Will it be safe to congregate any time soon in large auditoriums and stadiums? As institutions like the NCAA March Tournament were cancelled, fans are seeing that “stay home” may become the norm for the foreseeable future. Athletic budgets have also had massive hits with NCAA budget cuts hitting all programs. Large programs with equally large stadium operations, require ticket sales to sustain operations.
How can we keep our fans coming back when the fan experience is suspended and how can we engage and encourage their support, despite social distancing from our games?
1. Show you care. A postcard to fans from said empty arena and field with a note of “We miss you too” reminds us that we are all in this together. Weekly messages with a similar tone can be fun and help build momentum to what we all hope is the next time we are together in that large fieldhouse chanting familiar cheers in mass.
2. Spin it off. Fans are seeing this isn’t isolated, and laughter may be the best medicine. Create an alternative to channel unspent fan energy that shows you are still there to help them cheer.
3. Players are still our heroes. Fans are excited because of the magic our gifted athletes create and their affinity to the home team. As our athletes are struggling with the sudden end to their seasons, there may be an option to capture practices and share those with fans.
4. Coach’s locker room pep talks aren’t just for the team right now. Consider developing a coach pep-talk based on a locker room psych up session. We have all imagined being Rudy a time or two.
5. Address health and safety in large venues. What is being done to maintain fan safety and care.