What does a fan experience look like for you? What does it feel like? For some, it involves rituals, superstitions, good food, a day spent with family and friends who might turn into rivals for a few hours. What it boils down to, is that everyone's experience as fans is different, but they all share one thing in common: the feeling, excitement, and pride of being a fan. Cheering on your team. Anxiously watching the clock during a tied match. It’s a collective feeling that can be difficult to put into words, but we all feel it, especially so on game day.
But, what does a fan experience look like today? In today’s current normal? When we can’t attend games? When we can’t have large gatherings of friends and family? It sounds bleak, but if there’s one major takeaway we’ve seen within the last few months, is that sports has persevered. Granted, it might have lived in a bubble - literally - but teams, players, and leagues have found a way to keep going and uplift the community. Inspiring even non-sports fans in a time when inspiration is very much needed. It’s vital that fans are met with the same kind of energy, hype, and atmosphere that can be found before and on game-day. And at a time when fans can’t attend games, it needs to be achieved on digital.
Digitizing a feeling
Okay so it’s not wrong to say that game-day and fan experiences have already been digitized in some shape or form. When you watch the game on TV, your phone, or through highlight reels, you are partaking in a digital fan experience. While it might not be the same experience as those in the stands, roaring and cheering together, it still matters. It’s still a special, unique, experience for that fan. And when you’re able to meet those fans where they are digitally - that’s where it really counts - especially today.
Digitizing a feeling, especially that of a game-day feeling, filled with nerves and excitement, can be a challenge to recreate. But when an organization undergoes a digital transformation, and partners with technology services and solutions such as Pico, it’s possible.
Let's talk pre, during, and post game
With a technology solution such as Pico’s, pre, during, and post game engagement of fans within a digital space is a unique and achievable experience. With digital activations built to excite and engage, fans can be met with content and posts that relate to the upcoming event that encourage participation and conversation.
Let's take a trivia activation that calls on fans to test their knowledge on starting players, subs and more. It provides a fun opportunity for fans to boast about their team knowledge and for some lucky winners, the chance to brag about their scores. Take it a step further and offer a prize to those who guess correctly. Call on fans to vote who they think will score the first goal or basket. Maybe even pair it with the rival team and have a battle of the fans. Either way, through a pre-game activation, fans will be engaged, feel excited and connected to the event in a way that can feel similar to that of being there in-person.
During the game, check-in with your fans and meet them on-screen. Ask them to vote and submit their MVP of the match, predictions on the next play, or who the coach should sub. The creative opportunities here are limitless and let fans feel that they have skin in the game.
Post-game, wrap everything up for them. Game and player highlight votes, best score of the day, best play/defense of the match, and more. Sports fans today are all digital fans, and are engaged by nature. And when they’re met on the platforms they’re already using and are engaged with, they will participate.
These types of digital activations not only create a unique at-home fan experience at a time when they are most needed, but they also provide valuable data on each fan. Data that creates an opportunity for personalization at scale. Through each activation you begin to learn more about each fan - about the true user behind the screen. This can stem from which players they cheer for, which content they relate to the most, and which events they would be more likely to convert with (last-minute ticket sales, flash merch sales, etc). If you know a fan's favorite player, activate them through promoting a sale of that player's specific merch. If you understand which fans are more likely to buy a last minute game-day ticket, increase your conversions through sending them the offer, rather than blasting your entire fan-base.
And when you take the data and use it to create more personalized messaging, content, and offers, you’re creating a richer fan experience while also building out robust profiles that benefit your own business objectives and goals.
Personalization in a digital world is rare, but organizations that are able to achieve it benefit greatly in terms of more positive customer/fan experiences, greater engagement, and the opportunity to meet business goals in a much more defined and guaranteed way.
Digitizing the game-day experience is no easy-feat, but it’s possible to imitate the same feelings that can be found there. With digital partnerships and activations, the game-day experience today can feel similar to those times had before social distancing. And Pico is here to help.