[Tweet “5 Things You Need To Know About Sports Super Fans #SportsMarketing”]
One of the main keys to successfully reaching your target demographic is to fully understand who they are, how they act and what they think. This is true whether the demographic group is as broad as all of the women in the United States, or as specific as 20 to 24 year old sports super fans.
Once you figure out how to get in the mind of the audience you want to reach, you can tap into the channels they are using and connect with them on a deeper level. Most people fall into one of two general categories: those who love sports and those who don’t – at least not on the same level as the other group.
Although there are a wide variety of sports, there are a few key similarities that can be attributed to the sports fan audience, no matter which league they are crazy about.
1) Passion Is Part Of The Package
Sports fans are some of the most passionate people that you will encounter. They know what they like and they are not afraid to show it. All you have to do is attend a live sporting event and watch the reaction of the crowd when their team scores a touchdown or hits a home run – the excitement and energy is truly palpable!
This passion overflows into other aspects of their lives as well, including the way they engage with and consume media. The sports fan audience is more likely than other members of the public to get excited about and share content that strikes a chord or is important to them.
2) Social Media Is Crucial
Along with being more likely to share content, super sports fans are also more willing and excited to be involved and active on social media.
According to Gary Parkinson’s article, 3 Sports Marketing Strategies To Engage Fans With Fresh Content, “nearly half of all sports fans prefer to follow their teams digitally, and frequently use their laptops or smartphones to search for sports-related content during a game.”
This statistic not only draws attention to the fact that sports fans share social content in their free time, but also that they are active online while they are watching the game. Without knowing this, you might think it would be best not to target sports fans during game time, however this proves that the opposite is true.
Posting and sharing relevant content throughout the course of a game is one of the most crucial times to reach sports fans. They will be scrolling through the Internet during all of the slow moments in the game and sharing their reactions during the game’s pivotal moments.
3) The Nostalgia Factor Is Key
For the majority of sports fans, part of the reason they are so invested in the team or athlete is because there is nostalgia tied to their passion. They may have been raised in a household where sports were a part of life since day one and everyone is a huge fan, or maybe they have a favorite childhood memory of going to a baseball game on a field trip and they fell in love with the sport.
Whatever it is, nostalgia plays a huge role in the lives of sports fans.
This “Nostalgia Factor” is important to remember when crafting messages that are targeted to the sports fan audience. They respond more strongly to ideas and content that taps into their memories and reminds them why they became fans to begin with.
4) High Level Engagement Is Essential
Building on the importance of social media and content sharing when it comes to sports fans, another thing to consider is that continuous engagement with these fans is key to drawing and creating a connection.
Danielle Legler explains in her article, Why Sports Fans Love Social, that “81% of sports fans prefer to go online for game updates and sports news.” This statistic solidifies the fact that creating content for social media that tells engaging stories is a surefire way to connect with sports fans around the world.
A few examples of organizations and publications that are posting on social media at the right time, and in the right way, are ESPN, ProFootballTalk, AM1500 Radio, and all of the major sports leagues (NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA). Even The Onion gets it, with hilarious real-time posts commenting on games with its own special brand of humor.
Each of these have mastered the art of creating compelling content, sharing it in an exciting way, and establishing a community of followers who are ready to interact with the next post at a moment’s notice.
[Tweet “81% of sports fans prefer to go online for game updates and sports news. #SportsMarketing”]
5) Loyalty Is In Their Blood
If you’ve ever seen the reaction of a fan who has just watched their team make a critical mistake or lose a game, you’ve most likely witnessed how upset and disappointed they can get. However, you’ve probably also noticed that they will be right back to cheering on their team when the next game rolls around.
This is because super sports fans epitomize loyalty. They can be crushed and heartbroken one minute, and then screaming and cheering at the top of their lungs the next. If you’re a Minnesota Vikings fan like myself, you’ve unfortunately experienced this firsthand.
So how can the loyalty these fans have for their teams help you?
Does your brand or company already have passionate fans? By studying super fans, you can gain some insight into how to harness that passion among your followers. Maybe your customers aren’t super fans of your company or brand in particular, but they are super fans of something else that you can tap into. By identifying and mirroring the super fan characteristics of your target audiences, you can build a loyal and passionate following of your own brand fans.
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