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From ‘nice to have’ to ‘must have’: digital remote fan solutions will drive the sponsorship in the next season

For more than a decade, social media and mobile technology have presented powerful communication tools for sport teams and athletes to connect with fans, and have also proven to be pivotal around the activation of brand partnerships. Now the movement towards digital is accelerating faster than ever before.

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In recent months the broadcasters and clubs have relied heavily on archival and virtual content to keep their fans engaged. There has also been a market rise in the number of social-viewing activations of this kind, with some sports teams putting fans at the center of the conversation in a more deliberate way. As second-screen viewing experiences also become increasingly popular, such activations demonstrate how rights holders and clubs are attempting to capture digital audiences during live events by leveraging the users’ appetite for mobile content. As these solutions were extremely popular, many industry experts agree that the turning point is here: due to the pandemic and the constant restrictions, digital elements previously thought to be a comfortable, marginal feature of business now become a must-have road to take .

LESSONS LEARNED: YOUNGER AUDIENCE LOVE THE SECOND-SCREEN MOBILE CONTENTS AND ACTIVATION

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Resumptions to major competitions like the Premier League, Spain’s LaLiga, Italy’s Serie A and Germany’s Bundesliga have come as a welcome boost for broadcasters, with all four leagues attracting higher viewership  during their return to play. The demand for quality sports content is as huge as before, but the way of engagement is rapidly changing.

Brand activations have played an increasingly prominent role so far, but with the cancellation of on-site experience the process turned almost entirely for digital and remote solutions. A recent study from the global sports marketing agency Octagon showed that these elements had a vital part in keeping engaged especially younger sports fans. More than 82% of them between the ages of 18 and 29 have continued to engage in sports-related activities during the pandemic, which include everything from watching classic games on TV to following athletes on social media. The results of the survey also showed that 43% of this group claimed to be more loyal to sponsors that are continuing to promote sports during the pandemic compared to just 29% of those older than the age of  29.

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Second-screen communication and entertainment is a ‘must have’ for every stakeholder in sport industry

The authors of the study highlighted that through sports sponsorships, the digital developments have created even greater loyalty among younger consumers to the clubs and the brands sponsoring the teams they love. With the absence of live sports digital content had the chance to step in spotlight ad show it’s magic, and those who adopted and continuously do so in this area, can earn permanent competitive advantage on the market.

WHAT REALLY BRINGS VALUE FOR THE SPONSORS: FAN-GENERATED, MODERATED, BRANDED SOCIAL MEDIA CONTENT

The above facts are underlining that in order to keep revenue streams and cash flow alive, creative digital campaigns are crucial for right holders. With Seyu, clubs can expand their marketing portfolio with 8 additional commercial platforms, directly reaching fans in front of their TVs home or in pubs. Our partners can tailor their sponsorship strategies based on analytical reports (including ROI analyses) that we deliver for them by extracting information from fan selfies such as the popularity of merchandise, consumer behavior or even supporter chants likeability. In the same time Seyu takes the risk out of user generated content (UGC) for sport industry partners and allows them to share moderated, high-engaging, fan-generated, branded social media content on their platforms.

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DEVELOPING EMOTIONAL CONNECTION BETWEEN THE SPONSORS AND FANS

Another very important aspect of Seyu’s service is that partners can display sponsor content throughout our service, accompanying fans every step of the way during the real-time (!) euphoric, emotional experience of being displayed on the LED screens in front of their favourite stars around the world. The emotional bond that the fans unconsciously develop with the brands that provided them the experience of their lifetime, could hardly be matched by any other currently available marketing solution and conducted on a mass-scale like Seyu does. Thanks to the emotions that supporters have with their photos, Seyu selfies deliver extraordinary organic social media engagement and reach. Our study shows that Seyu fan photos deliver an average 320% more engagement than any other photos shared from the same sport event. These studies also provided us with the insights that 22k Seyu selfies generated 130k engagement in 18 months, thanks to which our partners reached an additional 2.6 million consumers via our channel on the Hungarian market.

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BUNDLED OFFERS, CREATIVE SOLUTIONS WILL DRIVE THE MARKET IN THE NEW SEASON

Building on data and remote fan involvement will be especially important when introducing the new kits, as if matches behind closed doors will remain for the start of the season, the festive mood will be absent, and the demand for jerseys offering significant revenue  may decrease. If, however, a fan can be involved through a selfie in the stadium wearing the new jersey of his/her beloved team, the marketing message gets more attention, sales numbers turn out better, and the club will able to bring real business value for one of their main partner, the kit manufacturer too.

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Although fans will miss the opportunity to wear the jersey in the stadiums, clubs can create a safe, real-time platform with Seyu for fans to exhibit their new jerseys and through limited bundled offers increase sales. * Image is for illustration purpose only

With our real-time, proven and easy to implement technology we are able to provide our service on multiple platforms, so the players can see the supporter photos on matchdays in the changing rooms, players’ tunnels, mixed zone, perimeter boards and giant screens, providing a whole matchday service for the club and also to the fans. Our 150+ events proven technology is easily implementable for partners without any burden on them for IT infrastructure redevelopment.

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