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How to turn fans into fanatics

Written by: Ho Son

Fan Driven

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How to Turn Casual Fans into Fanatics

Whether it's a sports team, tv show, or brand, engaging your fans and increasing fandom should be a top priority. Why?

The more loyal fans are, the more valuable they become. Let's dive into the numbers.

  • Higher Revenue: Compared to your casual fan, "fanatics" spend 122.333% more
    than your casual fan – even during the offseason. ( source )

  • Free-ish Marketing: It's still no question that word of mouth marketing is the most cost-efficient and powerful tool. Fanatics are much more likely to share their passions with their networks, further increasing community engagement.

  • More Ad Opportunities: Fans who are engaged with your event are more likely to remember ads, making your ad space more valuable to advertisers and sponsors. ( source )

 fans into fanatics infographic

Regardless of whether your fans are attending a live, virtual or hybrid event, follow these top tips to increase fan engagement and keep them coming back time and time again.

Utilize the Second Screen

Turning casual fans into fanatics comes down to engaging with your audience and maximizing touchpoints. So, what’s the tool that you should be leveraging?

Your fan’s personal device.

Phones, tablets, you name it – our fingers are glued to them before, during, and after an event. In fact, 88% of millennials regularly engage in second-screen behaviours when watching something ( source ).

Take advantage of that screen in their hands to bring your audience in deeper. Allow your fans to use their phones to the outcome of the game or for their favorite contestant. Encourage them to send in user-generated content and present it on air – fans love a moment of recognition from their favorite team or brand. (Here’s a unique way showcased user generated content) 

One great tool to pair with your audience's personal device is Telescope's Triple Play . This product allows you to host polls, test fans' knowledge via trivia, and gauge fan sentiment in real-time. These are all great interactive tools to elevate audience engagement using devices they already use. 

Sweepstakes and Giveaways

Sweepstakes and giveaways are a classic way to turn your fans into fanatics. Pair a sweepstakes alongside your second screen strategy to incentivize and reward your loyal fans. 

But how do you take a classic strategy like sweepstakes or giveaways and make them fun and exciting? Here are some of the latest trends. 

  • SMS and toll-free giveaways are making a comeback. Not only do fans like to interact via text but you can also lead them to download your native app.

  • Pair a giveaway with user-generated content for an interactive experience that can keep audiences engaged for long periods of time.

  • Gamify the sweepstakes with games like or .

Free stuff will never get old, and it’s a tried-and-true way to deepen fandom.

Social Media 

The question is no longer if you should be leveraging social media, but how.

  • Don’t forget to update fans during the event. More than 58% of millennials use social media to get updates about their favorite players and team during the event.

  • Livestream on all channels. 52% of stated that they'd rather use social media as their viewing platform of choice. ( source )

  • Create content that showcases more than just the event. Player profiles, community events, and other ways to showcase the talent in a unique and relatable way are all keys to a better social media experience.

Social media isn’t going anywhere, so make sure you’re utilizing the right way to maximize impact.  

There Is No "Off-Season" 

We talked a lot about fan engagement during an event, but the “off-season” is where you can miss an opportunity.

Like we mentioned in the previous section, highlighting stories about community involvement or a deep dive into last season's performances is the type of content your fans are looking for in the off-season.

According to , over 60% of fans say that a great experience all year round will make them more likely to be engaged the next season. 

95% of fans will go out of their way to stay engaged with their favorite team in the off-season, which means you have plenty of opportunities to increase digital fan engagement during this time for future benefits.

However, this isn't just applicable to sports. TV shows and events that take time off at specific points should be following the same strategy throughout the year. With such easy access to live streams and social media, tv networks and brands can leverage these platforms to continue engaging with their audience and get them excited for the upcoming season.

Turning your fans into fanatics should be priority #1!

Reach out to us to speak with a fan engagement expert for your next season or event!

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