Companies use many methods to create their own fan bases and acquire loyal customers. For example, a site like Vulkanbet [valid where legal] does this through various promotions. New members can get a bonus to make a fast start. Existing members are encouraged to continue their membership with various VulkanBet casino online [valid where legal] promotions. Such marketing and communication methods are available in every industry, including the sports industry. Today, it has become easier than ever for sports clubs to interact with their fans. So, what methods do sports clubs use for this purpose? How do they interact with their fans? We answer these questions below.
Fans are not “customers”
It is thought that the main partners of sports clubs are fans, club members, broadcasters, financial institutions, local governments, and society. Sports clubs have to establish relations with these partners and manage this relationship during their operational processes. Fans should be seen not only as loyal consumers of sports clubs but also as key “stakeholders” who actively support their teams in the stadium and financially ensure the club’s survival. The relationship between fans and sports clubs is very different from the relationship between consumers and businesses. Fans are the masses that support the activities of sports clubs financially and morally, purchase the services of the club by paying a certain fee, and go on domestic and international away trips to support their team despite all kinds of difficulties. They are completely different from the traditional consumer definition, and they also establish a spiritual bond with their team.
But how effectively fans support their teams depends on how easy it is to do so. Fans have now become “customers” who need to be reached, established relationships, managed their communication, listened to their wishes and needs, and developed strategic plans and organizations in this direction. What companies and brands do to create and retain loyal customers; sports clubs do the same to create loyal fans. Sports clubs closely use all channels of marketing in order to manage their perceptions in the eyes of their fans, improve their image, and strengthen the communication of their own brands.
Social media is the main tool
It is possible to say that the most important tool used for this purpose is social media. Thanks to social media, clubs gather their fans under one roof and enable them to express their feelings, thoughts, and reactions. At the same time, because of social media, it is possible for the team to communicate directly with the fans and the fans with the team. Social media is also the cheapest and easiest communication method for the club to reach its fans in sharing and activities. In addition to the official pages of sports clubs on social networks, there are also pages created and managed by fans. Thanks to the web pages, mail groups, and forums prepared by fans on the Internet, the interaction between the teams and fans has never been easier.
Most sports clubs now have a contact center and public relations department. In other words, sports clubs do the job of communicating with their fans through professionals. But these professionals work a little differently compared to other industries. Sports fans are already ready to create content and never miss an opportunity to interact with their team. Therefore, the task of communication specialists is often to build a bridge between the team and the fans: They do not need to constantly plan new promotions. It is usually sufficient for them to determine the type of interaction between the sports team and the fans, as sports clubs do not need constant promotion and marketing.
In this context, it should not be forgotten that the athletes themselves communicate with the fans through social media too. In other words, not only the club but also the athletes themselves are constantly interacting with the fans using social media. Normally, a marketing professional’s job is to promote the brand, create and retain a customer base. However, when it comes to sports clubs, the brand and customer base have already been established. It remains only to regulate the relationship between the two.
Therefore, the job of communication professionals is mostly merchandise marketing. Almost every sports club has a store where it markets its own products, and it should be noted that most of the promotional activities are directed towards these products. Because the classical consumer system is still valid in merchandise: Fans are the ones who buy them, yes, but they still need to be encouraged for this.
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