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  • Writer's pictureDamian Burgess

Creating fan and brand loyalty

Sports teams and sports brands are sometimes the easiest businesses to market, they already have a fanbase, they have an identity and if they're a winning team even better and easier to market.

But how do you start from scratch? First of all the sport you're trying to market a team to already has its fans, players and spectators so this is where you start.

If your sports fans are dotted around a big area, my first space would be social media to target fans of the chosen sport and to market to them via these channels. Creating loyal fans before a ball has been kicked or a puck has been dropped is difficult but by engaging with fans of the sport you stand a chance.

Once matches, games or the season is underway it's time to dive deep into social interaction with your fans, remember they are fans, not customers, they are passionate about the sport, about the team and should be treated with respect. It's never been easier for sports teams and brands to interact with fans through social media, it makes the fans feel part of the club, no matter what the size of the organisation.

Creating conversation in all sorts of interaction is important, the highs and the lows, teams always go into overdrive when they're winning but then go silent when things aren't going to plan.. bad idea! Your fans want to hear from you whatever the score or result, and interacting with fans too creates a bond during the highs and the lows.

While your fans are at your match or watching it on tv, now is the time to interact, more and more sports fans are watching their chosen sport on their smartphone or if they're at the event live they are using the second screen in their hand to cast their opinion or read others.

You may find that during sporting events you host or your team is playing at you receive the most interaction, jump on it straight away, have a media rep look at all or most of the interaction and engage. Engagement could be a retweet, a like or even a comment back, re engagement is needed to create conversation and potentially a feeling of the fan being listened to.

As well as the usual team info, players stats, sponsors messages, fans now want more and more behind the scenes in sports (the recent amazon series on Manchester City and the All Blacks gave the fans amazing access) and even if you're a small sports team you can still offer this element of player / fan engagement with social media takeovers.

Takeovers are great to increase fan knowledge, insights and loyalty to a sports team or brand, not only does it create great content by documenting the build up to a game it also pushes a players brand on to fans of the team involved in the takeover. A win win!

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