What fans expect from their favorite clubs – The CISCO Survey on digital fandom

Recently, CISCO has conducted a survey among 1700 sport fans in anglo saxon countries (Australia, New Zealand, USA and UK). The fans were asked about their expectations regarding their favourite sport club’s digital offer. In the following, we would like to share the main results, as well as our deduced recommendations thereof.

Digital demand has more than doubled in the last 3 years

The fans’ demand for digital content and features has risen significantly from 2012 to 2015. The percentage of the fans that confirmed the following needs has at least doubled:

  • get comments on matchdays (10% to 20%)
  • social sharing of content from within the stadium (from 25% to 50%)
  • information about the stadium and surroundings (from 18% to 42%)
  • detailed data about players and teams (17% to 41%)
  • consume content on non-matchdays (12% to 31%)

Connectivity creates new opportunities across the fan journey

Next to 100% of the spectators bring along their mobile phones. Inside the stadium they expect more than just free wi-fi. The fans interviewd named the following features that would add value to their matchday experience in the stadium:

  • parking services, availability and payment (30%)
  • digital ticketing, purchase and check-in (39%)
  • event and stadium information (42%)
  • in seat catering, order proces and delivering (38%)
  • information related to travel, public transportation and road traffic (28%)

Rich content creates next levels of engagement

Cisco states that sport fans expect more than just visiting a game in a stadium. They demand for additional content such as video replays, different camera angles on their mobiles or on other devices within the venue. Furthermore, the majority of fans (70%) seems to be open for promotional content if it is related to the event or the services at the venue.

These three statements confirm that there is a need for expanded digital content by the users on the one hand, but also real potential to monetize this demand and user engagement regarding sponsoring activities or paid services. In order to serve this demand, sport clubs should rethink their content and service strategy regarding the following questions:
  • Do we adequately serve our fans’ desire for content? Are we constantly providing interesting news throughout the week and not only on match days? Our post about continous fan excitement might serve you with some inspiration about this topic.
  • How can we enhance our service offer by using the opportunities of mobile devices and connected venues? In order to do so, you can apply various service design methods (e.g. “the ioT service kit” which is described in our post about the connected stadium fan experience.
  • How can we personalize our fans’ user experience in order to satisfy their personal need and interest for information and entertaining content. We talk about these possibilites in our post about personalized online experiences.
  • How can we use our existing and future communication in order to build inovative and sustainable sponsoring packages? In our post about the business model of picstars, we talked to a startup that offers a technical solution supporting exactly this kind of approaches.