What defines a die-hard sports fan? Flying the team colors? Never missing a game? Questionable body and face paint? The hallmarks of dedication prove that love of a game and its players is rarely tied to a stadium or to the score. In fact, only about 1% of sports fans attend an athletic event live in a given year.1 Devotion isn’t measured by in-person experiences alone; the fabric of fandom is woven by individual moments when fans feel deeply connected to their teams and favorite players.
While the world’s greatest athletes seem superhuman, they need belonging and community like all people—and many say authentic connection is largely missing from their fan interactions. Up until now, fan engagement has consisted of standing in line for hours for a few seconds of face time, an awkward exchange, and an autograph. Or interacting on social media platforms where the experience is unpredictable, shrouded in anonymity, and rarely meaningful.
Pandemic-era empty arenas and canceled games were eye opening in the world of sports, forcing examination of a business model built on packed venues and TV license revenue. Teams and athletes had long focused on engaging fans during game days or big events, and the pandemic pause forced a reexamination: What role did they play in fans’ lives? How could they more meaningfully interact, regardless of the season or state of play?
1 REVEL Moments market research
When tech meets human ingenuity
Enter REVEL Moments—a live storytelling platform that connects athletes to fans for intimate, moderated online events. The REVEL concept originated in conversations focused around reinventing the fan experience and the founders quickly realized this model would thrive as a standalone platform, serving a diverse set of organizations and players. They came to Accenture Song to bring the dream to life, knowing no other single partner could stand up the technology to support dynamic video and web3-fueled social commerce, develop the product roadmap, and bring the entire platform online at the speed required to capitalize on current market relevance.
The Song team’s product design exploration initially offered 60 distinct types of experiences REVEL could bring to market that helped shape the core offering and ensure relevance. And as REVEL’s development partner, Accenture Song offers ongoing support of the core platform and service itself, across leading technologies that quickly enabled and will continually improve REVEL’s commerce, video engagement, and enriched Web3.0 capabilities, while Song’s marketing strategy, commerce capabilities, and customer acquisition intelligence underpin company’s business ambitions as a leader in social commerce.
The REVEL Moments concept is life-centric by design, providing a relaxed digital environment for players to be themselves and giving fans the experience of sitting down in their living rooms, having a natural conversation. REVEL content is built on fan-inspired storytelling, allowing deep human insight and market demand to tailor each athlete’s unique content. By engaging fans in the creative process, allowing them to upvote experiences and provide questions and topics for discussion, REVEL bakes relevance into every interaction and shines a light on players as human beings. The athlete refines the storyline, contributes additional ideas, and collaborates on a final run of show.
REVEL offers an innovative event pricing platform, balancing fans’ personal value of the experience with their ability to pay, through a “Name your Price” tool. Built with a scalable Web3.0 strategy, every event ticket is a non-fungible token (NFT), which will include a collectible image in the form of original art or a photograph outside public domain. Over time, these tickets will bring enhanced utility through smart contracts offering benefits and perks—early access to future events and merch drops or sneak peeks at pre-game locker room talk.
A valuable difference
Sellouts and redemptions
REVEL Moments launched in early 2022 and is already working with Roc Nation Sports, Priority Sports, VaynerSports, Valiant Sports, QC Sports, the Detroit Pistons and the Chicago Sky of the WNBA. They’ve recently formed a strategic partnership with Major League Baseball’s Players Association and their 1200 members, with plans to expand to other global sports in the latter half of 2022. In its infancy, the company experienced unbridled enthusiasm, with an impressive 80% of pitches ending in a “Yes” from players and teams, demonstrating dominant marketplace relevance and resonance with players and fans alike.
Current, former, and future inspirational athletes find a home for connection and community inside REVEL Moments. WNBA up-and-comer Evina Westbrook recently shared her story—talking mental health and balance, her mom as her biggest fan, and a childhood spent playing with the boys. Following his first REVEL Moments experience, a Hall of Fame baseball player wished he could spend time daily on the platform, saying in his 30 years in the public eye, he felt chronically misunderstood. And NBA player Cassius Winston’s REVEL experience—an event that sold out in 15 hours with a waitlist of more than 350 fans—gave him the opportunity to say thank you and goodbye to his college fans, after his final NCAA season was cut short by pandemic precautions.
“We have discovered that fans and athletes want the same thing, the ability to exchange humanity. On REVEL Moments, athletes can be themselves, and fans get the rare opportunity to see the human side of their heroes. We are bringing athletes and fans closer together than ever before,” shared Ankur Mathur, REVEL Moments Founder & Chief Experience Officer. In the first six months in market, the platform has created unforgettable connections like these for thousands of fans with numerous stars and teams. REVEL Moments is truly changing the face of fandom, one experience at a time.