Seven tips for keeping fans engaged when they can’t watch IRL


by Editorial Staff

Watching sport in real life may largely be off the cards at the moment, but the appetite for sport is going nowhere. How can you drive deeper engagement from your fans and subscribers? Read on as we look to seven ways we help our clients to achieve just that


by Editorial Staff

Watching sport in real life may largely be off the cards at the moment, but the appetite for sport is going nowhere. How can you drive deeper engagement from your fans and subscribers? Read on as we look to seven ways we help our clients to achieve just that

Keeping fans engaged has always been essential. But now we’re in a world where most stadiums or other sporting venues are closed to the public, ensuring that you use the right tools and approaches to keep your fans hooked is more important than ever. In this article, we explore seven tactics federations, teams, and broadcasters can deploy to keep their fans engaged.

1️⃣ Use rich content

Fans can experience richer content around a game via our LIVE BLOGGING tool. It means that rather than passively watching a game, a user can consume various multimedia (videos, images, and social media feeds), as well as stats and commentary all at once.

And how does it boost engagement?

Ultimately, it keeps fans engaged by helping to tell a more complete story of the game. Also, it means fans can rely on a club’s owned-and-operated channels rather than facing the clunky experience of flicking between different content sources.

They can engage with content quickly and seamlessly and editors have the power to manage, produce, and moderate content all in one place. Being able to provide relevant, high-quality content helps to keep fans engaged and reduce churn.


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2️⃣ Keep UX simple

A compelling way of presenting content to the user, sport entities can deploy a card-based user interface throughout their owned-and-operated channels, replicating a visual format fans often consume on social media. This approach has been taken even further within our VISUAL STORIES tool, where fans can view full screen, snackable, immersive moments surrounding particular parts of the game. The content also adapts to different screens – full or mobile view – to ensure stories fit every device.

The UI means teams can hero large, macro moments of today or the past, like legendary goals, for example. Or, they can shine a light on micro moments that help to tell the stories around the game, like a particularly zealous or memorable celebration.

And how does it boost engagement?

The card-based UI within websites and apps has been inspired by the functionality of popular social media channels. As many fans are familiar with this user experience (i.e. the way they consume content on their devices), it’s been designed to make engagement simple and almost second nature.

3️⃣ Think mobile-first

With fans not able to watch in real life, many will be looking for new ways of interacting with the team, especially during live games. This is a great opportunity to introduce mobile-first content, which teams can host in apps or other owned-and-operated channels, creating a frictionless, multi-channel experience from one official source.

And how does it boost engagement?

If you tell fans the stories they need to hear, on the device they have to hand, during and in the build-up to the app, you’re more likely to keep them engaged and reduce churn. Many teams do an excellent job also introducing other features in their mobile applications that increase stickiness and help monetization, such as the possibility to purchase membership and tickets straight from the app.

4️⃣ Allow your fans to be their own director

It’s possible to give fans the freedom and the control to select how they want to watch a game. For example, our product DIVA offers fans multi-angle camera views, meaning fans can consume multiple broadcast feeds from multiple cameras into the player, enabling them to select the angle from which they’d like to watch.

And how does it boost engagement?

Ultimately, the fan is in complete control and can, to a point, direct their own game. For example, if a fan wants to focus on a particular player or watch from a different angle with the 360-degree camera, they can.

5️⃣ Get interactive

With DIVA’s interactive video player timeline, users can choose how they view content. They can opt to display live data alongside the action or they can even tag and select key moments during a game – from there, they can jump straight to them and rewatch. For example, in football, this could be a red card, or a crucial goal that requires further analysis.

These clickable points can then either be automatically populated using real-time sports data or they can be editorialized using contextual human tagging.

And how does it boost engagement?

By using live data to highlight key moments in the game and marking them on the timeline, the user is given more control. By jumping to specific moments and instantly viewing their own highlight reel either live or on-demand, they’re able to control their own viewing experience and engage with the points that matter most to them.

6️⃣ Give them the insights – fast

In sports like golf, for example, viewers can access a real-time live leaderboard that presents important data, like scores, how certain players are performing in comparison to previous seasons, and who their competitors are for the given week.

And how does it boost engagement?

By being presented with the data as it happens, viewers are given a more lean-forward experience and, again, are more in control. It’s a feature that enables fans to dive much deeper than the current action, instead allowing them to delve through past stats to see greater historical context around games. It’s also one of the fastest data-rich timelines out there, meaning fans have a reason to come back time and time again to engage with the content as it evolves.



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7️⃣ Remind them to watch!

You have the opportunity to draw users to a game or tournament by alerting them to specific key moments via notifications.

And how does it boost engagement?

If a user is not using the app or even not following the game, a simple notification updating them with a short piece of information about a tantalizing or important part of play can help them to drive them back to the app. Maybe they’ve forgotten to watch, or perhaps they’re otherwise engaged, notifications serve as a small but important hook to get people to act.

Which fan engagement tactics would you like to hear about next?  Let us know on Twitter or LinkedIn.

Want to speak to us about how we can boost your fan engagement? We’d love to hear from you.