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Why Investing In Fan Insights Is a Smart Play

October 24, 2018

Sam Richardson

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Sports fans are extremely passionate and typically quick to give you their thoughts about a certain player or team. However, many sports teams and organizations do not capitalize on this passion and generosity by asking their supporters about the experience of being a fan. As a result, fan experience suffers and leads to less engagement and profitability.

In recent years, professional athletes have adopted a much more scientific approach to their training and conditioning. To stay competitive, professional sports organizations should do the same with fan insights. Here are the reasons why teams should listen and act on fan experience.

Better Fan Experience, Better Ticket Sales

In the sports world, poor sales performance is often attributed to team performance or the efforts of the sales team. But we know from other industries that the customer experience matters to customer acquisition and retention. Gameday fans have many critical moments of truth with sports brands as they park, buy concessions and much more.

Is every member of the team behind the team contributing to satisfying the fan and optimizing the fan experience? How do you know if everything is going smoothly to ensure that your fans have a great experience that they want to share with others? The answer to these questions will help drive sales through repurchase and recommendation.

Just like a coach reviews game footage, continuous fan experience insights can uncover the real reasons behind poor sales performance. Often, it’s not just the sales executive who fumbled.

Better Fan Experience, Better Gameday Revenue

Fan Experience not only keeps the turnstiles turning – fan engagement also drives spend at the merchandise and concession stands. It’s not surprising that a key factor to minimizing gameday sales are the length of lines – but it’s also a big stadium cost driver to manage the crowds. Fan Insights provide powerful value in assessing where best to allocate those resources and what is the optimal level to capture the most value from attending fans.

Sponsors Love Fan Insights

Professional sports teams are diversifying revenue streams – with some making over 50% of their revenues off the field. Sponsorships are now a major source of club income and the market for sponsors has become increasingly competitive.

Just like any other form of media, sports sponsorships are more valuable when the buyer knows exactly what they’re getting. Adopting principles from other industries, leading sports clubs are adopting insight-based selling methodologies to win more sponsorships and increase the value of existing ones. Check out how Louisville City FC used fan insights to increase the value of their sponsorship assets by over $1M.

Why Aren’t Teams Utilizing Fan Insights?

We’ve helped many clubs that hesitated to invest in a known need for fan insights to overcome these common hurdles:

  • Financial – Sport Insight has been controlled by a small number of expensive firms, so many sports marketers have a wrong perception that fan insights are out of their reach.
  • Priority – Even when traditional resource allocations are providing diminishing returns, some sports marketers are hesitant to invest their staff’s time in understanding fans’ needs.
  • Business Cards – There are a small number of fan insight companies out there (as we mentioned above), and the need for fan insights is often stymied by not knowing where or how to turn.
  • Fear of Knowing – Listening to fans takes courage and opens the door to unpleasant feedback that might upset senior management or ownership.

It’s extremely important to get over these obstacles in an age where expansion teams are shaking up leagues and fans have more ways to engage and interact with teams now than ever before.

Through improved ticket sales, merchandising, gameday revenues, and sponsorship values – an investment in fan experience insights could end up being your most valuable player with the investment paying for itself.

Fan insights are within your reach – Nepa’s Fan Experience Platform, Sports Optimizer, uses proven technology and expert staff to provide actionable and holistic intelligence at a much more reasonable cost. We assist you through every step of the process and help pinpoint areas for FX improvement.

Our veteran consultants can help you deepen understanding of your fanbase and improve renewal rates, optimize gameday revenues and bring in extra sponsorship value. Read a full case study here.