TMR POV: Now, More Than Ever, Fans Need To Hear From Their Favorite Brands (a.k.a. YOU)

As we enter the dog days of this COVID-19 quarantine, and consumers exhaust their Netflix watch lists, there is an opportunity for brands–and yes, properties and teams, you are brands too–to create new forms of engagement with their loyal fan bases.

Creating Creative Connections

While stadiums may be empty across the globe, fans are still fans. And now, more than ever, they want (or is it need?) connections with their beloved brands.

There is a growing movement of brands that are recognizing this need / opportunity and pivoting to deliver.

Fortunately, the recipe for success in creating engagement platforms right now is based on just two ingredients:

  1. Leverage your assets
  2. Take a consumer-centric approach

Let’s take a closer look at each…

Leverage your assets

If you live on the property side of this equation (i.e., broadcasters, teams, leagues, entertainers, etc.) you are sitting on a massive content library. How can you repurpose that content right now to keep your consumers engaged?

As a perfect repurposing example, Fox recently re-ran (on FS1 and Facebook) Game 7 of the legendary 2016 World Series. It goes without saying that baseball fans happily logged on to re-live this historic moment in sports (well, definitely in Chicago, though maybe not so much in Cleveland).

The Khalil Mack page from the Chicago Bears “Staley At-Home” coloring book featuring “Monsters of the Midway” comics imagery

Other assets to factor in include your athletes, your mascots, your IP, etc. More examples:

Take a consumer-centric approach

For the most part, these efforts need to focus on creating value and connections – not on selling.

While brands need to continue to generate transactions, the path to true consumer engagement is, and always has been, about putting the consumer first and asking the question “how can I add value to this experience?”

Eventually, stadiums will re-open and leagues and teams will resume play. Event tours will resume. Stores will re-open and consumers will again fill the aisles.

When we look back at this time, what will your brand have done to maintain your connection with your fans / consumers?

Kevin Adler is the Founder and Chief Engagement Officer at Engage Marketing – a Chicago-based advisory that specializes in sponsorship, experiential, consumer promotions, word-of-mouth / influencer, content and cause strategy for consumer brands and properties.