Trends Fan Journey Spotlight Fan Engagement

If Not Now; When?

By Jess Westendorf on March 18, 2020
Jess Westendorf

Jess is an experienced sports marketer and journalist who guides FanThreeSixty's social media and content strategy while facilitating impactful conversations to create personalized experiences. She loves the Iowa Hawkeyes, yoga, and Friday nights at the K.

While the world of sports is paused, fans are craving content as a way to fill the void and find a welcomed distraction. Below are some shoutouts to a few teams, leagues and FanThreeSixty clients dominating the game of fan engagement during these quieter times (and for additional resources, check out the fan engagement tips and tricks we recently shared). 

 

ESPN: 

ESPN might not be cancelled (thank goodness), but we can always rely on the network to keep sports content up and running. They have posted everything from throwbacks to updates to funny, wholesome content that brings smiles to fans' when they need it the most. Like how Joel Embiid is spending his birthday with a new hairdo while the NBA is on day five of lockdown, or how Dwayne Wade’s baby is literally all of us deep inside. Either way ESPN is keeping the content coming with some extra laughs along the way. 

 

 

 

United Soccer League (USL): 

Since the USL’s season has been interrupted and delayed until May 10, many of the teams and their players took a different approach to interacting with fans. After showing a very sad mascot, the league encouraged fans to “drop” what they have been up to in the comments which led to Richmond Kickers’ Wahab Ackwei showing off his toilet paper juggling skills. 

 

 

 

NBA (Phoenix Suns): 

The NBA was one of the firsts to postpone the rest of its season due to the coronavirus but that didn’t stop teams from launching creative strategies to keep the fans engaged. The Phoenix Suns turned to technology, playing the games they couldn’t play on the court virtually through NBA2k and streamed on Twitch. 

 

 

While the Suns lost their first game on NBA2k, they won over the NBA fan base—over  221,000 viewers tuned in to watch the game. Following this first-game success, the team then announced that it would continue to play regular season games through the video game.

 

 

 

 

 

TCU Athletics (Men’s Basketball): 

The NCAA was hit hard in the middle of one of its prime seasons. With Conference Championships and March Madness just around the corner, the dreams and goals of playing on that big stage won’t happen this year. But that isn’t stopping programs from sharing their gratitude for the fans and their players. TCU Men’s Basketball program took to Instagram to share the best memories and to thank its players and fans for a great season. 

 

 

And the players who had a season cut short took to social media to thank their coaches, family, friends and fans for their support during. Senior Desmond
Bane was one of many athletes sharing their heartbreak and love for the game with fans.

 

 

 

 

NHL (Vancouver Canucks): 

At this point we are all practicing some type of social distancing or self-isolation to make sure we are doing our part in this situation, but who said it had to be boring? Antoine Roussel plays for the Vancouver Canucks and since the season has been postponed, he took his skates off the ice and to the kitchen with a special guest. 

 

 

 

 

Speedway Motorsports: 

Atlanta Motor Speedway and Texas Motor Speedway both sent out videos expressing disappointment with what was happening in and around the sports industry. They not only shared a heartfelt moment, but they showed and shared optimism towards ticketing questions and excitement for when the races return. 

 

Though these are uncertain times within the sports industry, it is refreshing to see how the sports world is uniting to show appreciation for the fans. We understand the value and importance of sports in our lives, so by teams taking the time to adopt strategies like these, we can look forward to getting back in the stands and cheering on our favorite team—whether that’s one, two or six months from now.

 

 

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