The Ultimate Fan Experience was one of the main themes at this years ’Leaders in Sport’ conference in London. New technology, data and content will be essential for the future development of fan experience, says SponsorPeople.

NFL, FIFA, BBC, Premier League, Facebook, Adidas and Microsoft. That was just some of the brands attending this year’s Leaders conference in London, where the Danish bureau SponsorPeople also participated, to get new inspiration and knowledge about the future trends within the Sponsor Marketing Industry.

– The commercial potential in the world of sports is massive. Especially due to today’s media reality, where consumers say ‘no’ to traditional advertising, says Thomas Badura, CEO of SponsorPeople.

– But through sponsorships and partnership brands do have the possibility to be a part of the fan experience and create fan relations by sharing their passion, the CEO Thomas, who advises brands and right-holders within strategy, commercial development, brand activation and sponsorship evaluation, continues.

One of the main themes at “Leaders in Sports” was how brands and right-holders could use new technology and data to develop content and create ‘The Ultimate Fan Experience’ and strengthen the commercial potential.

The effectiveness of Live Streaming

The technology creates new opportunities when it comes to developing new solutions within fan engagement, that can bring fans closer to the experiences and unique content.

– A few years ago, Twitter was the most common platform for fans to communicate live during events, elaborates Pernille Nielsen, who is specialised within fan engagement and brand activation at SponsorPeople.

– Today fans can share content and follow their favourite athletes or teams via Facebook Live, Instagram Stories and Snapchat. With these new live-trends brands and right-holders do have unique opportunities to create fan engagement trough brand activation and content on higher levels than before.

A great example of the abovementioned is Nike, who earlier this year used Facebook to live stream Eliud Kipchoges’ attempt to finish a marathon in less than two hours as a part of their “#breaking2” campaign. The campaign took Nike’s product launch to a new level, where running enthusiasts world wide followed the record breaking attempt online.

The technology is a challenge for traditional broadcast networks. Last year YouTube and BT Sports distributed the Champions League Finals. Also, Amazon live streamed NFL matches, while Facebook has partnered up with Fox Sports to stream UEFA Champions League via Facebook Live in USA.

Facebook is stepping up

And speaking of Facebook – Dan Reed, the Head of Global Sports Partnerships at Facebook, gave a speech about Facebooks view upon the commercial potential of the world of sports to a sold out arena.

– Facebook wants to help broadcasters and rights holder with rethinking the distribution, the production and the broadcasting of sports events in a digital, mobile and social world. Lately we have seen America implement a new feature, Watch, which is a platform where fans can livestream sports events and programs from their mobile devices, desktops and Facebooks TV app, and at the same time interact with each other, Thomas Badura explains, who is the CEO and owner of SponsorPeople.

Lastly, but certainly not least, Augmented Reality (AR) and Virtual Reality (VR) are two new technologies that currently are redefining how fans can interact with their favourite teams and sports.

– Snapchat’s Geo-filter are giving fans the opportunity to post pictures with the helmets of their favourite teams or to add real-time live-score. At the same time, we are seeing the professional teams incorporate AR and VR experiences at their stadiums.

Today, NBA are broadcasting one weekly VR-game through their partnership with NextVR, while teams as Golden State Warriors host “live-streaming-VR-events” during their home-matches, Thomas rounds up.

Data and behavioural design

With digital platforms and social media, brands and rights holders are given even greater opportunities to gather usable data. Data, that will give them valuable insights into how their fans acts and which can be used by the brands and the rights holders to constantly adapt and improve the experience, whilst developing new experiences and solutions at the same time.

Kevin Brilliant, a behavioural designer with the Chicago Bulls, did however mention, that it is not just a matter of collecting data and knowledge about the fans and their behaviour.

– As a rights holder – or a brand owner – in the world of sports, it is crucial that you analyse the behaviour and take a further look into why your fans are acting the way that they are. This will give you valuable insights, that you can use to create a better fan experience, says Thomas Badura.

 

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