Rupert Pratt and EngageCraft were invited by the UK Government’s Department of International Trade (DIT) to chair a prestigious panel discussion exploring innovation in fan engagement during the Birmingham 2022 Commonwealth Games. Rupert shares his top 3 takeaways from the session below.

1. It starts with the basics! The most important areas to think about when looking at technology to enhance engagement and market a major sports event are:

  • Focus and prioritisation against key objectives 
  • Simplicity and fun for the fans - making the engagement as frictionless as possible
  • Activation - Ensuring you have resource and budget to market the engagement, ensuring it all works

2. Know before you grow! Tech can play a key role in improving understanding of a fanbase through both engagement and data

  • Learning more about each and every fan, whether at a stadium, or at home, in a bar, or a remote club, is key - a better understanding of your audience, wherever they are allows much better marketing and growth of an audience
  • Don’t ask too much of the fan - little and often across a wide spread of engagements to build up a true picture of your fans 
  • Transparency and trust are key - fans look to you as a trusted guardian of their sport or passion. Don’t abuse this position.
  • Rewards - rewarding your fans is good practice but this isn’t always necessary or expensive. Often engaging with them is enough (see above) or indeed quite often the rewards that cost you the least (exclusive content / access) are the most valuable 

3. Don’t rush into Web3

  • Web3 is going to be integrated across all sectors and will naturally integrate itself into Sport just as Web 1 and 2 did - but as per points 1 and 2 you need to prioritise and also protect your brand, digital estate and fans. 
  • Just as most are trying to re address the balance from the Web 2 rush into unowned and social platforms and owned media don’t sell off your Web3 ecosystem. Fan acquisition is harder than retention.