As the summer of 2017 approaches in the US, there’s a veritable buffet for sports fans to enjoy. The Warriors and Penguins have been crowned champions but baseball, soccer, racing, golf and tennis now fill the schedule. I will be a part of the crowds this summer, heading to Connecticut to see the US national soccer team play Ghana, to Citi Field for Mets games, and to Billie Jean King National Tennis Center for the US Open.
It’s also a time of change for sports teams and brands, as multiple sources of entertainment compete for our attention. We have more options to consume sports than ever before. Sports programming on television alone has increased by 160% since 2005, and this does not include the voluminous streaming options from services like ESPN3.
Fans are also changing how we watch sports, using a mix of devices, and streaming this content now more than ever. GfK Consumer Life has found that one in five sports fans watch live events on their mobile phones (+14 pts from Americans overall). Additionally, sports fans are more likely to own streaming devices like Apple TV or Roku (34%, +10 pts).
Facing these challenges, sports franchises and brands need to think creatively to keep fans engaged; here are a few ways they can do that:
Using these strategies will help to strengthen relationships with sports fans and keep us coming to the stadium or tuning to whatever screen we prefer. By realizing that sports fans aren’t just customers - we can also be a team’s biggest advocate online, at the local sports bar, or in the stands - you can truly leverage the power of this group.
Adam Swift is a Senior Analyst on the Consumer Life team at GfK. He can be reached at email@example.com.
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