Digital Sport for Fan Engagement

Smartphone on a mapDigital sport for fan engagement is a growth area as sports clubs and players seek to use new technologies to build their brands and reach new audiences. The business of sport is huge. To give some idea of the scale of sport, in 2018, Forbes released a table of the top 50 sports clubs in terms of value. It placed the Dallas Cowboys NFL team top of the pile with a $4.800 billion dollar valuation. This is closely followed by Manchester United on 4.123 billion and Real Madrid on 4.088 billion dollars

This is fuelled by lucrative sponsorship deals and broadcast rights, which are closely linked with digital technologies and fan engagement. Thanks to the triple revolution of fast Internet, smartphones and social media, fans globally are always connected and some scholars would argue they have become hyperdigitalized. The number of smartphone owners in the world is growing swiftly and is expected to rise to 2.5 billion by 2019.

In this series of blog posts, I am going to explore some different topics relating to the primary digital technologies that are used in sport to engage a global audience of fans. I will also try to include some of the challenges and potential solutions for sports clubs and players face for using technologies positively. I have put together the diagram below to show the direction of travel. There is much overlap between the technologies and each is underpinned by data, which is an increasingly valuable resource for clubs and brand building.Digital Sport for Fan Engagement - by Alex FentonIn Part 1, we look at social media use by sports clubs and how clubs and players use social media for fan engagement. Part 2 will cover the use of Virtual and Augmented reality by sports clubs. I hope you enjoy this blog post series on digital sport for fan engagement. As always, drop me a line via social media if you have any thoughts or comments.

Alex Fenton

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