How to Increase Fan Engagement in Cricket?
Professional clubs can build fan engagement in cricket by following what some of the major sports franchise across the globe have been doing in recent years. The trend today has become that franchises in all sports have begun to investigate how to increase touch points with their fans, to make the fan experience more personal and to collect valuable customer data in the process.
This has become a quite simple process today with the availability of digital technology, allowing teams to connect with their fans directly not only when they are attending a game or watching a game on TV, but even when they’re not doing anything related to the team or sport.
Fans are the customers of these sports franchises, and like in all other industries, the business desires to make the user experience more valuable, more enjoyable and, in the process, more fruitful for the business. To build fan engagement in cricket, clubs must find a way to convert anonymous fans into registered users.
To create these registered users, sports franchises can set up loyalty programs where fans earn team-specific points they can use toward merchandise, gear, food and/or drink at the stadium and other experiences. The best part about it is the team can decide how it wants to award points, thereby allowing it to incentive fans to do things that result in a true business benefit to the team. Here are a few ways clubs can increase fan engagement in cricket.
Create Great Content
Studies have shown that 77 percent of fans watch their sports with another device nearby. This means that as they’re watching a cricket match on TV, most fans have their phone or tablet nearby.
This goes for those attending games in person, too. Even as the game is going on right in front of them, they have their mobile devices handy, and they’re interacting with them.
This presents a great opportunity for cricket clubs to engage their fans even more. Fans are constantly engaging with other fans and viewers all across the world on social media platforms. Instead of forcing them to search out hashtags on Twitter, for example, cricket clubs can consolidate those social media feeds into a team-specific app that allows the club to collect information on its fans while the fans have a great social experience chatting about the game.
Content is king, as the saying goes, so the more and better content your club can create revolving around the game – even while it is going on – the more highly engaged the fan is likely to become.
Give Fans a Plethora of Options
One thing that Cricket Australia has taught us is that it’s important to provide fans with a plethora of options. They launched the Cricket Australia Matchday app recently, and it saw great success in its early roll-out.
The app got teams, venues, and the league to work in conjunction so fans had access to in-depth information on food and beverage options at the stadium, activations with sponsors and the ability to watch video highlights while they were attending the game.
Fans today use their smartphones even while they are at the game as a way to fully immerse themselves in the gameday experience. This a prime opportunity for clubs to increase fan engagement in cricket by not only providing them information, but also content to consume (videos) and check (statistics) either while the match is going on, or when there’s a break in the action.
Let Fans Play a Part
Fans today want to be a part of the game. While it’s not likely that cricket clubs can allow each fan to actually play in a game to get that first-person experience, they can get their fans involved.
One great way to do this is to have in-game interactive options for cricket fans. Maybe the club can send out polls as the game is going on, or during breaks in the action. This would allow fans to voice their opinion about how the team is doing or the game is going.
The best way to drive engagement with fans is to reach out to them during the game – while they’re already highly engaged. Through mobile app platforms, cricket clubs can set up free games that encourage fans to compete and communicate with each other during the game.
Cricket clubs should plan their engagement efforts around Twitter since that is the social media platform that a majority of cricket users are spending their time on. This is backed up by stats, too. During the Cricket World Cup in 2015, Twitter was the platform of choice for cricket fans in India almost twice as much when compared to other content that was shared.
Make the Players a Part of the Plan
Let’s face it – fans want to see the players as much as they can. So, figuring out a way to give fans access to players as much as possible is key to driving fan engagement in cricket. This means streaming post-game interviews, telling fans where they can follow players on social media and highlighting players’ comments about fans is a great idea.
Fans want this access, and they especially want it with the players so they can feel like they’re playing an active part in the club.
Simplify Fan Engagement with FanTribe
Driving this fan engagement in cricket is tough for clubs to do on their own. That’s where FanTribe can come into play. The app allows cricket clubs to create all this great content mentioned above, providing fans loyalty points for doing certain actions and allowing clubs to collect data on their fans that they can use to drive revenue in the future.