3 Effective Ways Sports Teams Can Engage With Their Fans
A fanbase is a one-of-a-kind community with the ability to bring together complete strangers who may otherwise have nothing in common, and strengthen the bond between friends, families, and cities as a whole. The constant changing of players, records, and statistics renders sports a timeless topic of conversation. Big sporting events, such as championship games, give people a reason to get together. With so much going on in the world of athletics, it’s important for teams to make communication with their fans a priority. After all, teams should have personal relationships with their fans, and two key components of any successful relationship are communication and effort.
Here are a few tips for your team on how to engage with fans:
Professional sports teams have a unique platform which provides them with the power and resources to reach people all over the world and start a discussion about important social issues. Replacing words with actions is much more effective in leaving a lasting impact. Show your fans that you care about your community by getting involved. Even though some fans may not physically be a member of it, it speaks to the core values of the team – and hey, a little extra good press is an added bonus, right?
Choose a local charity or non-profit to dedicate a portion of your team’s time and resources to. Not only will you be leading by example, but you will be showing your appreciation for your supportive community through your actions rather than words, while hopefully inspiring others to get involved as well. Actively showing that you care about your community and its people is vital in building a strong relationship between a fan and his or her favorite team. We all know that relationships require effort. Fans will always appreciate the time and energy that goes toward making them feel as though they and the community they are a part of are valued.
Here are some examples of organizations your team can get involved with:
St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital Mission Statement:
“The mission of St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital is to advance cures, and means of prevention, for pediatric catastrophic diseases through research and treatment. Consistent with the vision of our founder Danny Thomas, no child is denied treatment based on race, religion or a family’s ability to pay.”
About Polaris Project:
“Polaris is a leader in the global fight to eradicate modern slavery. Named after the North Star that guided slaves to freedom in the U.S., Polaris systemically disrupts the human trafficking networks that rob human beings of their lives and their freedom. Our comprehensive model puts victims at the center of what we do – helping survivors restore their freedom, preventing more victims, and leveraging data and technology to pursue traffickers wherever they operate.”
“We improve the lives of people affected by cancer, now. At Livestrong, we fight for the more than 32.6 million people around the world affected by cancer now. There can be—and should be—life after cancer for more people. We provide direct services to anyone affected by cancer; connect people and communities with the services they need; and call for state, national and world leaders to help fight this disease. This is Livestrong.”
About The Humane Society:
“We are the leading animal advocacy organization, seeking a humane world for people and animals alike. We are driving transformational change in the U.S. and around the world by combating large-scale cruelties such as puppy mills, animal fighting, factory farming, seal slaughter, horse cruelty, captive hunts and the wildlife trade.”
About Feed The Children:
“Feed the Children exists to end childhood hunger. It’s the cause upon which we were founded in 1979 and the one that we continue to fight for each and every day. We know it takes the power of many to end childhood hunger for good. We connect donors, experts, partners, leaders and communities to attack the problem from all angles. We are taking a stand and we will not rest until every child has enough to eat.”
About The American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP):
“Established in 1987, the American Foundation for Suicide Prevention (AFSP) is a voluntary health organization that gives those affected by suicide a nationwide community empowered by research, education and advocacy to take action against this leading cause of death. AFSP is dedicated to saving lives and bringing hope to those affected by suicide.”
ACCESS TO PLAYERS, COACHES, AND STAFF
Your fans want authentic conversation and behind-the-scenes access to their favorite team members. Excite fan club members, build team loyalty, and create a fan development platform by hosting virtual, interactive events. Communicate with your audience during the off-season or get them excited about upcoming games. Hold exclusive events for fan club members, or general events to communicate important news, announce upcoming events, and offer live interaction with important people such as coaches and players within your organization. Make your fans feel as though they are really part of the team; that each season is a journey that you are all navigating together.
Access Live is a solution that allows you to reach out to, effectively engage with, and gather feedback from your audience. These events can be held anywhere you are, and allow you to connect with home-state, out of state, and traveling fans all at once, on the device of their choice (phone call or online audio/video streaming). Access Live events are a solution that allows fans to fit these exclusive conversations into their busy daily lives, due to its mobility and convenience.
SOCIAL MEDIA PRESENCE
Today’s rapidly advancing technology brings about new, more efficient methods of communication and engagement between companies and their audiences. Social media has grown to be a crucial mode of communication for businesses in every industry, including athletics.
Sports teams can utilize this growing avenue by instantly sharing photos and videos, giving fans an “inside look” at the workings of the team”
Social media also provides fans with opportunities to be involved with the team by using unique hashtags and entering contests and giveaways on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. Using social media to share progress and daily news during the off season is a good way to stay fresh in viewers’ minds when T.V and internet exposure is at its lowest. Teams need to make their fans feel that they are a vital part of a special, tight-knit community. After all, what would a sports team be without its adoring fans?
Communication between a sports team and its following helps to build a sense of pride, loyalty, and community, which can be very powerful. Your team can make an impact on your community and the world – one season, one game, or even just one fan at a time.