The broadcast and internet boom has changed the way sports are consumed globally. Sports entities have newfound fans outside of their cities, region and countries. Social media platforms have given sports entities and rights holders a unique opportunity to engage with fans and acknowledge them as one of the most important mix for a global fan engagement strategy.
In this series of articles focusing on ‘Six important pillars of fan engagement, we look at fans as one aspect of focus and suggest ideas that will work for fans and football clubs who are looking at India as a key market for fan engagement.
Fans are the most important pillar of digital fan engagement for sports entities. The popularity of top clubs from Premier League, Bundesliga and La Liga attract high rates of engagement from fans in India and it’s ever so important to highlight this fact and make the fans feel special. Not all fans get an opportunity to visit their favourite team’s stadium in their lifetime, but social media can be a great option to feature fans on official social networks.
Creating a content strategy will focus on fan networks in India creates opportunities to meet the fans and bring their experiences alive on social media. This can be achieved through the following series of videos:
Features – Individual stories of fans who are associated with the fan clubs and have experiences to share about their visits to stadiums, off-season matches, stories of meeting players and legends, stories of how they are inspired by the rich heritage of the club they like and more.
Fan Club Stories – This is the best way to get fans to tell their stories through a series of interviews with the founding members of supporter’s clubs in India. Conversations around their journey to founding the clubs and find out everything about their efforts to keep the community of fans engaged with the club they follow.
Match Screenings – Getting fan reactions after key matches at match screenings organised by the fan clubs.
Events – The supporters club’s in India organise events for fans from all over the country. Fans come together to discuss local projects, charity activities and even play inter-club football tournaments and FIFA gaming competitions. Local and regional events like these make for great content and can be great examples of content for global communities to know what their counterparts do in India.
User-Generated Content – The power of mobile phone cameras and a strong comms strategy is potentially the best combination for fans to express themselves. Creating a strong UGC strategy with clear guidelines for content creation can serve some great fan engagement content. Giving your fans a chance to share their joy by sending celebratory match win videos or messages for players on marquee occasions can deliver great results in terms of engagement and views.