Three unmissable ways to grow a fan database

By Matt Ryter | 12 Aug 2022

Every sports league and team knows the value of first-party fan data. It helps you understand your audience, personalize how you interact with it and monetize by guiding fans to purchase memberships, tickets, subscriptions and so on.  

We touch on why gamification is great for growing and nurturing a fan database in our latest report, Gametime!'.

But how can sports properties make sure their gamification products reach and engage as many fans as possible? 

It’s actually simpler than it sounds. 

  1. Convert social followers into monetizable fans 

Social media channels like Twitter, Facebook and Instagram are hubs for fan engagement. The challenge has historically been turning followers into registered, monetizable fans for you and your sponsors. 

Heading into the new NFL and NBA seasons, many of our partners are seeing extremely strong conversion rates when promoting gamified experiences across their social handles. Content-driven gamification products, like fan votes, weekly quizzes and predictor games on your app or website allow fans to test their knowledge and compete against friends. 

And they convert quickly and effectively when shared across social in a contextual way. This might involve using live scores and player stats in graphics to share a score predictor two days before the game, or video highlights from the previous gameweek with a CTA that drives urgency ahead of the latest fantasy deadline. 

The NFL is a great example. It offers fans a range of games on its owned and operated properties, from a team picker to season-long fantasy and predictor contests. But it has a major social content machine behind it to drive fans to these platforms in the first place. 

  1. Reach new audiences with media-buying 

For The European Tour, one of the world’s largest golf tournaments, data-driven programmatic media-buying campaigns drove entirely new audiences to sign-up to and enter its season-long fantasy contest. 

We helped the rights holder to prospect, identify and target sports fans in the right places with a personalized message, using techniques such as look-a-like modelling.  

This is a brilliant way to get more eyeballs on your gamification experiences and attract new fans to engage with your league or team, in a cost-effective way. You can distribute dynamic creative in your branding across high-traffic sports website to new and existing audiences, like the examples below. 

This strategy drove 185,000 fans to play Jersey Mike’s Tailgate Trivia game as part of its NCAAF sponsorship activation. 

It’s also helped the New York Liberty, Canadian Premier League, National Lacrosse League and many more of our partners to sell tickets and drive tune-in. 

  1. Take your stadium experience to another level 

While gamification is brilliant for driving engagement across your app and website, it’s also a great way to deepen the in-stadium experience. 

We often recommend pitching stands against each other with a pre-game predictor, or running a trivia contest via your app with a prize on offer to keep fans in their seats at half-time.  

It’s all linked up to your CRM database, so you can map engagement to each fan’s profile and even deliver a personalized experience for each individual. Or you could equally add a quiz or pick ‘em angle across your in-venue screens and kiosks before the action gets underway.  

With breaks in play and time to kill before the game begins, what better way to bring your stadium experience to life? 

Whatever approach you adopt, it will help you capture rich first-party data on your existing audience and forge deeper direct-to-fan relationships. It’s an activation we’re working to roll out with many of our partners ahead of the NFL and NBA seasons.

Read our new gamification report, Gametime!.

Ready to get started with gamification and want to know what’s suited to you? Message me on LinkedIn. 

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