As the digital space continues to dominate the marketing world, many brands are scrambling to connect with the customers they were able to reach in the past. These tech-savvy consumers no longer respond to traditional forms of interruption-based marketing, often filtering the messages out completely. These modern consumers are looking for a more immersive experience that provides a deeper level of engagement.
While this paradigm shift has sent many businesses back to the drawing board, it has presented a tremendous opportunity for the sports and entertainment industry. Thanks to advances in technology, sports and entertainment brands can now reach these potential customers and engage with them like never before.
The Digital Fan
Digital marketing has forever changed the way fans interact with the sports teams they support, the movies they are interested in and the bands they love. From grabbing game scores on their smartphones to reading tour updates on the band’s website to interacting with actors on social media, fans are hungry for a constant stream of information. And when they’re not watching sports or movies, they want to talk about them and be part of an active fan community.
Further, the fan experience has become continuous. After the game or concert, fans want to recap and discuss the event. Throughout the year, these fans want to continue showing their support and interacting with the brand.
By engaging with these fans online and providing them with the immersive digital experience they are looking for, you can turn them into brand advocates. The result of this increased fan loyalty is a deepened commitment and an increased willingness to actively promote and support their brands.
A Glimpse Behind the Scenes
The key to engaging your fans online is to provide them with a glimpse behind the scenes. As the digital space has taken center stage, fans are increasingly turning to online channels for the type of immersive content that gets them closer to the teams, movies and bands they follow.
As more and more sports and entertainment brands begin engaging with their fans online, there will undoubtedly be some growing pains. In order to help you avoid the pitfalls of engaging with your fans online, we’ve provided a few examples of sports and entertainment brands that get it right.
NBA Provides Expansive Coverage Across Multiple Screens
The NBA’s comprehensive coverage of the 2015 playoffs provides a great example of a sports brand that is making the most of today’s digital opportunities. During the playoffs, NBA.com will become fans’ go-to source for the most expansive coverage across multiple screens.
Fans can visit the league’s website for comprehensive content offerings, including series breakdowns, live video coverage, highlights, scores, stats, press conferences and extensive social media integration. NBA Mobile will also feature all of the latest news and information via the league’s signature NBA Game Time app.
Jurassic World Website Amazes
The website for Jurassic World is also a shining example of a brand fully leveraging online opportunities for fan engagement. This digital property brings the theme park to life as an immersive, fully responsive website, treating the island as if it's absolutely real.
Filled with thoughtful details, the site builds anticipation for the upcoming movie by showcasing everything the real Jurassic World would offer: hotels, attractions, time-reactive announcements, video feeds and of course, dinosaurs. At the center of it all, an interactive map encourages users to explore Isla Nublar, location by location.
This website creates an incredible fan experience. The level of detail creates a truly immersive fan experience and even drops hints about various plot elements from the upcoming movie.
MTV Continues to Lead the Way
As the music industry has continued to lead the way for online fan engagement, MTV has remained the industry trend-setter. This commitment to constantly pushing the envelope in the digital space has never been more apparent than in the 2014 MTV Video Music Awards (VMAs).
Each year, MTV reinvents the VMAs to be even more socially interactive and engaging. One example of their innovative fan engagement was their nominee announcements through SnapChat. This marked the first time such an announcement had been made using this channel and allowed MTV to reach a larger audience in an exciting new way.
They also used the MTV Artist App as the go-to mobile destination. This platform was used to provide exclusive VMA content, including behind-the-scenes clips, performances and post-show segments. All of this exclusive content was also provided in easily shareable formats to promote fan interactions.
For the 2014 awards, a combination of multi-screen initiatives came together to produce the most social event of the summer. With over 12.6 million tweets, 259 trending topics, and nearly 63 million social interactions, this event truly represents the pinnacle of online fan engagement for the music industry.
Take Advantage of Digital Opportunities
In our technology-enabled world, the fan’s desire to gain more access grows everyday – from the latest news, to highlights and videos. Commercial success in the sports and entertainment industry is increasingly determined by the ability to orchestrate fan experiences across multiple channels in both the physical and digital worlds to drive more engagement. Brands that understand how to design and create a connected fan experience across multiple environments will gain a competitive advantage by attracting new fans and engaging existing ones.
Would you like to engage with your fans online but not sure where to start? UNION can help. Learn more about how we helped Hendrick Motorsports transform its digital presence and create a truly immersive experience for fans. Contact us to discuss how we can help you do the same.