FanX Best Practice Series: How to Maximize Your Mobile App for Baseball & Softball Season

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You don't need a complex strategy to drive downloads, attendance or ticket sales, but you do need a plan.

With the spring sports season upon us, we want to share our best practices for launching a new sport in your FanX app, and how to use your app to build hype around a new season. Many of the things you already use your app for (ticket deals, giveaways, merchandise deals, etc.) are still great promotions to run during the baseball/softball season. However, a new sport does call for a slightly different strategy and brings new goals to the table for your program.

The first step to preparing a promotional strategy for baseball or softball – or any of your spring sports - is to identify the goals you want to achieve. While these goals may vary, there are generally three goals a school hopes to achieve going into a new season:

  • Build Hype
  • Give Existing Fans Something New
  • Create New Fans

Build Hype

The beauty of sports (and probably the reason we work in the industry) is that whether your team is coming off a championship season or year in the cellar, the start of a new season always brings hope and excitement. Your FanX app gives you a great platform to build on that excitement while engaging your fans with useful content.

Some ways you can use your mobile app to build the hype train:

  • Interviews with returning starters and newcomers to the team
  • Mobile-exclusive ticket offers
  • Video or graphic series featuring key moments from last season
 

Give Existing Fans Something New

One of the goals you’ll want to achieve heading into the new season is to engage your existing base of fans – your season ticket-holders, player relatives and die-hard program followers. This group may be exposed to your app for the first time, so you’ll want to show them how the app can enhance both how they follow the program, and the game experience they’ve come to know. One of the easiest ways to do this is to have a few unique content ideas to reuse throughout the season, or to introduce a new contest or game day activity for fans.

Here are a few ideas to get you started

  • Series Previews & Recaps/Highlights
  • In game contests, for example “Fan of the Week”
For the 2017 baseball season, Louisiana Tech introduced a new wrinkle into their app for fans - song requests!   Image courtesy David Pillen

For the 2017 baseball season, Louisiana Tech introduced a new wrinkle into their app for fans - song requests!  
Image courtesy David Pillen

Create New Fans

You’ve done a lot of work already to build your app’s fan base around other sports in your athletics program. Why not use that fan base as a stepping stone to build some excitement around the new sports in the app! Your app can be a perfect vehicle for (periodically) cross-promoting sports with larger fan bases. As with any of your other digital marketing channels and audiences, you’ll want to be careful not to overuse this tactic.  One way to do this effectively is to feature tie-ins to other sports – maybe feature your basketball team as they return from post-season play, or hold baseball fan days around a big baseball series where you can also feature open spring practice for the football team.

Here are a few more ideas for cross-promoting across groups of fans:

  • Mini-plan packages for students, or preferred student (and student-athlete) seating
  • Special offers for season ticket holders in other sports
  • Use sport-specific social accounts with higher numbers of followers to periodically share content, updates, schedules or deals for your spring sports (and drive them to your app to access content!)

So what's next?

These are just some of the many things you can do to maximize fan engagement as you move into a new season. Keeping these goals in mind will ensure that your app provides great value to fans, and is a useful tool for them to follow your program. Don’t forget to keep promoting the app in many of the same ways you did during your fall or winter sports with bigger audiences. Running in-app promotions is necessary to have a strong and valuable product and will certainly increase the effectiveness of word-of-mouth marketing. However, you’ll still want to find other ways to inform fans that the app is available. Continuing to use channels like social media, blog posts and print marketing to promote the app will be key to informing fans that this new communication channel is available to them.

 

Have a cool promo or way you are promoting your app? Share with us @FromNowonExp!

Need help jump-starting your spring sports season? Reach out to your Customer Success Coach Today!