ECAL’s Top Trends In Calendar continues! This special 4-week series showcases the latest techniques and strategies used by the most progressive brands in calendar marketing at ECAL. This week we focus on trends in Engagement Drivers.
Fan engagement for sports teams and leagues not only builds an emotional tie between the team, its players and its fans, but through this engagement, fans can fast develop a meaningful, valuable and long-lasting connection to brand, from which a community of passion and purpose builds. The calendar is an important communication and support channel to capture the attention of fans, not only to alert them of when and where their team plays next, but to engage and enrich the fan experience in and around these events. For sports leagues and teams, the pre-match period is a wonderful opportunity to connect with high value, passionate fans, to support gamification initiatives, drive fans on-site, increase web traffic, increase time on-site and facilitate multi-screen in-event activity.
Check out these pre-event promotions by two of the very best brands in world football, Aston Villa FC and FC Barcelona.
Aston Villa: Match Predictor
Have your say and predict the score! English Premier League club, Aston Villa’s weekly ‘Match Predictor’ promotion asks fans to put their football nous to the test, predicting the outcome of every Villa fixture for the chance to win. Fans connected to Villa’s digital calendar service receive pre-match entries one hour prior to kick-off, prompting entry into the match day competition via the website with a direct link in-calendar. Fans visit the site earlier, stay for longer and are intrinsically rewarded for their participation. To enter, fans must have an Aston Villa digital account, and so also works to convert fans into becoming Digital Members.
‘Predict Now’ was Aston Villa’s number one engagement link in Season 22/23 (23.5% of total clicks)
FC Barcelona: Match Day Challenge
Spanish football giant, FC Barcelona’s engagement with fans begins well before kick off with its ‘Match Day Challenge’. Fans can take part in ‘Guess the Score’, the ‘Game Quiz’, and ‘Rate the Game’, in order to complete the challenge, accumulate points and win exclusive prizes every match day. Match entries in the calendar include a ‘Match Day Challenge’ promotional blurb and call-to-action, supporting FC Barcelona’s push to engage fans early, increase in-game activity and drive their ‘Culers’ online registrations. Are you ready for the Challenge?
Ultimately, fans love it when their team wins! They want to re-live the highs of victory, and the calendar is an important channel to continue communication with fans following the final whistle. ECAL’s dynamic calendar service along with it’s smart business logic, can automate additional content into calendar before, during or after the event. Delivering ‘Scores & Highlights’ directly into the users’ calendar post-match is a hugely popular feature, that works to drive engagement with increased site visits and video views, with greater opportunity for conversion to your paid video subscription service.
Check out how leading sports brand Liverpool FC engages fans after the final whistle with scores and highlights.
Liverpool FC: Scores & Highlights
Liverpool fans can relive the excitement of their team’s win (or draw) thanks to ECAL’s automated ‘Scores and Highlights’ service. Liverpool’s connected calendar audience receive automated ‘ICYMI’ (in case you missed it) entries delivered the morning after the match, complete with final scores and a strong call-to-action and direct link straight to ‘LFCTV Go’, to watch the latest video highlights packages.
ECAL’s ‘Scores & Highlights’ feature is very popular with major brand clients, from the world of football, car racing and other sports and entertainment. Clients can double their normal rates of in-calendar engagement with this feature.