For sports organisations, the pandemic has shone an even brighter light on the need to connect with fans directly and build better relationships. Revenue driven from a single source is inherently fragile, so diversifying business models is a way to help future-proof the teams, leagues and sports we all love so much. Admittedly, this is easy to say and much harder to achieve in the real world.
Recently, Monterosa CEO Tom McDonnell spoke with Thomas Alomes of Sports Tech World Series and Fredda Rodriguez of CONCACAF at SPLive about the role of fan engagement in diversifying revenue streams. The conversation spanned everything from driving revenue with fan engagement to the future of virtual memberships. Below are some of the key takeaways, but you can listen to the full recording for more.
When aiming to harness the revenue potential of a fanbase, attracting attention is the first challenge. The great news is, fans are already passionate, so you’re starting with existing motivation. But there are so many competing forms of engagement across social media, TV, gaming and other channels, that fans often don’t have your offering top of mind. To position your property as a compelling destination, the first thing you need to do is identify your fans and figure out what will compel them to show up and keep coming back.
Once that loyalty is gained, and trust is established, you can exchange that value you’re providing for continued loyalty, data, and commerce. In other words, monetisation.
"The relationship with a fan doesn't start or end with the 90-minute match. Building a community around the sport and giving fans experiences beyond the match is core to increasing loyalty."
Fredda Rodriguez, Head of Digital & Emerging Technologies at CONCACAF
By increasing the number of registered or “1:1” connected users (e.g. app installs), you reduce reliance on organic virtual footfall. With the extra benefit of getting to know what those fans like and when they like it, you can personalise products, subscription and other content they might be interested in purchasing.
Bottom line, earn their attention and loyalty, sign them up, learn what makes each of them tick, then exchange value with them.
While there are many benefits to growing a substantial following on social media, platforms including Instagram and TikTok provide a different experience for a user. It tends to be more fleeting and is, of course, controlled by the platform itself. Your brand gets value from the presence in fans’ lives, and the fans get value from their consumption, but the platform is applying algorithms that favour their desired outcomes, not yours. Social media companies are, after all, using your content to drive their own businesses.
When looking to draw an audience to your owned digital environment (websites, apps, etc.), look for timely moments that give fans a good reason to transition. For example, interacting with a game is a logical reason to jump from Instagram to your app. Nobody (yet) wants to play fantasy within Instagram.
Providing an authentic experience that’s unique to your environment helps draw users from social and into properties where you can serve them exclusive content and exchange value directly. Players, managers, and behind the scenes access can all be a compelling draw.
"Be authentic in the experience you provide, and fans will feel motivated to move from those social media channels to your own digital properties, which ultimately is what's going to drive first-party data and then revenue."
Tom McDonnell, Monterosa CEO
Listen to the replay, which includes a rich discussion on the future of virtual fan memberships.
Or, if you want to get straight to it, schedule a conversation with our sales team to learn about harnessing the power of real-time engagement to unlock the value of your fans and diversify revenue streams.
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