To understand fans we must understand identification and passion.
Identification. Highly involved fans identify with properties (teams, players, entertainers) because fans find them attractive in some meaningful way. We identify ourselves with others (universities, teams, individuals, and even brands) because we believe it says something positive about us to others. We gain social acceptance. We identify with winners and we avoid losers, unless we can think of some other reason being a loser isn't so bad. For the highly identified fan, what happens to the team feels like it's happening to the fan--so some part of the experience needs to feel good for the fan to continue being a fan.
Passion & consumption. When a fan identifies with a property, the property becomes the object of a passion that consumes the fan's heart, soul, mind, and, ultimately, time. And time means money. Passionate fans spend time consuming media (TV, radio, print, websites, social networks, mobile data), meeting with other passionate fans at the game, bar, tailgate, or house, and buying merchandise to demonstrate to others how passionate they are. How else do you explain the Twilight phenomenon or Game of Thrones fanatics?
We prefer Game of Zones.
Read more in Chapter 2
Chapter 3: Customer Relationship Management
Marketers segment markets on the basis of demographic, geographic, psychographic, and behavioral variables. Individual customers with similar attributes and needs are grouped into segments. The firm targets those segments that best match the firm’s objectives and resources given the competitive environment, typically investing resources in mass media such as newspapers, magazines, radio or television.
While marketers of sports and entertainment work under these same basic principles, the process has shifted from relatively static marketing planning models (year-to-year plans) to include more dynamic customer relationship management (CRM) models that quickly adapt to changing customer states and behaviors that can result in day-to-day or even second-by-second adjustments. As teams understand that they can precisely tailor the marketing mix to meet the needs of the different target markets through interactive network programs, they can creatively produce more profitable results.
Ideally, online campaigns targeting individual fans become viral in nature. Venture capitalist Steve Jurvetson first referred to viral marketing as “network-enhanced word-of-mouth.” If individuals receive electronic communications with obvious personal benefits, they will spontaneously pass the information on to others. The benefits of viral marketing may be economic, social,or emotional in nature. Combining all three provides excellent motivation to pass the message on to others. Attractive offers, for instance, often provide a price deal (economic) to enjoy a sporting event (emotional) with another person (social).
Chapter 4: Data Analytics
Warning: This chapter contains many statistical methods.
In the context of sports marketing, data analytics is the science of examining data using statistical methods and models to confirm, explain, or predict attitudes and behaviors of fans. Sports marketers are typically interested in predicting which fans are most likely to buy season tickets, attend games, consume media, support sponsors, and buy team-related merchandise.