Fans are the bedrock of the entire sports establishment. They get to the stadium early to watch the players warm up. They gather with their friends around a TV at sports bars and living rooms to cheer on their favorite teams and players. They are the essence of what sports is about - camaraderie, sportsmanship, dedication, and fun.
The relationship between a sports team and their fans is sacred. They can't exist without the other. On the side of the fan without a team - who would they root for and spend their days and nights passionately defending? And on the side of the team - fans are the driving force behind why sports teams and players come out on the field or court, week after week, giving it all that they do.
Sports teams simply can't exist without their fans. Beyond the emotional support, fans literally support the teams in the form of ticket sales, and their existence gives sports teams the ability to sell sponsorship and broadcasting rights - knowing that their fans are interested in the brands that their favorite teams build relationships with.
So, the question is, how can a team provide the best experience for a fan - and keep the relationship between the team and the fan fun and sacred?
The key to this delicate balance is understanding fans well enough to give them what they want - and to surprise and delight them along the way. But how can a team really get to know their fans? Up until now, sports teams have been somewhat "in the dark" about who their fans were - beyond having an adoration of their team. They know who shows up in their stadium - but beyond their walls and TV screens, what their fans love, what they care about and how they had fun, was basically left to a team’s imagination. Especially because a team never wanted to compromise the relationship with their fans to get this kind of information.
So how does a team get the data they need to continue giving their fans a great experience - and provide that delight factor? The key is in one word: transparency.
In a world where breaches in trust are commonplace, and only in the last two weeks one of the largest data breaches came into public awareness, collecting data should be and should have always been done with the utmost transparent methods and communication. Fans and customers are smart. They are aware that the enhanced experiences they want can only come to them if teams and brands understand them. But there should never be a trade-off between understanding your customer and breeching their trust. Trust and transparency go hand-in-hand. And when they do, both the teams and the fans win.
So, how can a team learn about their fans AND build deeper more transparent relationships with them at the same time? The key is in asking for permission. The kind of permission that doesn’t take a fine tooth comb and a team of lawyers to understand. The kind of permission that is given freely, because the fan knows what data they are sharing, why they are sharing it - and exactly what their data will be used for.
Does this sound like too much to ask? Maybe for some it might. But in an age when there is widespread distrust, the key to the next generation of fan/consumer relationships will be all about TRUST, TRANSPARENCY and CHOICE.
So, how do we make this transparency possible? It all comes down to communication. By working collaboratively with our teams, we seamlessly integrate our platform into a campaign that transparently explains to fans what data we are collecting, what we plan on doing with that data and who we plan on sharing it with. Once we have received consent from the fan, we also give the fan the ability to choose to withdraw their consent at any time.
This is the mission behind KonnecTo: To provide sports teams and brands with insights into their fans and customers while being completely transparent about what data they are collecting and why they are collecting it. Our belief is that people should own their data and think of it as a commodity - something they should value and be in control of at all times. When this happens, it means that fans can determine what it might be worth for them to share it with their favorite teams and/or brands and for what purposes.