Ever wondered why fans go to live sports events? You may think it’s the thrill of experiencing a game in action. Or perhaps, the entertainment people get at the event.
But the reason is a lot different than what you may think.
According to research, "89% of fans said that being able to relax and enjoy live sports events is what drives them to these events. Whereas only 35% of fans go for the enrichment, and only 45% of fans show up for a sense of belonging to a team".
So, it’s not the sports that drive fans to stadiums, but the experience they get there. This makes paying attention to the fan experience essential for sports organizations. And with the arrival of live sports streaming on mobile devices and live sports updates, it has become more essential.
This leads to the question: how can sports businesses ensure exceptional fan experience, so they keep showing up?
There are three factors that can improve the fan experience.
Read on to know about these factors and how can you create a mind-boggling experience for your fans:
1. Too much waiting
It’s no secret that nobody likes to wait. Whether you are at a local grocery store’s checkout counter or live sports event, you will most likely want to avoid a long queue and look for an easy way to get out or in.
So, why would your fans like to wait at your sports events? Fans easily get frustrated with long concession ordering lines and inefficient traffic flow management at sports venues. And the numbers back this frustration. According to a survey, almost 74% of fans want a concession ordering app to avoid queues at a sports event.
Similarly, a report by the University of Florida shows that 42% of fans want better parking facilities at sports venues to speed up traffic and minimize congestion.
This is understandable, considering that 89% of fans show up at live sports events to release themselves and experience the atmosphere and excitement of the game. And waiting for a considerable amount of time, which can sometimes turn into hours, doesn’t really lead to a pleasant and eventful experience.
So, what can sports businesses do to ensure fans don’t have to wait in lines? They can first implement strategies to ensure a smooth flow of traffic, so there are shorter lines at the entry and exit points. Similarly, they can adopt a concession food ordering app that allows fans to order food using their mobile devices, so they never have to stand in long food ordering lines.
Another important factor that prevents fans from heading to a live sports event is the cost of everything that leads to a fun-filled, relaxing fan experience. Think about the cost of the ticket, food, parking, merchandise, and other things that fans pay for at the event. These costs add up and play a vital role in the overall fan experience.
65% of fans acknowledged that buying food & beverage is based on “impulse.” and 53% for food and 53% for beverages of infrequent purchasers said cost deters them from purchasing more food and beverage respectively.
An additional $20 is the amount that US fans, on average, said they would spend for food & beverage if only the wait times were cut in half. That represents a 42% increase in typical expenditure (per party, per game).
While sports businesses cannot cut down costs overnight to improve the fan experience, they can better price their tickets and other services and reduce operational costs by adopting new technology that streamlines workflows and automates repetitive tasks. They can also collect the fans' feedback and opinion on the ideal pricing for their services and products through fan experience tools and programs.
3. Uncomfortable viewing experience
Under this factor comes issues such as the location and quality of the screen, the quality, and size of the seats, the management of fans exhibiting inappropriate behaviors during the game, and many others.
Addressing issues related to the viewing experience is a daunting and pretty expensive task. After all, updating the infrastructure requires a huge investment, and it can’t happen overnight. Still, many sports businesses are paying attention to it, giving their stadiums a complete facelift to improve the viewing experience.
Businesses that can offer fans a better viewing experience will certainly stay ahead of their competitors and deliver exceptional fan experiences every time. But, of course, it’s highly unlikely to give each venue such an expensive upgrade on a whim. For example, AI-based technology from companies such as WSC Sports automatically produces eye-catching video highlight content from live sports that can be shared immediately.
Fan experience is the primary reason that fans come back to live sports events. If sports organizations fail to deliver a pleasant experience, they may risk losing their fans, and eventually, their business.
To ensure that fans’ expectations of live sports events are met, businesses should pay attention to reducing the waiting time, gathering fans’ feedback on the pricing of products and services, and upgrading their infrastructure to improve the viewing experience.
If you are looking to measure and optimize personalized fan experiences, then Dropthought can certainly help!
Dropthought is a user-friendly, omnichannel, and real-time fan experience management platform. We empower companies in different verticals to create delightful experiences for fans across their journey. Get detailed analysis and insights from data to exactly know what your customers think and what actions you need to take to delight them.
With a dedicated customer success team, we would ensure that you are optimizing your Fan Experience programs and strategies to create great experiences!
Learn more by simply clicking here.