sandwich chain wanted to drive brand awareness and increase sales across its thousands of stores, with a custom trivia game.
Genius Sports gamifies sports experiences on behalf of hundreds of brands around-the-world, from Jersey Mike’s and Buffalo Wild Wings to rights holders like the NFL and MLB.
Our Genius Games solution includes a range of standard and custom game options to help brands activate sports fans.