Now that football season is in full swing, we here at Fanscape think it’s about time to take a little look at one of the most successful sports in US history. Whether you’re an every now and then fan or one of the most passionate – you know who you are you face painting season ticket holders and fantasy leaguers – the NCAA and NFL completely captivate us in the Fall and Winter months. And at Fanscape, we’re no exception.
In recent years the game has gone well beyond just what is seen on TV or in the stands; it has become a virtual communications juggernaut. Fans now have unprecedented access to players and teams: fan & team groups on Facebook; message boards galore; Twitter accounts, player websites; and UStream activity, all connecting us in such an intimate way. Because of the expansive amount of options that have been created to link fans to their respective teams and/or players, the doors have swung wide open for brands to captivate their audience in creative new ways.
Contests, promotions, players’ involvement and a team’s interaction all are important aspects of reaching fans, but as marketers we need to make sure our efforts are getting the right message across without being too intrusive. With the every day fan becoming increasingly more savvy on both the consumer and social media front, taking contests beyond entering a name and email is key to a campaign’s success. Some of the best we’ve seen thus far have been those that bring fans directly into the fold; e.g. Dorito’s Crash the SuperBowl and the NFL’s Super Ad.
Football has always been a social affair: gathering with friends, family or a group of fellow fans to watch your favorite team; tailgating, an experience in and of itself; and let’s not forget about actually being in the stadium for the game. True, football has always been about fans coming together to celebrate, but with social media in the mix, fans have the added rush of instant connections and instant interaction on a global scale, whether sitting at a sports bar, at home or in the stands.