Working with the world’s leading sports clubs, leagues and federations, Grabyo shares its tips for fan engagement in 2021.
It has been almost a year since sports fans across the world were told they must stop attending sports venues and stay at home where possible. While in some countries, fans have been able to attend events in a limited capacity, many supporters are still at a distance.
During this time, sports clubs have had to adapt their fan engagement strategies to reach into the homes and on to the screens of their fans.
Throughout 2020, teams have had the chance to experiment and refine their content and engagement strategies to stay connected with fans. Here are four tips to gain momentum in 2021.
Raw Content Formats
Born out of necessity, one of the most successful new content formats of 2020 was video-from-home. Fans have enjoyed being invited into the homes and lives of their favourite sports stars. The ‘raw’ feel of this content, often shot on a smartphone or laptop webcam, has removed the barriers between fans and talent.
NFL franchise the Arizona Cardinals has continually delivered these experiences to fans while players and fans are at home.
Whether its producing home interviews or TikTok challenges, it will be important to continue giving fans this level of access, even after social distancing regulations are lifted.
This enriches the experience of supporting a team and offers more context and behind-the-scenes insights than fans have ever had.
Production teams have all the tools they need to continue producing content with remote guests. The requirements are minimal – the talent can contribute from anywhere using a personal device, while the production team can be anywhere else, creating and editing content in the cloud.
The match-day experience
One of the biggest changes felt by fans during the pandemic has been the matchday experience. While for some teams, only a small portion of their fanbase could be present at fixtures, now many are playing in empty stadiums.
This change has led to many teams super-serving their entire fanbase with matchday content. Soccer club Manchester City has been a leader in this area, producing both pre-match, half-time and post-match live shows for fans to have their say and connect with the club off the pitch.
Giving fans a place to meet and share their opinions has been a central component of fan engagement for the past year. Fans have responded to live social broadcasts. In fact, 82% of people prefer a live broadcast over a social post.
Content is most valuable to fans when it’s live. Clubs need to ensure they are able to deliver highlights and live broadcasts at speed.
Monetizing fan engagement
To offset the revenue lost from ticket sales and physical sponsor activations, many sports teams have been able to ramp up their content monetization efforts with digital activations and direct-to-consumer offerings.
Live social broadcasts have increased in popularity among sports fans. NHL outfit and Grabyo partner LA Kings has successfully enhanced fan engagement while creating new sponsorship opportunities on its social platforms using bespoke digital-first broadcasts.
The franchise is delivering various new live and VOD content segments to its social channels, giving fans extra content while delivering views for sponsors.
Facebook Fan Subscriptions
In September 2020, FC Barcelona became the first sporting organization to offer Facebook’s Fan Subscription service. Fan Subscriptions offer access to premium content on Facebook for a monthly fee and can also be used for exclusive PPV live events. They contain unique content formats and interactive experiences, while fans get the chance to join an exclusive Facebook group for their interest.
Clubs can also generate a simple and cost-effective D2C revenue stream using premium digital content. Using Grabyo and InPlayer, digital and content teams can now directly deploy a paywall over video or provide a subscription service on mobile and online platforms.
For more information on how Grabyo can support sports clubs with digital content production tools, get in touch.