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Fun: The Brand-Sports Fan Connector

How to design the sports experiences that fans want

When we asked sports fans to tell us what motivates them to attend live sporting events, the resounding response was “release”— a break from the daily grind, a chance to get lost in the moment, a place to just let go. As we dug deeper, we found that a big part of this answer is that sporting events provide people the opportunity to simply have fun.   

Brands who use live sporting events to deliver fun are well-positioned to make a lasting connection. But what are the components of a “fun” experiential sports activation and how can brands use them to their advantage? Here are four key ingredients that comprise fun in a live sports setting.

Competition

The heart-stopping excitement of beating a rival team, seeing your favorite player set a record, witnessing a once-in-a-lifetime play. Competition is a compelling driver for those seeking to channel pent-up energy or forget the stress of the day, and can be a powerful and cathartic emotional release for fans. 

Play

Many people pursue events simply to be entertained and blow off steam—tapping into the joy of childish pleasure. Dressing up in team attire, getting lost in the stadium’s energy, and splurging on a souvenir from the pro shop are all examples of how sporting events can evoke the spirit of simple fun. 

Just Be

The need to be right here, right now is deeply human and shared by us all. The moment-by-moment nature of athletic competition provides exactly this type of escape, allowing fans to forget the stress of daily life and just focus on the present. 

Attraction

Experiences allow people to connect with others through a genuinely shared interest or passion. Sports events are a great venue for attendees to meet like-minded people, building human connections that may last an afternoon—or a lifetime.

By designing sports experiences to deliver release through fun, you can insert your brand into the memories that attendees take home. Learn more in our report, Future Proofing the Sports Fan Experience: Understanding Why Fans Attend Live Sports—and How Younger Fans Are Changing the Game.

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