Digital fan engagement opens new horizons for sports brands and fans alike

Sport is one of the fastest-evolving sectors when it comes to changing consumer behavior. In order to stay competitive, sports brands need to embrace digital transformation and engage fans in new, innovative ways. 

Sparking an emotional link with fans

The emotional involvement in sports has always been very high — few brands could claim to have a fanbase as loyal and passionate as many football clubs. Therefore, for sports brands, clubs, and organizations, one of the main factors in building and maintaining lasting and profitable relationships is sparking an emotional connection with fans, and this increasingly happens through digital technologies.

As the entertainment industry grows and changes faster than ever, the competition between sports brands also increases, with more of them employing innovative digital technologies to complement their traditional communication channels and boost fan engagement. The better a sports brand understands their fan base, the higher chance they have to maintain their loyalty.

Changing consumer behavior in the sports industry 

In a constantly connected world, the way we watch sports also evolves. By now, fans can not only connect to each other in person through cheering, but they can reach players, teams, sports brands, and other fans, thanks to applications, mobile games, online communities, or broadcasts. Thanks to digital solutions, people from anywhere in the world can play an active part in communities that were previously almost exclusively local, yet, they may never attend a match inside a stadium or view a TV broadcast.

Sports brands need to embrace the fact that digital technology has changed the behavior of all consumers, including sports fans. The changing trends — partly due to pandemic-related restrictions — mean that fans increasingly demand more personalized and immersive digital experiences. While technology has been quietly transforming the world of sports for years, we are still at the beginning of the journey — the biggest innovations are yet to come.

Engaging digital natives, the new generations of sports fans

Understanding these movements and trends becomes essential to ensuring sports brands spark and maintain the love of not only their long-term, loyal fanbase, but that of the new generation too. The digital native generation — 16–35-year-olds who have grown up with the Internet — as well as tech-savvy members from other age groups think and act differently when it comes to entertainment. To engage them and gain their loyalty, sports organizations must find new ways to reach and connect with them, which generally means embracing digital technologies and at times, gamified solutions.

All of this means that in order to stay competitive on the market, sports brands, clubs, and organizations have to develop a deeper understanding of the individual needs of their customer base. The clubs that win in the end will be those who can come up with the most seamless, most innovative, and most personalized digital ways of communication.

Placing fans in the driver’s seat

With so many fans preferring to interact with content via online channels, we are no longer talking about passive ‘consumption’ but interactive participation. Interactivity and user-generated content are core strategic pillars of engaging fans these days and in the future.

There are several tools on the market, who offer remote fan experiences. While many of them are excellent to complement traditional communication channels, they also come with limitations when it comes to customizability and interactive features. When creating Seyu, our mission was to offer a versatile solution that solves the challenge for many sports brands: providing a multi-platform, multi-screen experience with unlimited customizability that places users in the driver’s seat.

Through our mobile-first online platform, we create a more immersive experience and new ways for fans to connect with each other, their favorite players, and sports brands. Fans are encouraged to take initiative by sending selfies and supporting messages to their favorite players. This type of user-generated content strategy has proven to be an efficient way of boosting engagement at hundreds of sports events, with thousands of fans participating in our activities. These photos have appeared on many platforms from social media channels, to giant LED screens in stadiums, broadcast streams and most recently, in the form of a human-sized LED Fan Totems.

Offering customized experiences builds loyalty

For sports clubs, maintaining the loyalty of fans is of utmost importance. But loyalty doesn’t just happen by chance — building it is a continuous effort of offering great, memorable experiences, keeping fans in the loop about upcoming events, offering them special deals, loyalty benefits, and so on. Sports companies need to understand how using user data insights from a digital platform adds value to users by meeting their own specific interests.

Our solution helps make this easier as well: with integrated data capturing capabilities and insights into fan behavior it enables sports brands to stay in touch with their customer base, offer individualized experiences, and nurture them with fresh content, which are all key factors for building profitable connections.

New horizons for sports brands and fans around the world

Thanks to our digital sports tech solution and multi-channel activity, by now, we have provided memorable experiences and strengthened the connection between thousands of fans, players, and brands, regardless of location. Thanks to the flexibility and localizability of our solution, it’s already been enjoyed by fans in dozens of languages, such as Spanish or Mandarin — and we’re only just getting started.

Implementing our revolutionary sports tech solution has opened new horizons for many companies and organizations who partnered with us and helped them take fan experience to the next level to bring sports fans and athletes closer than ever before. Global brands such as Betmotion, Vodafone, E.ON, Herbalife Nutritions and Mercedes-Benz are amongst many of Seyu’ successful brand activations which were not only recognised by the industry, but also been awarded by the European Sponsorship Association and other advertising experts.

About Seyu

‘Seyu – Together for Victory!’ is a real-time moderated, branded, fan-generated content provider. Seyu is a technology solution for sports fans that enables them to motivate their favorite teams or athletes from anywhere in the world. The company uses partners’ existing IT infrastructure to allow fans around the world to post photos to stadium LEDs and other digital surfaces during sports events through a moderated channel and then instantly share them on social media with media-branded frames. The service, which has been proven to be successful at more than 350 sports events, is one of the leading sports tech services in Hungary, and lovers of international sports are regularly able to enjoy its benefits as well.

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