The Modern Sports Fan: 4 Personas for the Future

Personalizing your marketing approach can have a significant impact on the bottom line.
Studies show that 80% of consumers are more likely to make a purchase from a brand that provides personalized experiences and that advanced personalization offers a $20 return for every $1 spent.

At Tradable Bits, our focus is always on building better fan experiences. To do this reliably, we are focused on first-party data - i.e. consent-driven personalization - to understand the unique needs and stories of each fan. The biggest challenge with building highly personalized experiences is figuring out where to even begin. Fear not, we’ve got you!

Below we have highlighted 4 new fan types for the modern sports season, along with tips and tricks for how to provide them with a personalized fan experience. These aren’t meant to be end-all-be-all solutions but hopefully serve as a soft guide to help you build your initial frame of reference for identifying new fan personas as you ramp up into the 2022 season.

The Millenial Parent

Like all parents, the millennial parent has different priorities than other fans. These fans are concerned about important things like change-tables in the bathroom, the volume of the goal horn, and of course, the location of the team mascot at all times (especially if it’s Gritty). Even though they might leave the game at half-time or turn the tv off before the 3rd period because of early bedtimes, it does not mean these fans are any less engaged than others. You should provide cost-effective and healthy F&B options as well as family-packs that reflect the modern family (i.e. family packs with flexibility). These fans are high-value, not only in the amount they are willing to spend to make game days special, but also in their potential to drive multi-generational life-time fans. By creating family-friendly environments and content, you will not only nourish the fandom of your millennial parents but also plant the seeds with their kids to create new fans-for-life.

Pro Tip: Target your Millennial Parent fans with family-friendly creative in your social ads, but keep it fun and light. Remember, millennial parents are still millennials at the end of the day.

Here for the Spice Club

These fans live for the story, the drama, the behind the scenes - they’re here for 24/7 connection with players beyond technique on the field. This fan will resonate with moments where player personality shines through, and is likely an avid docuseries watcher. Their driving force as a fan is less “they’re my hometown team” and more, “they’re underdogs in the circuit, but their players are people I resonate with”.

Therefore to engage them as fans, you have to answer their curiosity , and their more personal question of “why should I be a fan?” You won’t see these fans posting about good plays or highlights, but they’re consistently reading, watching, looking for ways to get a better team story. Attract these fans with series like Mic’d up moments, AMAs, and by leveraging athlete channels.

Pro Tip: Ensure you’re promoting organic content across social channels that provide a sneak peak behind the scenes, and use special backstage experiences as rewards to drive participation in engagement campaigns.

The Lifers

These fans are here for the long-run. They believe in the fabric of the team and will be at the games come rain-or-shine. They eat, sleep and breathe the team & have connected a part of their identity to the sport. Whether this means they are players of the sport themselves, or have a tradition of watching the game with their family/friends, these fans are more likely to be receptive to products like season tickets, or long-form broadcast. These fans still have a draw to Gameday traditions. Whether it’s offering the option for them to print a physical ticket as a keepsake, or pairing live and digital together - ensure that you have a blended approach where possible.

Pro Tip: Engage these fans through enter-to-win contests and more. These fans love regular engagement with their teams, and are eager to participate.

The Punchline Generation

“Give me the TL:DR version.” This fan is here for all the content - but only if it’s easily consumed. We’re talking highlights, replays, memes, reaction videos and Twitter threads - where the action is really at. The Punchline Generation is not likely to watch a traditional broadcast of the game, or buy season-tickets to watch in the stands - but they are on the ball when it comes to any new trends or upsets. These fans are also likely big drivers of the “hype machine” that drives them to buy merch, invest in NFTs and get special skins to play elsewhere - making them a great target for new merchandise drops or auxiliary revenue opportunities.

To engage with this fan, it’s all about accessibility, quantity and choosing the right networks. These are your Twitter stans, TikTok followers, discord lovers and sub-community contributors. Think fans that would rather sit and listen to a fav YouTuber give the down-low on a match than watch it themselves. For these fans, quick content reigns supreme - so ensure your team apps are easy to use, and that your push notifications have some flavor. These fans might subscribe to league-wide highlight focused services as well, think NFL Redzone or the Premier League’s Game Week Highlights.

Pro Tip: Use direct to fan marketing to send these fans exclusive content/offers, and see high engagement.

Interested in knowing more about modern fan profiling? Contact Us today to ideate on your fan data strategy, so you can market smarter.

Sam Ross

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