(Warning: All Fans are Not Created Equal!)
There are few things in the world that wield the power to bring people together like sports. Fans come together and rally behind their team, players, and nation in a friendly display of athletic prowess. It may be something as grandiose as the Olympics or the World Cup, or it may be your AAA baseball team taking on the cross-town rivals. Whatever the case may be, fans are a passionate and important part of every team, and fueling fan passion goes a long way when it comes to building your brand.
In this month’s article, GolfTEC Events brings you the latest research supporting (a) how connecting with passionate sports fans builds your brand, (b) how all of your brand loyalists are not created equal (and which ones you should be targeting!), and (c) how to create content that pours rocket fuel on your brand loyalists’ passion to positively impact your brand.
“The Passion Project,” a comprehensive study across 15 countries and 14 different sports conducted by the Octagon Group has shown, across the board, that when your potential clients are actively involved with a sporting event by way of social media, they are much more likely to make purchases influenced by the sponsorship once it has ended. Therefore, you should be creating opportunities to connect with passionate sports fans.
With golf in particular, they discovered that a full 30% of fans between 18 and 54 are actively tweeting during any given event. They share what they see, what they experience, what they feel, who they relate to, and, perhaps most importantly for you, the brands that sponsor the outings.
GolfTEC Events is about creating experiences that connect these passionate fans with your brand. Think about it – when you empower fans to actively participate in a sporting event, your brand unleashes that fan’s passion while connecting your brand to all of those positive emotions. Instead of merely watching an event, fans are firmly entrenched within an event experience – and now your brand is associated with all of this feel-good mojo.
The Passion Shift: Are all fans created equal? No! Which fans have the most impact on your brand’s bottom line?
Golf began as a regal activity, with the rolling greens of St. Andrew’s setting the stage for discussions of business and land ownership, teaching the elite how to spoil a good, long walk with a gentleman’s game. As with most everything in life, there has been an evolution. Players like Tiger Woods and Sergio Garcia came on to the scene and brought with them the youthful exuberance of a new generation of players. Pair that with the technological advances of the last decade, and you are now targeting a much different group of fans.
There always have been and always will be avid fans of the sport. They are the ones who settle in for a long day of watching walked fairways across the screen, the ones who buy passes for the Open the day they go on sale.
These fans are the ones you respect and admire for their dedication to the sport, but they are not the fans you are targeting when you fuel fan passion.
You want to target the ones who talk about the sport as it is happening. You want the interactive fans. You want the fans who are sharing updates in real time, who are talking about how great it is that “@YourCompany” is involved with an amazing experience.
The way a fan interacts with both your brand and how they use the content you provide have been shown to have much more of a causal effect on their future buying decisions than the avidity that same fan reports to have in regards to the sport or event. In other words, the more the fan includes your content, the more likely they are to have a positive association with your product and the more likely they are to invest in your company in the future.
GolfTEC Events connects these highly impactful, interactive sports fans with your brand by stimulating their passion and powerfully linking your brand to that positive experience. As an example, over 85% of the event participants spend an average of 16 minutes reviewing their golf lesson within that client’s web site. Then, those same people revisit the site an average of 2.4 times over the next 6 months.
The Passion Continuum: Fueling the flames of passion!
Much like anything else in life, people will always have varying degrees of interest in a particular activity. Not every person who golfs is an avid follower of the professional game, while plenty of amateurs voraciously devour statistics.
You should take the time to target all fans, regardless of their level of fandom, and focus specifically on those that will promulgate your brand.
Of the eight levels of interactivity that Octagon identified, we’ll cover three to give you an idea of what those levels look like and what to expect from them:
Couch Potato: These fans love the sport, but prefer to watch it from the comfort of their own home. It’s likely they don’t get out to golf nearly as much as they would like to, and are not necessarily up-to-date on the goings on of the sporting world. These fans are passive and, while they might see and occasionally share information on social media, are not necessarily a target market for this type of branding. The key here is to give these fans an incentive to participate, like a free golf swing analysis at an event. If you missed it, read our article, “Using Event Marketing Technology to Create Brand Loyalty.”
Weekend Warrior: Here is where the bread is laid down for your “bread and butter” fans: they shag balls at the range after work, catch a quick nine during the week (when they can…), and plan for early morning tee times on the weekends. These fans are more interested in sharing content because it is a part of who they are as a person. They watch tournaments on TV and in person, share stats with friends, and are active on social media. Generally a younger demographic, their brand loyalties are not yet tied down and are much more likely to be swayed by positive social interactions. The key to fueling passion in these fans’ hearts is to firmly align your brand and its values with theirs. We talk about how to win these minds and hearts in our article, “Event Marketing: Discovering New Clients through Shared Values.”
Super Fan: The super fan knows all. Longest hole? Par 7 at Satsuki Golf Club in Japan. Most majors wins? Jack Nicklaus with 18. Course record for the Masters Tournament? Tiger Woods with an 18 under par. This fan is a golf fan for life. It is what they do. You post relevant information, and they will tell everyone they know. They may have unwavering brand loyalty, and it is up to you to see to it that it’s your brand they are unwavering from. Play to them by thanking them for posting, favoriting their tweets, and sharing pictures that are pertinent to what your company is doing. Want to know all about this attractive avid golfer demographic? See our article, “What You Need to Know Now: How To Rule Golf + Social Connectivity.”
Take into account what you can do for the fans that lie in between these categories. Some fans may passively share information based on what appeals to them, while others will share anything they see as interesting or appealing. Much like every client you do daily business with is different, so too are the fans to which you appeal.
The great news is that the GolfTEC Events platform captures these fans regardless of where they fit within the passion continuum. We know how to create excitement, how to get your fans actively involved so that their interest grows, and how to get them engaged in your brand experience.
Building a fan base can be just as important as building a customer base. Armed with the knowledge to do more and grow faster, you can harness the influence of sport and sway the kind of buying decisions that boost the bottom line of your business.
GolfTEC Events’ event platform enables us to collect very accurate and real-time, validated client contact data while reinforcing a favorable brand image. The data we collect is relevant, measureable and, above all, it is meaningful.
GolfTEC Events provides not just a way to connect with clients, but also a way to build positive associations with a new and broader customer base. By enabling fans to actively participate in a sporting event, your reach extends beyond the day-of and out into the world.
Ready to put our brand-building expertise to work during your next event? Contact GolfTEC Events today.