The AFL’s general manager of media, Peter Campbell, says sports fans are a fickle bunch and, much like any business’s customers, they’ll quickly desert a brand if they don’t think they’re being looked after and engaged with.
Speaking at last week’s Broadcast Digital Summit in Sydney, Campbell said AFL fans now needed to be serviced by administrators at home while they were watching the game on TV, while at the game, and everywhere in between or you risk losing them “to things time and technology enables them to pursue”.
“We want to ensure that fans stick with our sport,” he said. “It’s too easy to lose them and very hard to get them back.”
And Campbell’s answer to best engaging with fans (customers)? Mobile phones!
“Like any sport our fans are in three places. They’re in the home, they’re at the venue or somewhere in-between and with each of them you have to engage with fans very differently. In the home, and I think it will be for a long time to come, it’s the TV. At the game it’s the live action on the field. And elsewehere it will be whatever else they can get their hands on. And today, thankfully, that’s the mobile.
“For the AFL it’s IP, 3G, 4G, wireless technology, the mobile, the tablet and possibly the wearable is as fundamental to our fans as is their expectation of live broadcast on home on their TV. It’s an expectation that we must embrace and we must continue to experiment with and evolve.
“The fans simply expect it, they want it, and if we don’t the substitute entertainment options and the ease with which technology empowers supporters to disrupt that traditional will challenge us – and deeply.