What's Kraken: Down Under - Sydney Swans

During uncertain times, it can be tricky to engage fans. It has been incredible to see how sports organizations have been able to engage their fans despite games being on pause or with no fans in stands during games. Curious how they’re doing it?

Continuing our “What’s Kraken Down Under” series, we caught up with the Sydney Swans Football Club’s Digital Media Manager, Shane Potter. Shane offers expert insight on how the Sydney Swans engaged fans while games were on pause and how things are going now that the Australian Football League games have resumed.

Shane Potter is the Digital Media Manager at the AFL’s Sydney Swans Football Club

Q: You've recently been allowed crowds back at the SCG, what has been your favourite part of having fans back at Swans matches?

A: We are so thankful for our fans. Our fans are so passionate about what we do as a Club and have been so supportive of our Club over the journey. We have been able to welcome back a very limited number of fans to the game in recent weeks.

It has been great to see their passion shining through when they are at the game and how vocal they have been even in smaller numbers. During our recent win over Hawthorn, it showed there is no doubt having our fans back in the stadium helped lift our boys to get over the line on the field.

The colour, passion and atmosphere our fans bring by having them back at the games at the SCG would have to be the best part about having them back at our games.

Q: Explain your proudest/most successful fan engagement campaign or strategy you've activated over in the COVID-19 period? What were the results?

A: Throughout the COVID-19 period, it has become evident that fans have a strong thirst for nostalgic content and flashbacks. To build on this we asked fans to help us put together their favourite team since the Club moved to Sydney in 1982.

Using the Tradable Bits Dream Team template, we asked fans to pick a complete team including defenders, midfielders, forwards and a coach. We promoted this across all of our main digital channels – website, app, social channels and EDM to great success.

We had more than 1,200 dream teams entered across the course of two weeks, contributing to the result of our final team. It was this final piece of content that then created an extremely engaging social piece as fans debated who deserved to be in their dream final team and who should not be in it.

This campaign had no commercialisation or prize attached to it and was purely an opportunity for our fans to get involved and engaged during isolation.


Q: What would be your key advice to the digital/fan engagement staff of sports teams who are about to return to games?

A: If teams are getting ready to return to play, the main thing to focus on for all digital and fan engagement is: don't forget about what works. Clearly, fans love games but the shutdown period provided us a great opportunity to see what else our fans are interested in.

We have ensured that we continue to deliver digital content to our fans, even with the return to play. This content varies from lifestyle content to nostalgic flashbacks. Fans just want to be valued, whether they can be at the game or not, so think of ways that you can make their experience as tailored to their needs as possible.

Q: What's been your greatest achievement in the kitchen during iso?

A: This is a tough one. No doubt I tried to become a gourmet chef during this period. I wouldn't say I did a great job of it, but one success was making home-made dumplings. It was easy and also delicious!

Check out other installments of our What's Kraken content series and see how the innovative marketers of Melbourne FC, the Arizona Coyotes, Dallas Mavericks, Tennessee Titans and the Columbus Blue Jackets, Washington Football Team, and Portland Trail Blazers are engaging fans.

Looking for ways to engage your fans in the new world of fan engagement? Contact us to book a demo and learn how Tradable Bits can help future-proof your marketing plan and help keep you ahead of the curve.


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