HUSH on … The Digital Transformation Innovation in Fan Engagement

Juan Iraola – Chief Innovation Officer at Real Sociedad and Sports Innovation Alliance

According to WePlay, there has been a 95% increase in home media consumption and 60% increase in content streaming during lockdown for Covid-19. This highlights how technology and digital transformation has allowed platforms to shine; to enhance fan engagement by using the intangible in these uncertain and unprecedented times.

Creating new ways of fan engagement through digital transformation has accelerated how sport entities prepare their strategy to communicate and penetrate their messages. The continuation of innovation with the evolution of data points are coming to the forefront in sport business more than ever. As Juan Iraola stated in an article with Real Sociedad, it is taking the time to appreciate the uniqueness of fan engagement, and take time to implement digital formats.

More cross-department collaboration capitalising on resources and internal expertise are being presented to create content and opportunities for fan engagement. This strength with sport businesses builds a level of trust with your external partners and can fuel investment in the future.

Customisation has a role to play with creativity. Success in fan engagement comes by showing accessibility and lifestyle orientation to deliver a more enjoyable and relatable experience for the fan. Being relatable to the fan brings retention and viewership to build your brand, this can be fans of your club, fans of Football and fans of your content.

The beauty of the intangible is you can never have too much content. The trick is to not take it for granted and use it wisely to create content to be part of the fan experience and enable them to feel closer to their sport. Mix this will an element of recognition and reward/value and you have the winning combination, even if that reward is more content which fans enjoy.

The value of digital transformation will determine the growth of fan loyalty. The next step is to evaluate and focus on ways of maintaining that connection. Just as Nicole Allison stated in the quote below, it is now part of the business strategy; it costs more to bring in new fans than to keep them.

The digital age of fan engagement in sport is now here in full swing, and it is here to stay. Don’t fight it, enhance its opportunities.

Nicole Allison – Founder and Managing Director Nicole Allison Sport Consultancy and Former General Manager of Tottenham Hotspur Ladies FC


WePlay: Session 2: The Sponsorship Game has changed. It’s now all about performance –

Hype Sport Innovation: Fan Engagement in Times of Transformation –

iSportconnect partnered with Goodform: Data, Insights and Fan Engagement: The Modern Sports World –

SportWorks: Going beyond on-pitch success: Fan engagement in women’s football –

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