How to engage sports fans in the digital world

How to engage sports fans in the digital world

Engage sports fans with these tips and tools. Learn how to enrich and monetize from sports broadcasting with Live Blog and Live Chat.

Customer Experience

Gui Boechat

Gui Boechat

July 22, 2021

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The boom in online sports media is a two-edged sword for sports broadcasters. On the one side, it is a threat because you have to compete with bloggers, data analysts, and super fans offering their views like Deadspin, Barstool Sports, ESPN, and Bad Jocks. On the flip side, broadcasters have powerful new tools to engage sports fans today.

Enriching sports broadcasting with a Live Blog

A Live Blog is a way to engage fans by providing rapid posts and updates as a game unfolds.

Add live blogging in your sports coverage matters for a few key reasons. Speed is the first reason to include a Live Blog in your sports coverage. If it takes you too long to post expert commentary on scores and players, fans will likely drift away to other channels that give them up to the minute coverage. The ability to engage quickly and easily with fans is the second.

Using a Live Blog matters in sports coverage because it is a fast way to provide coverage. It gives fans a reason to pay attention to you rather than looking at other experts.

Four tips for engaging your fans with a Live Blog

A Live Blog, on its own, will not keep your fans excited to stay interested. It would be best if you had a strategy to keep engaged. Draw from these ideas when you need inspiration to keep your sports audience engaged and following.

1. Provide play by play commentary on the game

Start by closely following the game as it unfolds. Think of your favorite radio and TV sports journalists as role model. Make sure you cover the key developments in the game in your Live Blog.

2. Share short interviews

Commercial breaks, injuries, and other developments sometimes slow down the action in sports. In these cases, share short interviews in your Live Blog. Before the game, interview a few players about their habits and hopes for the game. Share these short Q&A interviews during the game.

3. Explain sports rules

Almost every sport has complex rules designed to guarantee fairness. Sometimes, a dispute over rules can decide the outcome of a game like how many penalty shots a team gets. In your Live Blog, get ready to provide commentary on critical disputes over rules so that even casual fans can understand what’s happening.

4. Pull from the history of sports

Most sports have rich histories that go back decades or longer. Pull out your favorite reference websites and books to share sports history in your Live Blog. For example, if a player sets a new record in the game (e.g., Italy set a new record for final tournament goals in 2021), you can offer a quick blog post on the last person who set the record.

5. Share insights from business of sports

Some sports fans find the business side of sports fascinating. In advance of the game, make notes on important business deals like players signing significant contracts. Forbes reports that the four athletes like soccer stars Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo and Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott earned over $100 million in 2020. Writing a Live Blog on the sports business is a way to deepen your understanding of sports and engage fans.

There is one caveat to keep in mind. When you run a live sports blog, there is a temptation to report every rumor that comes up. If you see a rumor of a potential trade or sponsorship, do your homework to verify the rumor before reporting it.

Talk with your sports audience directly with Live Chat

A Live Blog is a great way to provide up-to-minute live coverage. There’s just one drawback to it – it is more difficult for the audience to join the conversation. There’s a solution to that problem. Add Live Chat to your website so that sports fans can share their comments with you and other fans.

Sports conversations are happening every day around the world – online and offline. By adding Live Chat to your website, you can bring those conversations to your platform. When fans have the opportunity to be heard by their favorite sports broadcasters, they are more likely to stay engaged and loyal to your coverage.

Four tips for connecting with sports fans through Live Chat

When you are first getting started with a sports online chat room, you might not be share how to keep the conversation going. Use the following tips to lead the conversation.

1. Prepare a list of questions to encourage engagement

A well-crafted question is almost impossible to resist! That’s why we recommend asking questions to the audience. For example, you can ask fans if they agree with the coach’s strategy to change players. Alternatively, you might ask fans to share their predictions for a tournament. Preparing at least three to five questions in advance for your Live Chat session is well worth the effort.

2. Ask an assistant to highlight interesting contributions

With Arena Live Chat, you can invite thousands of people to your online chat room. When you have many sports fans sharing their passionate views, keeping up with the commentary may be difficult. First, don’t worry about responding to every comment. Second, ask an assistant to monitor the Live Chat room and pull out interesting questions and comments. By specifically responding to thoughtful comments to feature in your coverage, you will encourage fans to make positive comments.

3. Thank fans for contributing to the Live Chat

As the Live Chat session comes to an end, take the time to thank fans for contributing. When possible, make your thanks specific. Consider calling out a few specific chat room comments that made your life or made you think. This kind of public recognition may help bring back passionate sports fans on your next Live Chat session.

4. Keep the trolls out

Like it or not, some people are troublemakers in the online world. Fortunately, sports broadcasters don’t have to worry about security and riots. But disrespectful comments and profanity are still problems that need to be managed. Arena Live Chat includes features to control your trolls quickly and painlessly. Arena Live Chat also includes a feature to automatically detect and block profanity – a key feature when fans get upset!

Two Steps To Getting Started With Arena

Your choice at this point is simple. Step one: decide whether you want to start with Live Chat or Live Blog. Step two: sign up for a free Arena trial to see how live chatting and live blogging work for your fans.

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