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Focusing on the fans

How digital can deliver enhanced fan experiences to drive loyalty, revenue and high performance.

Overview

The digital revolution is having an impact on live events in two key ways:

  • Live events are one of the fastest growing media online

  • Digital technologies are changing how sports and entertainment brands can create experiences for fans, before during and after an event

In the digital era, activities to create an enhanced fan experience can now take place across a whole range of channels. Using digital opens the possibilities of extending and augmenting relationships across sports and entertainment brands to forge deeper and richer experiences to keep fans coming back for more.

In this Accenture Digital Services point of view we examine some of the ways that digital is creating new opportunities for rights holders, how some are already taking advantage and we examine the operational, technical and commercial capabilities that will be increasingly important to achieve enhanced fan experiences in the digital era.

Background

While rights for big ticket events and sporting fixtures remain the preserve of the largest broadcasters, rights holders are beginning to explore new ways to monetize events and related activities through other digital channels. Recent live events online have captured record audiences, and brought the power of online as a live channel into focus.

In addition, developments in digital technology are changing how brands and sporting franchises are able to communicate with fans, tapping into their demand for relevant information, products and services facilitating an end-to-end fan experience. Venues are adapting to digital technology too. The whole experience of attending an event can be improved and augmented with digital communications. Those applications range from enhanced fan safety to live data analysing events unfolding on the field.

Recommendations

The technical demands of delivering successful live events online, to any device, reliably and at the right level of quality are considerable. Capturing and streaming events live requires rights owners either to acquire the necessary capabilities at speed and scale or to investigate partnerships or acquisitions that can provide the technical resources and know-how they need to create and deliver services that will meet fans’ high expectations.

Building and maintaining successful relationships with fans breaks into distinct stages. Each requires the execution of specific operational and commercial activities:

  • Fan relationship management – requiring excellent CRM and marketing capabilities

  • Organizational and operational excellence to support the highest possible standards of technical delivery and commercial returns as efficiently and effectively as possible

  • Active rights management to ensure that a portfolio of rights is managed effectively to balance the requirements of critical commercial relationships with the many different options for monetizing rights online