With our venues in lockdown and our fans in home quarantine, the industry is turning to digital channels to maintain fan engagement. Here’s a selection of ideas from across the world of stadia and venues:
[Above] Celtic FC has been connecting with fans through a Twitter-based ‘Spot The Ball’ photo competition – racking up 1,000s of impressions and offering a chance to go back through the archives of the club’s greatest moments.
Almost every club has been switching its players over to esports and video games – not least our local Brighton & Hove Albion FC, laying down challenges to other clubs’ players (as shown above). In this case it’s fierce rivals Crystal Palace FC getting the call up. Fans can tune in to watch the gaming action live.
But it’s been League Two side, Leyton Orient FC, that is smashing the social media viewing figures with its challenge to teams across the world to field a player in the FIFA ULTIMATE QUARAN-TEAM Tournament.
“Having watched Connect Four take off on social media, we wondered how could we improve the idea?,” says the club. “FIFA is a worldwide phenomenon and provides an opportunity for football clubs from around the world to engage world wide, whilst still following safety guidance.”
Almost 120 teams have filed their interest in taking part including teams from: England, Ireland, Scotland, Wales, France, Netherlands, Belgium, Denmark and Australia. The #UltimateQuaranTeam kicked off this weekend – with fans encouraged to make a donation, which is then split between the EFL clubs and two charities (Leyton Orient’s MIND support and the other COVID-19 response teams). Prior to the weekend already £27,000 had been raised.
With the government restricting all but essential movement across the UK, Brentford FC Community Sports Trust launched a #BeeatHome campaign that encourages children and adults to stay active within their homes. The Trust aims to deliver educational and physical activity content to children and young people in the local area while simultaneously urging people to stay at home to help save lives.
To launch the campaign, our lead female football coach, Amber Lloyd, delivered a Soccercise session to help young people stay active in their homes. The video of this can be viewed by clicking the image below.
The Trust will also be streaming live fitness, yoga and Pilates classes to local residents in Hounslow. Along with physical activity sessions, the Trust will deliver engaging educational content, including weekly Maths and English challenges.
Lee Doyle, Chief Executive of Brentford FC Community Sports Trust, said: “Our commitment to local communities remains steadfast. We will be innovative in how we can create a positive difference in the most challenging of times. We are working closely with local stakeholders to support those most in need while reiterating the government’s message of staying at home to save lives.”
The Atlanta Braves have picked up on the opportunity to brand those working from home – offering free wallpapers to act as backdrops to your conference calls. Give the fans something and get your naming rights partner in the background of countless Zoom meetings.
Finally… if nobody can visit your stadium tour, why not take take tour to them? Many venues now offer ‘virtual tours’ online – this example is the UK’s famous Roman Baths (courtesy of Google Street View), but a few digerati on your ops team could easily create a similar offer. Why not show fans some places they’ve never been?
More ideas? Let us know what you’re up or what you’ve seen. We are happy to share the great work with our industry. Email us here.