How Technology Is Reinventing the Fan Experience

For every football fan, there’s one day that matters above all others. One day where work takes a back seat, calls go unanswered and friendships (and more!) can be forged and shattered in an instant.  

What day is this? That day is GAME day.

Whatever your sport, wherever you are, it’s the biggest day of the week.

Liverpool legend Bill Shankly once said: ‘Some people believe football is a matter of life and death. I can assure you it is much, much more important than that.’ Ok, maybe a slight exaggeration but you get the idea.

See, the game of football has changed, but one thing that remains is the passion. Shankly nailed it when he uttered these famous words, and it stills rings true today. When you take that seat in the stadium or nestle into that couch for the day’s festivities, you’re in a different zone. For this time, you’re a fan and not much else. For those hours you’re a member of a joint community, part of something bigger.

Now think of the modern fan in the digital world. Why does this association have to end after game time? After all, you’re a fan on Monday too, right? Well, nowadays it doesn’t have to stop.  See, football is evolving and the way fans interact with clubs is evolving too.

What makes a club?

Think about what’s important to your club. There’s a whole host of stuff, right? First off, you might think the club is a business. So, what makes a business tick? Revenue, of course. That’s fair enough, clubs make money, they have to in order to provide the experience they do. Fans want the best players, the best facilities, then that’s what happens.

But surely all clubs can agree that it doesn’t come at the expense of the fan. You see, in today’s world, news travels in a heartbeat. We’ve seen clubs in every sport put under the spotlight for fan treatment and it ain’t pretty! Premier League clubs are no different. There’s a PR machine at work here to make sure fans have the best experience possible with their club.  

So, just how do you keep fans happy?

In a word, loyalty. In a few more: loyalty, loyalty, loyalty! The fans are emotionally invested, they’re all in. Head to any Premier League ground on any weekend and you’ll see this on full display.

You’ll see grown men and women weep, you’ll see the embrace perfect strangers, and lose them themselves in the euphoria of a last-minute winner. But for what? It’s certainly not for the revenue. They’re here for the club. They’re here for the support and the loyalty they feel and reciprocate.

Like we said, when you watch a game you want to feel your part of the community, that’s the loyalty they want. They want to know they’re a Chelsea fan from Monday to Sunday, not just when a ticket has to be bought.

For the modern fan, the digital world is ever evolving and it’s changing the way we interact with the sport. Within this, digital apps are altering how you can stay connected with fans and how you can boost the fan experience.

The Effect of Social Media Apps:

Social media and sport have become forever intertwined. Flick open any app and you can check out what your favourite footballer was recently up to. Social media has brought us closer to the action than ever before.

It’s now not uncommon to see people dipping into social media during games. Take Twitter, for example, every game now has its own hashtag; you want to see the most up to date info on Liverpool v Man City? #LIVVMAN will get you this and much more.

This has totally changed the way sport is watched and reported. Not only are you following the score and updates, but you can actively engage with other fans in real time. This is huge. Basically, the analysis is ongoing, there’s no more waiting for a game to end before you dive right in.

Live playback:

Ok, this is where it gets really interesting. If TV changed the radio game then this is a whole next level. Many sports apps now give the fan the opportunity to watch the game live. So, if you’re not at the game or can’t make it home on time? No problem. Pick a corner of the bus, get the headphones out and you’ll think you’re in the stadium!

Have you missed a goal? Don’t worry.  Sports apps will now instantly upload any goals to their device, so if you only have a quick minute to drop in for an update you can still see the most important highlights.

Sense of Community:

Sports apps are clever. Often you’ll open it up and it’ll bring you straight to your favourite sport, more often than not it’ll bring you straight to your favourite team. It’s personalization that the fan wants. They want to know that they’re part of something bigger.

That’s where we come in. At FanTribe, fans have the opportunity to find a home within their app. With a host of message boards and specialized chat rooms, the fan is given every chance to get involved with the wider community. After all, the sport is there to be shared. It’s a public pastime and FanTribe makes the fan a part of this public experience.

Take the plunge

Sports media is changing for the better. The shift to digital has begun and you run the risk of your club being left behind. FanTribe is a way for the 21st-century Premier League club to interact on a daily basis with their passionate fans. At FanTribe, through a range of loyalty programmes and reward schemes, there’s the chance to appeal to fans like never before.

There’s a chance to take the next step in engagement and take a passionate fan and make them part of your community for a lifetime.  At FanTribe we know we’ll have to prove ourselves, we know you’ll want to see real results. Well, we have them.

Take our most recent partnership. We’ve just signed on to work with NFL heavyweights, the Jacksonville Jaguars. Our end-to-end fan engagement solution is granting the diehard fans of the Jags the chance to interact with their team in a whole new way. As they look to establish themselves in the UK, FanTribe gives them the power not just to reach a whole new audience but reach them in a way not previously possible.  FanTribe is available globally, and new clubs can be on-boarded within a matter of weeks so don’t get left behind. Join the revolution. Your fans will thank you.