How to Maximise Fan Engagement and Boost Merchandise Sales

How to Maximise Fan Engagement and Boost Merchandise Sales

Sports supporters are known to be the most dedicated of any fan-base, but – unlike with many industries – it’s notoriously difficult to gain new customers (once a Man Utd fan always a Man Utd fan right?) When this is the case, it’s more important than ever to know how to engage your existing fan base, boost merchandise sales and maximise the lifetime value of each customer.

But how?” You ask. Well, just carry on reading to find out (I won’t keep you long.)

The goldmine that is digital data

Understanding the behavior of your fans can be an extremely valuable way to build long-lasting relationships with them. A consumer’s digital footprint is like a goldmine waiting to be tapped and now that a huge amount of social interaction is played out digitally, it is important to leverage this data to understand the needs, wants, behaviour and interests of your supporters.

Get to know their match (or game) day routine 

One way to better engage your fans and supporters is to get to know what they do and where they go on a typical match day. Do they mostly tend to go for lunch at a nearby chain pub or do they grab a coffee and check in with a picture? Understanding their routine can help you build relationships with establishments that play a key role in your customers’ behaviour and leverage this with exclusive offers to help reinforce this routine as enjoyable, affordable and convenient enough to be their go-to Saturday (or whichever day.)


Identify their favourite players

You clearly know their favourite team but who in particular makes them want to go to a match that much more? Who’s signature would they want on their merchandise? Armed with this knowledge you can accurately personalise marketing for tickets and merchandise rather than base it on assumptions derived from who ‘most people’ like or which player has the most followers on Twitter.

Increase merchandise sales

All of the above can certainly help to increase merchandise sales but there is a way to go even further by identifying key events and occasions in people lives that may act as an opportunity to buy. Are there any upcoming birthdays? A new family member? A stag do? Understand their spending behaviour with predicted date-of-pay, positive life events and location can help you to target more specifically to those fans that have a higher likelihood of conversion at the optimum time. And it isn’t just merchandise sales that this can help with – knowing if a supporter is travelling to Barcelona for a stag do or a group holiday at the same time as his team are playing over there acts as a clear opportunity to encourage them to go.

It isn’t enough to rely on the enthusiasm and loyalty of your fans anymore, in a day and age where there are so may options of what to do on a Saturday, or when watching a game is easier than ever with the internet at your fingertips, converting occasional attenders into season ticket holders, and maximising merchandise sales is essential to remain profitable.


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