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5 ideas on how to maximise the engagement of sports fans via a mobile application

The engagement of supporters and fans towards their favourite clubs goes beyond the traditional enthusiasm of a fanbase. They have a real emotional involvement and sense of belonging to their favourite clubs. This sense of belonging is the very heartbeat of a sports season.

The expectations of supporter communities mean that clubs and businesses involved in sports need to constantly innovate in order to nurture and maintain this special relationship. Providing exclusive content and real-time information has become the very cornerstone of this relationship.
70% of supporters who attend a live match use their smartphone to share content and exchange messages online.1 Since matches and seasons have been put on hold, the mobile experience is now at the very heart of a club’s relationship with its supporters. A key figure: more than 5 million people use the Android mobile application of the legendary FC Barcelona football club. The app acts as a central hub for live videos and replays, interviews, documentaries, shopping and provides exclusive content for the club’s supporters.

“Barça” fans can follow live matches and enjoy a comprehensive and compelling digital experience.
Having a mobile experience that builds a sense of unity is one of the key expectations among fans and supporters. Find out how a mobile app can maximise community engagement in five key points.

“This is how you will capture the attention of your youngest fans, who often prefer digital interaction to attending matches in person”

1. Focus on exclusivity

Give your users access to content about their favourite team at any time, through a unique mobile-first experience. Live scores and matches, player news, documentaries, statistics, analyses, interviews, replays, and more; exclusive content makes fans and supporters feel closer to their team.

This is how you will capture the attention of your youngest fans, who often prefer digital interaction to attend matches in person.2

For example the NBA’s Golden State Warriors based in San Francisco, led by the fantastic Stephen Curry. The team and its home venue, the Chase Center, stand out due to their mobile application. The team’s fans can get live results, as well as statistics and news about every player on the team. Match highlights, interviews, and on-field analyses are available exclusively on the app.3

2. Digitise the emotion and excitement of purchasing

The euphoria generated in a stadium on match day is incomparable, but a stadium’s capacity is limited! Through a digital experience, clubs can reach all their fans wherever they are.

A dedicated mobile application can be used to sell tickets for matches. However, it is also an ideal tool for giving fans a cutting-edge online-shopping experience. This is where your tailor-made experience, based on geolocation and your users’ interests, comes into its own.

For example, FC Barcelona fans from all over the world can use the app to plunge into the experience of the legendary Camp Nou store. Thanks to a smart user interface, Barça fans have access to all the store’s merchandise, as if they were there.

3. Reduce the sense of distance through virtual reality

Being able to visit a stadium or the museum of a legendary club without actually leaving the comfort of our home is something that has now become part of our daily lives.

With Augmented Reality and Virtual Reality, give your remote communities an exclusive perspective of the physical experience. A smartly-designed mobile solution can bring together thousands of fans from around the world, all driven by the same inspiration.

A total of 80% of FC Barcelona’s fans live abroad and cannot attend matches at Camp Nou4. So, the club launched the Be Part of the Big Picture project5, a unifying international experience. A gigantic mosaic made up of photos of hundreds of thousands of fans shows each of the portraits in augmented reality. Each fan is therefore part of this work of art displayed on the façade of the legendary stadium.

4. Nurture your community with premium content

Sparking your users’ curiosity, generating emotion, and creating memories are all ways of building engagement! If you provide fans with premium content, your app will certainly help build a strong and engaged community.

Exclusive interviews, live virtual meet-and-greet sessions, behind-the-scenes meetings, in-depth analyses, previews, exclusive benefits, and more. In addition to monetising the app, these initiatives help boost loyalty and enthusiasm within your community.

By creating the “Culers” loyalty program, Barça has brought its fans together in a rich digital ecosystem. This is where “premium” fans find content that is specifically designed to meet their expectations.

5. Make your data talk

A comprehensive mobile experience enables you to know more about your community and build a special relationship and dialogue. The geolocation, age, and interests of your supporters provide you with valuable information to meet their expectations.

Quizzes, interactions, or polls and surveys with prizes will help you better understand your users’ expectations. By precisely defining your KPIs and understanding what your users want, you will be able to provide them with tailor-made content, reward their loyalty and turn them into ambassadors for your brand.

To have a better understanding of the importance of dialogue between a brand and its communities, check out the success story concerning our Davis Cup app here.