Between the Lines: Fan Segmentation

Each week, Fanalytical delivers three quick reads of curated research and best practices to help Athletics’ leaders engage their fans, improve fan experience, and boost revenue.

This Week: Fan Segmentation

Although your fans are cheering for the same team, that might be where their similarities also stop. Your fans’ engagement, expectations and experiences all differ greatly from one another. Around the country, different organizations are finding ways to categorize their fans in order to market and cater to each diverse fan.

Segmenting Fans by Lifestyle…

After a year-long research effort by the marketing and consulting agency Team Epic, they categorized their accumulated data based on five distinct characteristics: avidity, engagement with sponsors, socioeconomic status and personal outlook on life. The research Say goodbye to your “football fans” or “basketball fans.” Team Epic principal Mike Reisman says, “Segmentation based on avidity misses the point of today’s consumers’ lifestyle and mindset…the majority of fans are looking for brands that deliver enrichment across sports, not just for an individual sport.”

Segmenting Fans by Age

Rich Luker has been working closely with the ESPN Sports Poll to study the particular characteristics of sports fans that bring the greatest economic value to the sports industry. More than half of avid sports fans are 35 and older, but much of the attention of the sports industry is focused around Millennials. Luker argues that, “The only thing holding back the economic growth of the older sports market at this point is the inattention on the part of the sports industry.”

Segmenting Fans by Engagement

Somewhat similar to segmenting fans according to lifestyle, segmenting fans by their fan-level one of the most important ways to gain insights into how to best engage and communicate with a particular piece of your fan-base. This particular research shows the data representing purchase decisions, such as when they buy tickets and who buys the tickets, seat preferences, and how ticketholder use their tickets (pleasure, business, etc.).

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