3 Minutes Read By Dr. Stefan Sambol

The digitalized soccer fan: understanding the fan journey

#Digital Strategy#Digital Experience Platform#Digital Transformation#Digitalization#Marketing
Financial data analysis graph

Soccer not only takes place in the stadium, but has also long since become a digital market. In fact, the global sports technology market is expected to reach a size of 55.1 billion US dollars by 2030. It is therefore high time for soccer clubs and leagues to understand how they can engage fans digitally.

Digitalization has significantly changed the business with soccer fans. A digital fan journey (analogous to the customer journey) has formed around the experience of watching a match – be it live or in front of a screen – and has a whole series of digital touchpoints. This fan journey goes far beyond the specific soccer match and the sale of merchandise, as it addresses the entire fan experience and appeals to the sense of belonging among fans. To put it in a nutshell: The soccer experience is being expanded to include a digital level, which is becoming more and more important. But what does this look like in concrete terms?

Phases of the fan journey

  • Pre-season: A fan journey begins not only before the game, but even before the season. This is because fans follow the buying and selling of players with keen interest in the transfer window. The aim in this phase is to build awareness.
  • Before the game: Once the season has started, a lot revolves around the games themselves. Before each game, the aim is to generate buzz in order to turn ordinary spectators into real, committed fans.
  • During the game: This phase is all about creating an immersive experience at live and non-live sporting events. The challenge is to seamlessly transition the digital experience into the physical experience of coming together as fans.
  • After the game: Once the game is over, engagement must be maintained. To do this, interactions with and between fans are encouraged to build long-lasting loyalty and increase customer lifetime value.

Fan engagement through digital technologies

A state-of-the-art direct-to-consumer (D2C) fan platform is essential for fan engagement during all these phases. The possibilities for fan interaction here are wide-ranging: Apart from content, the possibilities of e-sports, digital fantasy sports and over-the-top (OTT) media services can be utilized. Such a D2C platform offers several monetization sources, including ads and in-app purchases, streaming fees and sponsorship deals.

In order to retain fans in the long term, it must be considered that digital offerings must be tailored to today's audience. This means that content must be hyper-personalized and take into account the short attention span of digital natives. In this context, working with influencers can help enormously to achieve engagement and conversion goals.

Learn more in the OMMAX whitepaper "Digitalization in Football Clubs"

By Dr. Stefan Sambol

Contact an expert

Do you want to know more about our expertise? Get in touch!

Industry Insights

The Power of Digital Due Diligence: Assessing Digital Growth Potentials

Digital markets are based on other mechanisms than classic markets. Due diligence analyzes a business's present position and future potential. This [...]

Industry Insights

The perfect Sales Pipeline: A Six-Step Approach

In the dynamic landscape of today's tech-driven business environment, the efficacy of sales processes can either become lucrative cash-generating [...]

Industry Insights

5 lessons learned from over 2000 digital transformation projects

In the fast-paced realm of digital consultancy, where change is constant and innovation is key, the journey of digital transformation is often filled [...]

Industry Insights

The digitalized soccer fan: understanding the fan journey

Soccer not only takes place in the stadium, but has also long since become a digital market. In fact, the global sports technology market is expected [...]

Case Studies

ghd: Scaling digital marketing and sales performance holistically

As an innovative and premium brand for hairstyling products, ghd seeks to provide their customers with an at-home hair salon experience with [...]

Case Studies

DISTRELEC: Assessing digital and commercial readiness and implementing key value creation initiatives

Distrelec is a leading European B2B distributor of electronic and technical components with around 400 employees. Beyond its main markets of [...]

Case Studies

LucaNet: Unlocking marketing and sales efficiency

LucaNet, the market leader in Corporate Performance Management tools, offers certified software for the preparation of financial statements, financial [...]

Case Studies

Klafs: Transferring digitalization potential across the value chain

KLAFS is the leading sauna manufacturer in Europe in the premium segment. In 1952, Erich Klafs delivered the first Erich Klafs Sauna, the first [...]

Sign Up for the Newsletter

Development and Execution of a Customized Digital Growth Strategy