The year of the ultimate connected fan experience

Published 2/8/2016 by Advanced, Editor

Clubs urged to embrace the digital era or risk being left behind

2016 will be the year of the ultimate ‘connected fan’ experience as digital and technological innovations continue to drive the evolution of fan engagement and transform sporting events, according to predictions from Advanced Business Solutions (Advanced) read here in a new white paper (‘The Connected Fan’).

With the digital era driving so many changes, clubs are under pressure to adapt and find ways to take the fan experience to new levels. The opportunity starts from the minute live event tickets become available, through to encouraging fans to re-purchase after the event. This helps clubs to maximise commercial streams both before the game starts and whilst fans are in the stadium.

According to the white paper, through the use of digital channels and the exploitation of social media platforms, clubs can better understand the ‘digital fan’ and achieve more tailored engagement throughout their journey. Advanced has identified five key stages of the journey for the connected fan; from ramping up to the ticket purchase, the digital ticket, travel to venue, the experience of the attendance at event, right through to the follow-up.

Advanced predicts that the fully connected fan will ideally have an ongoing 360 degree experience which, although initially starting with the ticket purchase, subsequently becomes part of an ongoing cycle of engagement, enhanced and personalised each and every time the fan and the club connects.

Ensuring fans buy online and receive their tickets digitally will mean they enjoy the convenience of purchasing 24/7, quickly and easily from any device with as few clicks as possible. The actual match day is also transforming into an engaging game-changing journey thanks to technology and sharing in ‘banter’ on social media.

Mark Dewell, Managing Director, Advanced Business Solutions (Ticketing) explains: “By embracing the digital era, venues can make attending a sporting event an immersive, connected experience, therefore building excitement and loyalty with their fans. Data-driven tailored engagement also maximises upsell opportunities with every fan, as well as their friends and family, through each step of the journey.”

With such vast quantities of digital data, clubs are able to understand their fans more than ever before. Exploiting the value of fan data in the right way will help clubs to enhance loyalty by delivering a ‘connected’ experience for fans. However, the impending introduction of the EU’s new data protection act means every sports club will need to focus on a responsible data engagement strategy in 2016.

Dewell concludes: “The changing digital era presents a whole host of opportunities for sports clubs and we predict that 2016 will be the year that clubs recognise the value of embracing technology to deliver a connected fan experience. Those that fail to step up will risk being left behind.”