Map Sports

Millions of Fans at the Click of a Button

The rise of digital marketing and the use of online profiles has forever changed not only the way we live our lives, but how businesses can connect with their customers. For sports marketing this is no different. Managed correctly, the ability to instantly connect with thousands of fans through digital fan bases is a game changer.

Since the rise of the internet in the 1990s, fans have logged on, in their thousands, to quench their thirst for the latest news and information about their favourite teams and athletes. Since the advent of Web 2.0, fans have also had the opportunity to not only interact with teams and players, but also with each other. Rather than just talking about controversial refereeing decisions, which coach should be sacked, and who is the great player of all time at the local pub, fans can now log on 24/7 and give their opinions to the world.

 

Types of Digital Fan Bases

Generally digital fan bases fall into three different categories; online profiles, forums and curated websites. Each type has its own unique attributes and is managed differently from a digital brand management perspective.

 

Online Profiles

Online profiles include a range of platforms where individuals have their own unique page where they post their own thoughts, views and life events. Online profiles also allow individuals to “follow” others and receive information in an easy-to-digest format, and without the need to visit external websites.

Each type of online profile has its own unique style of content delivery. Twitter allows for only short snippets of news and one picture per post, while Facebook encourages picture-based posts to draw in the reader. YouTube is a highly effective video platform, while Tumblr, Pinterest, and Instagram are all picture-based platforms.

 

Online Forums

Forums are websites dedicated to a particular niche or topic whose sole purpose is for members to have discussions and debates, and to share tips and information. Generally these forums are ‘moderated’ by ‘moderators’ who oversee what is being posted, however they are rarely “official” or sanctioned by the relevant league/team. Perhaps the most popular online forum is Reddit, where people share news stories or blog posts that they’ve read, to open a discussion. However many individual sites exist for various topics such as Rugby League’s League Unlimited and rleague.com.

 

Curated Websites

Finally, ‘curated websites’ are generally news websites where content is generated (often automated) from an official source or newsroom. Readers are then encouraged to leave comments about each story, however these comments are almost always moderated.

Official news websites attached to newspapers and television channels such as Fox Sports are among the largest curated websites. Sites like The Roar also mix articles written by journalists and fans and are popular with fans with strong opinions about their sport.

 

If you would like to learn how you can tap into the range of different digital fan bases to effectively raise your digital profile, we invite you to contact us at Map Sports andrewp@mapsports.com.au or + 61 2 8705 5464.