8 Great Ways to Keep Fans Engaged During the Off-Season
Once the season winds down, keeping your fans engaged might seem like mission impossible. Using past accomplishments and the greatest moments from the matches is one way to keep your fans engaged but there are a few more tactics that you can try to stay top of mind with your fans.
Eight Creative Ways to Stay Relevant During the Off-Season
In this post, we’ll share eight ways to keep your fans engaged with your website during the off-season.
1. Capture Fans Wearing Your Team’s Merchandise
Some fans may only wear your team’s merchandise during the season, but some may wear it year round to show their dedication and support for their favorite team. Use everyday moments to be on the lookout for fans wearing your gear and snap their photo.
You can then share the photo on your website and surprise them with a pair of free tickets for the season ahead.
Once you start posting those types of photos, turn it into a contest and invite others to join in, your fans will be more than likely to pull their jerseys, hats or both from their closet and wear them for a chance to score a pair of free tickets. This not only gets your fans engaged but it also gives you free marketing so it’s a win-win situation.
For example, the Milwaukee Brewers have an entire section on their website dedicated to fans where they can participate in contests and get involved with their team.
2. Engage Local Businesses
In a similar fashion, you can ask local businesses, especially those you’d like to partner with, to send photos of their company staff wearing your team’s colors, gear, or using any of your other merchandise.
Post their photos on social media and on your website and surprise them with a delivery of their lunch, a basket of fruit, or bagels paid for you by your team.
3. Get Involved With School Spirit Week
Another great way to stay top of mind and pique interest in potential new recruits is to get involved with school spirit week. Try to arrange a visit for your team and talk to students about the benefits of being physically active and involved with sports, share training strategies, as well as advice on monitoring their progress.
You can also try to establish a connection between sports and science to encourage participation even from kids who aren’t sports fans (yet!). Another idea is to discuss on-trend topics that may not be directly related to sports but do offer guidance that will help students navigate life a little easier.
As an incentive, you can invite the students to come to participate in your training session or offer them a discounted season pass for their class.
4. Keep the Conversation Going on Social Media
During the off-season, stay active on social media by listening to what your fans are talking about and engaging in the conversation with them. This will help you understand what your fans care about, which in turn makes it easier to develop a solid marketing strategy.
Once you understand what makes your audience tick, you can create more content around those topics or find ways to get involved and contribute to the same cause.
5. Keep Fans Up to Date With a Blog
You can also create a roundup post every month that highlights what you’re team has been doing that month and share it on your blog.
In the example below, Tampa Bay Buccaneers have done just that with their overview of how they are getting involved in the community.
6. Keep Tabs on Other Sports Teams in the Area
If you lack inspiration for what to post on social media and how to engage your fans across your entire online presence, consider taking a look at other sports teams in your area or in the same sport.
Keep in mind that off-season doesn’t happen to you alone so other sports teams are trying to keep their fans engaged just like you. Take a peek at their social media accounts and see what they’re sharing. Visit their website and see what was recently posted on their blog.
The idea is to see what drives engagement for them and then put your own unique spin on it. For example, if you see another team sharing their practice sessions, is there a way for you to incorporate them into your social media strategy or can you post them on your website?
7. Share Sports Related News
It may be the off-season but that doesn’t mean that nothing happens in the sports world. Big players are probably busy getting ready for the next season but they may also welcome new members to their team or create new merchandise for their fans.
Consider creating a Twitter list with some of the most popular teams in your sports niche and regularly share their news. You can also add sports reporters to that list as well as individual athletes and share their content.
This shows that you stay on top of current trends and it also helps you establish valuable relationships that can come in handy during the regular sports season. Once you start sharing other people’s content, they will be more inclined to check out your profile and even follow you in return which makes it easier to strike up a conversation and get your content shared in front of more people.
8. Take Advantage of Fun Holidays
There is no doubt that holidays are the perfect opportunity for you to connect with your fans and even organize a holiday sale. Aside from getting involved with the usual holidays, consider showing off your humorous side by participating in fun holidays such as National Pancake Day or National Say Something Nice Day.
Share photos of your team celebrating, share recipes for holidays like the Pancake day, ask for recommendations or use the holidays as an excuse to throw a neighborhood or community barbeque and invite fans and community members to register on your website as guests. You can also organize a potluck and encourage the community to post on your website what they’re bringing.
Engage Your Fans During the Off-Season With These Tips
Keeping your fans engaged during the off-season may seem daunting but it’s easier than you think when you think outside the box. Use the tips above as an inspiration, download our cheatsheet that lists them all, and come up with even more creative ways to keep your fans engaged with your site and with your team even during the off-season.