3 Simple Ways For Sports Business To Grow Lifetime Fan Value

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As I’m prepping my workshop in Melbourne, Australia: “Fans For Life: Creating and Keeping Modern Fans” one of the areas that I want to emphasize is the need to think of your fans as “fans for life.”

To put this concept into perspective, your fans are going to have ups and downs with your club and they are going to go through phases where their attention is greater and lesser, depending on any number of things happening.

The knowledge that fandom is fluid should give you security in the fact that you recongize that your fans aren’t just stuck in one place, destined to be single ticket buyers. Nor should it be scary because you think that if you lose a season ticket holder, that’s the end of the line with that fan.

The reality is somewhere in the middle.

Thinking about your fans in terms of their lifetime journey with your club can provide you the opportunity to be more attentive and recognize that there are many ways to engage your fans across their lifetimes and, importantly, for your business create revenue opportunities.

Here are 3 of them that should be pretty simple to put together:

Have a fan club:

My son is a One Hotspur member.

I think it costs $35 a year for us to get his membership and from the looks of it, Tottenham Hotspur aren’t making a lot of money off of the fan pack itself after you consider the cost of goods, shipping, and the birthday card they send each year.

There is a big BUT here though: they do make tons of money off of our family because we travel to London to see the team at Thansksgiving, we buy merchandise, and take other actions that the Spurs and the Premier League are able to use to monetize us.

And, it seems likely that my son will be a Spurs fan for life.

Which means that he likely has many, many years of revenue to contribute to the Spurs coffers.

Up your email marketing game:

I was a part of a start-up a few years back that had the ambition of tackling the number 1 challenge in the live event space, event discovery.

One of the things we discovered during the research for the project was that many organizations are struggling to get their marketing mix correct.

As someone that has built a pretty good solo consulting business, I know the power of having assets you can control and use to communicate with your customers, your prospects, and your audience.

Speaking for myself, I have several including this blog, my podcast, and an email newsletter that goes out each Sunday.

One way that is simple and should get a lot of attention to drive people through your marketing and sales funnel is using your email list with greater effectiveness.

I’ll cover some best practices of using your list effectively in a seperate post, the key here is that you want to make sure you consistently deliver your list expected, valuable, and engaging content and offers that will bring them closer to you and help move them through the funnel, while letting them keep up to date on what you are up to.

Reward your best fans:

We are all comfortable with the rewards program model like the Bonvoy Program offered by Marriott, or AmEx’s points.

What we might want to consider as a tool to allow ourselves to renew people in our marketing funnel throughout their lives is to develop a program that rewards our fans not just for when they are spending money on tickets or at our buildings, but when they are doing anything that deepens their relationship to our club.

As sports teams are becoming even more focused on being global brands, it is important to think through managing the fan’s journey if they don’t live in your country, maybe never make it to a game, and, quite possibly, can’t watch your games live.

I know a guy in DC that is a huge Manchester United fan and until he moved to the States, he struggled to be able to see matches in realtime because where he moved from, broadcast rights and televisions were harder to come by. Yet, when I saw him over the weekend, I was amazed that his car had a customized Man U license plate, a sticker claiming his love of Manchester, and he had customized pieces on the interior of his car.

I don’t know if he is a member of Man U’s fan club or even on their radar, but if he isn’t…he should be.

How many people in small and large ways are there like this around the world?

Who knows? But in doing some research for a speech I gave in Birmingham, England, I found out that Manchester United has the largest social media footprint of anyone in the world and that 1 in 6 people around the world follow Man U in some shape.

Try telling me that figuring out how to monetize that audience wouldn’t add to average Lifetime Fan Value and I’ll tell you you are crazy.

These are just 3 of the ideas I think you can apply to maximize your Lifetime Fan Value. What are you working on?

BTW, will I see you in Melbourne at my workshop: “Fans For Life: Creating and Keeping Modern Fans”? 

This is my first workshop in Australia and it is going to be tremendous. Buy your tickets here!

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