Teams are investing big money into improving fan experience at sporting events, but the secret may lie in a solid social strategy

Consumers spent nearly $56 billion to attend live sporting events in 2017 — that includes tickets, transportation, food, and beverages, according to a poll. In days gone by, when you bought tickets to a game, you went to see a game. Today, with rising ticket prices and plenty of reasons to enjoy the game from home, fans expect more — they’re paying for the entire experience.

Social Media- Improving Fan Experience at Sporting Events: The Kick-Off GuideImproving fan experience at sporting events is a huge priority for leagues and teams of all sizes and skill levels across the country. They’re investing big money into technology integration, gourmet food options, flashy performers, and better parking facilities.

It’s social media, though, that can tie all of these things together to create a more interactive, memorable experience for fans.

The role of social media in improving fan experience at sporting events

We live in an age where it’s not enough to have a good time at an event, party, or restaurant. You want to have a good time and tell your friends all about it while it’s happening. Luckily, user-generated content is one of the most influential forms of marketing — and it’s silly for your sports team to skip out on it.

Social media plays an integral part in improving fan experience at sporting events because it brings people together (even in an 80,000-seat stadium), makes fans feel like their voices are heard, and keeps them engaged during breaks in the game.

Display social posts from your fans in real-time! Everwall is made to handle large volumes of social posts at stadium events, with filters to keep the content family-friendly. Start building your social wall today!

Get a hashtag strategy in place to manage conversations

Hashtag- Improving Fan Experience at Sporting Events: The Kick-Off GuideDepending on how popular your team is, you may have a hashtag your fans are already using across social media. However, consider an event-specific hashtag that fans could use when they’re posting live from your game. Hashtags provide an easy way for people who are all interested in the same topic to interact (and make it easier for you to monitor fan sentiment).

When you’re improving fan experience at sporting events using hashtags, Instagram and Twitter tend to be the best options. There is another way, though, to bring hashtagged conversations to the next level during live events — building a social media wall using Everwall.

We can help you create a customized social wall to broadcast live on a massive screen in your stadium, park, or arena. Instead of all your fans looking down at their phones during a game, they’ll be looking up to watch the live social feed and get engaged. You can define what you want to show on your social wall by choosing hashtags, keywords, phrases, or @users. Post announcements and share the real-time results of Twitter and Instagram polls. Use the leaderboard to showcase the top contributors on your social wall, igniting a little healthy competition that extends beyond the field and into the stands.

How to make the experience more fun with social media games or contests

Some of the fans at your sporting event will engage with you on social media no matter what, but some need a friendly push to get going. Contests and games are an easy, fun way to get more event attendees to follow your social media accounts and elevate their experience during the game.

Here are a few ways you can get creative:

VIP- Improving Fan Experience at Sporting Events: The Kick-Off Guide1. Announce on your social wall that you’re giving away a VIP upgrade.

To enter, the fan must use your sporting event hashtag on Twitter and tell you why they deserve the upgrade.

2. Have a selfie contest via Instagram.

The fan has to take a selfie of themselves (or their group), post it on IG, and use the event hashtag. Randomly select a winner to get four free tickets to another game.

3. Get your concession stand’s “famous” dish in the picture.

For example, Fenway Franks are always on the menu for Boston Red Sox fans. Have fans post photos on Instagram or Twitter of them eating that food at the game and tell them to use the event hashtag. Choose your favorite photo and reward them with one free serving of that food at each game for the rest of the season.

That way, you may get them to come to more games than they were initially planning to — and, as a bonus, all the food photos might make other fans hungry and push them to spend money at the concession stand.

Don’t worry if you can’t think of a ton of unique, different ideas for games or contests. With social media, your goal should be to keep it as simple as possible. Remember, these folks are still at a live sporting event and watching the game. You want to enhance their experience, but not completely dominate it.

Keep fans informed and watch your branding efforts come to life with Everwall. For folks at home, you can even embed the feed on your team’s website. Start building your social wall today!