Webinar: Strategies and Tools for Engaging Fans During and After Sports’ Absence

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  • A panel of CEOs discuss creative ways to keep fans happy.
  • How can sports that don't have TV revenue to rely on survive?

The last few months have been a wake-up call for sports organizations realizing the importance of effectively communicating with fans outside of the stadium. This time away, along with the evolving global climate, has also given these organizations a new lens through which they can realize new and innovative ways to give fans a modern live sports experience.

In this webinar, Tim Rebich of Varsity Partners, Sue Thaden of From Now On, and David Millay from EngageMint join Joe Londergan of Front Office Sports for a discussion on how teams, leagues, and brands can maintain strong connections with fans at home and in-venue as live sports look to regain steam.

How are you providing fan engagement through digital media during the absence of sports? (3:42)

Thaden: “The trends we’re talking about every day with our customers and schools is a contactless environment and how do you create a low contact game day to keep everybody safe while keeping the fun and game traditions. Secondly, at home engagement through gamifications and unique interactive experiences, so tradition stays right there near the heart. Then we got to make sure we’re creating some great digital program opportunities for sponsors while making sure they are staying aligned with their brand.”

Since the industry is unsure if sports will resume with or without fans, how are you still able to provide value for clients? (13:33)

Rebich: “We have become a kind of innovation, research and development engine for clients. If there is an idea that they are wanting to try or maybe they haven’t necessarily looked at, we can walk them through and help them understand what the depths are, where the emotional value is,  and if there is a financial value to it. We have always gone back to this idea of necessity being the mother of invention and creativity and it’s starting to show itself full.” 

There’s a lot of concern about what’s gonna happen to sports who don’t have TV revenue, what can they do to keep fans coming back and more importantly generate revenue, so that they can survive? (29:30)

Millay: “I think right now if you’re outside of a big league or a big conference, now is your time to start innovating. Being able to do a lot of those things when these contracts were initially signed from a streaming and broadcast perspective it’s because they controlled the distribution. Controlling your own distribution in your own content now is so much easier. It takes more effort, so if you’re getting paid two hundred thousand dollars and it’s dictating your entire schedule and making you play games on Thursday nights and things at inopportune times that aren’t good for your fans, it might be the time to say we might consider pulling out and doing our own thing right now. It is the time to innovate and start owning your own things.” 

Coming out of the pandemic, how can organizations adapt and decide on technology investments to engage with their fans? (38:40)

Millay: “ There’s going to be no shortage of ideas as to how we bridge this gap between physical and digital or virtual it’s just going to be it’s going to come down to how good is your strategy behind the scenes and how are you actually at determining what to invest in. That’s really going to be the challenge. I think you’re going to see a lot of new technology coming out this time, but your organization needs to determine its purpose and intention and relevance with that audience that you’re trying to create that solution for.” 

Thaden: “I think it’s our responsibility as a technology company to figure out an organization’s objective. For example, if they are trying to get students in student sections, does our product align to help with that? We have to start with the why and then take it over to the how as opposed to the opposite. We need to take on a lot of the responsibility in educating and asking some questions.”