10 Ways to Engage Fans at Sporting Events with Text Messages

According to the Guinness Book of World Records, the record for largest attendance at a sporting event was 12 million spectators at the 2012 Tour de France. In fact, it’s worth noting that all of the major attendance records were set prior to 2020.

Why? Because the Covid-19 pandemic changed the way people view large gatherings. This has posed a serious challenge for sports teams, as fan engagement at live events helps teams perform better and provides the revenue to keep operations going.

Fortunately, SMS text messaging offers a dynamic way to connect with fans. With better deliverability and response rates than other communication channels, it can help you gain ground in a post-Covid world.

Build Engagement with SMS Text Messaging

When fans buy tickets, snag their favorite merchandise in the team store, and order food your bottom line remains healthy. Your best opportunity to connect with fans on an emotional level and make the commitment to put down the remote control is to provide an in-person experience at games that simply can’t be replicated.

“The sooner sport realizes that it is an entertainment industry and embraces this fact, the easier the road to recovery will be,” says sporting industry analyst Conrad Wiacek. “The audiences are still there, and the emotional resonance sport provides will never change, but understanding how the audience wants to interact with sports is crucial for building a sustainable business model moving forward. Here we are now, entertain us.”

SMS Marketing Provides a New Dynamic

As you search for new ways to engage with fans at events, automated text messages can provide a powerful boost. Did you know that the average open rate for texts is 98%? By comparison, emails only have a 20% open rate.

More importantly for fan engagement during events, texts get a response within 90 seconds on average. These types of rapid reactions enable you to do more real-time entertainment that gives fans an active role in the entertainment.

Let’s look at 10 ideas for using a comprehensive text messaging platform to bring your next sporting event to life:

  1. Integrate with your efforts to sell more tickets and generate more revenue. Ahead of time, fans can be alerted to any special discounts, new promotions, or time changes. In game, ask fans to text “Team” to 12345 so that a ticket rep can be in touch about a season ticket plan.
  2. Engage your highest value season ticket holders and luxury suites/box owners with additional messaging and special events focused on them, such as visits with former players who are in attendance.
  3. Send out a one-time code for 15% off any item in the team store. You could even tie this promotion to the game by making the code specific to buying the jersey of whichever player was recently recognized with a weekly award or the newest design, including applicable images.
  4. Send out traffic updates either before the game or in the final quarter with suggestions for the most efficient ways for fans to navigate congestion to get to the venue and then back home more easily.
  5. If you have a white out game or some other theme, notify fans ahead of time to make sure they wear the proper colors to boost overall effect.
  6. In game emergencies related to weather events or other hazards in the area can be communicated to increase safety and decrease uncertainty.
  7. Announce that there will be a special food item offered at concession stands during the game.
  8. During halftime, send out a message with expert analysis of the first half’s action. These insights could come from your team’s media professionals or even from the coaching staff.
  9. Near the end of the game, allow fans to vote on the MVPs. Display the winners on the video displays and then post to your social platforms.
  10. Send Draft Day Party details and communication notifying fans as draft picks made, including immediate quotes about the player.

Sports team texting

Automated Text Messages for Business within Overall Strategy

Your fans will always engage more intensely and for longer when you integrate your in-game texting into broader campaigns you’re running. You could text out an entry link during a game tied to an existing score-based contest. Not only would you be flooded with interest, but fans would then have even more emotional investment in the game.

You’ll always see better results when using this type of hybrid and immersive approach. If you’re seeking fan-generated content to create highlight reels or promo videos, don’t just put the resulting video on your website. Make sure it’s promoted on all your social channels, so that fans can scour your posts looking for the possible appearance of their content. Those who are featured are likely to enthusiastically share the posts with their friends and family.

Simplicity and Savings through Integrations

A truly native integration is your pathway to eliminate development costs and hassles while connecting directly into your CRM platform. TrueDialog offers native integrations with Salesforce, Eloqua, Microsoft Dynamics, and other leading platforms. You enjoy a seamless experience that can begin as soon as your account is activated. SMS texting campaigns can be deployed as simply as traditional email promotions.

Refine Marketing with an Automated Text Messages Platform

Gone are the days of simply throwing content out into the world and hoping it sticks. With a platform like TrueDialog, you’re able to schedule texts ahead of time and then carefully track performance. Available data includes:

  • Number of responses
  • SMS-related clicks (CTR)
  • Timestamps
  • Link tracking, available through Eloqua

When a campaign excels, you’ll be able to identify what made it successful and then replicate those elements in the future. For texts that underperform, you can get under the hood to find out where problems exist to improve future sends. As fans feel stronger emotional reactions to your campaigns, they’re more likely to take action. This is where true loyalty is born.

Affordable Excellence

The industry expectation is for a texting platform that plug into third-party APIs, but that adds to the cost and delivers a lesser customer experience. Just as sports teams embrace the importance of competitive edges, TrueDialog took a different route to provide you with the highest performance and value. We built direct carrier connections, removing obstacles to your text campaigns, giving you more functionality, and saving you money. A truly native integration– which TrueDialog features with Salesforce, Eloqua, Microsoft Dynamics, and other leading CRM platforms– allows for greater ease of use without development costs.

The final score? A Five-Star Rated Enterprise-Grade SMS Platform that is the best in the industry.

Ready to give the best text messaging platform a closer look? Just schedule a demo with us. You’ll be able to learn about the user-friendly platform and how we can help you take your team’s marketing efforts to the next level.