4 Ways Interactive Video Can Help Sports Teams Engage Their Fanbase

If you’re part of a sports team, and you’re looking to keep your fans engaged year-round, then interactivity might just be the answer. Find out how you can get your fans excited for what’s happening before, during and after the season using the power of interactivity, including interactive video!

Being a fan of a sporting team isn’t just a game day experience anymore – fans are increasingly looking for more content to consume. A Deloitte study found that 65% of fans want content at least monthly during a team’s off-season – and teams see this reflected in their finances, with fans who engage once a month during the off-season spending 40% more than fans who don’t engage during the off-season. 

If you’re a team that’s looking to expand your fanbase, or get them more engaged in the direction your club’s heading, then it’s time to start creating some interactive experiences for them to enjoy. We’ve put together a few ways that interactivity can get your fans excited even when your team isn’t playing, and how interactive experiences can help spark conversations between fans that’ll turn casual fans into invested supporters.

1. Use interactivity to help your fans be part of the game

If you ever find yourself in a space with sports fans, inevitably debate will break out over who should be playing on the weekend, which player has had the best season and so on. Tools like the AFL’s ladder predictor, their 22under22 and All-Australian team selectors give fans an opportunity for their voices to be heard, while also providing ways for fans to interact with brand content. After all, sports fans want to prove that they’d be just as good at running a sports team as the people in charge!

Using interactive tools engages fans by allowing them to be part of a wider conversation, as well as sparking conversations with family and friends. If you’re looking for a way to engage your fans over the off-season, why not create a tool on your website that allows them to pick their favourite players of all-time, or compares different eras of the team’s history? That way, you’re creating organic conversations that keep your team in the front of people’s minds, while also driving traffic to your website. It’s a win-win for everyone involved.

2. Use interactive video to help your fans go behind the scenes

Looking to build the profile of your team, and your players? A great way to do this is to showcase the lead-up to a game, and give your fans the opportunity to shape the team narrative. Putting fans in control of which path the player takes by creating a branching (choose-your-own-adventure) interactive video, allows fans to create unique player journeys and deliver an immersive experience. Interactive video allows you to put players’ decisions in the hands of their fans, simulating what it would be like to actually play for the club.

Showcasing all the hard work that players do during the week is also a great way to demonstrate just how much work goes into being a professional athlete. Recording elements of the week like recovery, time spent studying film and workout routines creates a more holistic appreciation for the players on your team and further gives fans an internal view of what it takes to become a professional athlete. Game day is just a small part of an athlete’s job, and interactive video is a great way to remind people of this fact.

3. Use interactive video to sell memberships and merchandise

Is your club looking to sell more memberships to break a record, or showcase a new merchandise range to celebrate an upcoming finals appearance or the new season? Interactive video is a great way to drive membership sales. For example, you could create an interactive video that encourages membership sales with the benefit of entering a raffle to win money-can’t-buy experiences with your club, like meeting their favourite players, or sitting in the coaches’ box for a game. Fans can then be directed to the membership hub on your website directly from the video, making it easier than ever to show their support for the club!

Interactive video also helps clubs to show fans how their membership benefits the club’s success. For example, the South Sydney Rabbitohs created an interactive video to explain how 2020 memberships were helping to build club facilities and enhance player development. By clicking on one of the four options presented, fans got a deeper insight from Rabbitohs CEO Blake Solly on the progress of each of the categories presented, creating a sense of investment for each member. It’s a great way to attract new members, as well as retain members heading into the next season and beyond – and a method that your club can easily replicate.

An example of the benefits of becoming a member of a sporting club. An example of the benefits of becoming a member of a sporting club.

Similarly, shoppable video can be used to showcase your new merchandise range, and allow your audience to be linked directly to the relevant item pages. Whether it’s a new guernsey, hoodies, tshirts, socks and scarfs or any other merchandise opportunities, shoppable video means your fanbase can get kitted out in your team’s colours sooner, rather than having to exit the video and navigate themselves to find the items on the website. Shoppable video not only allows you to shorten the sales cycle, but directly track ROI from your video. You can analyse how much merchandise was sold directly from your video, track your best sellers and turn video production from a cost centre into a profit. Further, it creates an immersive, quick and easy experience for your fans – a great way to raise team spirit!  

An example of how shoppable video can be used to showcase a range of clothing. An example of how shoppable video can be used to showcase a range of clothing.

4. Use the data to help tell the stories your audience wants

Just like on the field, analytics matter. Interactive video allows you to work out what your fanbase is really interested in, so you can cover the topics that they want to learn more about. Interactive video provides information like view rate, completion rate, interaction rate and conversion rate to determine what your audience is interested in, as well as what parts of the club experience piques their interest.

Noticing that your audience wants more interviews with your coaching staff about how players are doing coming back from injury, or playing in the reserves? Create it! Similarly, if your audience wants to hear more directly from your players, you can create that too. Just like you’d scout out an opposition team, or use statistics to help inform team selection, having data about what your audience is watching and engaging with means you’ll put together video content that works for your team. Even if you might not be winning on the field, with the power of interactive video, you’ll be able to create content that emotionally connects with your fans.