How to use sports fan loyalty to drive your business
There is no loyalty equivalent to that of sports fans. There’s something about sports that can bring people together like nothing else. Fans are proud, they are loud, they are fiercely loyal and most importantly, they are not alone. Where there is one face-painted fan, you can be sure that there is a whole stadium full of them not too far away. That’s because sports don’t only give us something to be loyal to and support—it gives us all an identity. While we all identify with different characteristics and aspects of ourselves, the identity that comes from a favorite team is one that makes us feel like we are part of something that is greater than ourselves. It’s important that local business owners don’t miss the opportunity to use this fierce devotion to drive business and garner support from the community. How can you do it? Here are some easy, effective ways you can get started!
Become part of the identity. People say that opposites attract, but the truth is that when you form new relationships, friendships and partnerships, you probably look for common interests in order to avoid a future falling out. The same is true when trying to connect with members of your community. Customers are most likely to keep coming back if they see that there is some kind of common interest between you and them. What better way to bridge the gap than to show your support for the team everyone in your city wants tickets to see? All season long, Valero corner stores in San Antonio offered a free cup of coffee every morning after a Spurs win. By the time the Spurs won the championship, Valero had already been largely associated with their support of the team. Offering free coffee drove traffic through their stores and most people ended up actually purchasing items instead of just grabbing their victory beverage. If you’re not in a position where you’re ready to start offering free treats, don’t worry. You can still become part of the identity by visually showing support. Hang flags or banners inside your business or paint the windows in your community’s team colors.
Let your loyalty be seen. Social media is a great way to let your community know that you stand behind the same team that they do. If Fridays are spirit shirt days at your business, snap a photo of everyone sporting their team gear and post it on your business’ Facebook, Twitter and Instagram sites. If you’re not connected via social media, don’t miss out a second longer. Make your business’ social media accounts today. If even one member of your team makes it out to a game, post that online, too! The more your community sees you supporting the team, the better.
Sponsor a school or community team. What do you do when the house is divided? If your business is not located somewhere with a major league sports team or if support for major teams widely varies in your town, sponsoring a widely supported high school football or basketball team can do a world of good. You’ll gain support from teachers, school board members, parents and a large part of the community—especially if you’re based in a small town. You may spend a few hundred dollars to sponsor the team or an individual player, but in return your business’ logo will be put on t-shirts, programs and in-game advertisements. In addition, the team you sponsor will keep coming back through your doors again and again.
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About Ben Hubbert
Benjamin Hubbert, President of Champion AC, is a former USAF Combat Controller (12 years, 4 Tours), who has now committed to helping San Antonio reduce our community’s demands on the energy grid. Ben brings an innovative perspective to marketing and customer service. He ensures that Champion AC is a household name, educating the public with…