On this Sports Geek Q&A episode Sean Callanan answers the following questions:
Gen-X and Boomers are the ones driving most of the ticketing revenue, while Millennials and Gen-Z are the future. How do you find the best ways to balance your marketing spend and technology development to meet the needs of your customers in the next 5 years, vs. the next 20 years? Aaron LeValley via Sports Geek Nation Slack
What are the best quick hacks to engage fans? (i.e. strategies or campaigns run with little to no effort, but that generated tremendous outcome) via Gilles Mangen in Sports Geek Nation Slack
Cold Turkey. What social media platform would be toughest to give up? James via email
First question comes from Aaron LeValley, a former podcast guest from the L.A. Kings. He wrote this in via Sports Geek Nation Slack. His question is Gen X and boomers are the ones driving most of the ticket revenue in sports, while millennials and Gen Z are the future. How do you find the best ways of balancing your marketing spend and technology development to meet the needs of your customers? The next five years versus the next 20 years? Thank you very much, Aaron. Super interesting question. Again, tough question to get answers out and keep might keep these episodes under 10 minutes, but I will do my best. I think this is a this is a problem and a lot of tactic and technique and also product. So I think from a tactic point of view, I think there are different platforms and different methods of communication that you can communicate with these different groups. So if I'm talking about it from a Digital to Dollars point of view, this is around, you know, distribution. So this is if you want to be tackling millennials and Gen Z, you will be tackling them on the platforms that they are on and trying these new platforms and trying to make those connections. So that's the bit of going to the channels where they are and making sure you are talking to them. But as you sort of said, the Gen X boomers are driving the most declining revenue. So it's not about going all in on these new platforms. Like, I'm not saying go and drive your new campaign completely and exclusively on Tick Tock, because that's over indexing on what millennials and Gen Z are doing. I think the other part, which is more important than the techniques and platforms is the development of product. And so by that I mean ticketing products, experience product that will appeal to millennials and Gen Z. So I think that's where the development will come from. The Gen X and the boomers are quite happy being season ticket holders, buying a full season ticket, turning up to a game 41 times, 72 times 11 times or whatever. However many home games you might have, whereas the millennial Gen Z market are very much on demand. I'll decide at decided last minute those kind of things. So one, they'll want a ticketing product that fits in there on demand. I want it now or I only want to do it every now and again type of mentality. But then also they want an experience that sort of is also aligned with what they want to do. They might not want to be sitting in a seat for 40 minutes, 90 minutes, three hours. They would much prefer to be watching a game from a bar and taken in as in the experience. So that's why we're seeing stadiums change ticketing options, change people, stadiums that are building our bars. People can be watching the game from. So I think that's where the balance comes. So it's not just all on the market. It is on the product development. It is on the stadium development. It is on the overall strategy that you're trying to drive. But it's something you can't ignore. You can't just keep expecting that the next generation will except consume and take up the product that Gen X and boomers have been taking up. So I think that's going to be ever evolving. The good thing about digital, it is able to be tracked and you are able to build on it. I think they have the same need and for identity and be feeling part of a try. But I think that goes away. They've just they've just got more options. So you've got to be very nimble and creative in building out that tribe. And it will be something that, Lou, will be a challenge over the next 15 to 20 years.
But I do think that's where the industry will will evolve. So I don't think it's all gonna be on the marketers or the technology marketers. I think it's it's a combination of a lot of things. But I do think that developing a product that appeals to them and then delivering into them on the platforms that they want will be the key things. But I look forward actually chatting about this, Aaron. Next time we catch up for beer, whether it's in your part of the world or mine.
Question 2 comes from Gillies Mangan and I hope I've said your name correct. Gillies, who also sent this in via Sports Geek Nation Slack. He asked for what are the best hacks?
To engage fans, i.e. strategies or campaigns run with little or no effort that that have generated the tremendous outcome. I'd love to be out to answer this and go here it is. This is the silver bullet. Gilles I don't think there is any. I think everything requires effort. Even if I even if I said I do this and I love saying steal with pride. So seeing some what someone else does and test how it works on your fan base would be my short answer. If you see someone doing something well, how can you tweak it to your fans? Is my quick answer. But my other answer is there is no silver bullet. Everything requires effort, even coming up with a super creative idea. Although short in execution, that super creative idea requires effort, both brainpower, space and time for you to think about those things. So I think and then the other part is where the effort is, is. Listening to your fans, what are they doing? What are they doing? A lot of injecting yourself into their conversation in an authentic manner. Is the best way to as I'm just going to highlight what you are asked to engage fans.
And so this is where jumping in on a latest meme or watching what they're doing in a in a UGC form. So user generated content. What are the fans doing? I think that's really important. If the team can jump in on that, that you do get a lot of kudos and a lot of a lot of engagement. Now, I say engagement because it doesn't drive traffic. It might drive ticket sales and won't do those kind of things. But it does tie to the bond. So when you do do that, ask later on, the fans are more likely to do it. So I think mainly it's the it's the listening. And so it is a skill that can be trained. It is something that social media practitioners need to do more of. I think understanding what the fans are doing, replying in that tone, that kind of thing, there are teams that do it very well. And I think it fits with their brand. It's got to fit with your brand. But like, I think that's the quickest hack to engage fans. I think of a team that goes from a very vanilla reporting. Here's the news. Here's what's happening to one that's more engaging gets noticed by the fans very quickly. Then maintaining that does require effort, which is why I'm saying it's not a little effort, but it does have a higher index of reward. So I would say the quickest hack is listening to your fans and tapping into something that they're doing right now. I think is the easiest way to go about engaging your fans and that that is different on every single platform.
I think there is a I think there's a quick lack of replying to some people on our Facebook feed, on the Facebook comments of a post. There's a lot of conversation happening there. No one really engages on that on that on that conversation, whereas we're really geared towards replying to and having a funny quip reply in in Twitter. What if you did that? Applied some Twitter strategy to a Facebook comment. Again, requires a lot of work to do it consistently. But what if you did it in that surprise and delight manner? Every and again, if someone does come back with a really great quip in a Facebook comment, how do you then take that to the next level to further encourage people to do that going forward? Thanks very much for that question, Giles. Question 3. Not Thanksgiving related and a belated Thanksgiving to all my friends in the US because it was related to cold turkey, which probably you've all indulged in in the past week or so.
James via email asks What social media platform would be the toughest to give up cold turkey style? I'm going to I'm going to answer this in three different ways, similar to my social MVP question that I end Sports Geek podcast episodes. I'm going to answer this from myself as a as a business. So how to weigh the platform that would be toughest to give up from a cold turkey point of view, from a business business development point of view that would be LinkedIn. LinkedIn has been invaluable tool for me to connect with sports, business people and executives and brands around the world. It's a it's a key publishing platform for me. I think it'll be really tough to give that up. So from a business point of view, from a client's point of view, if I'm talking from a sports team, sports stadium, sports league point of view, I understand the reach is is is shrinking and it does have its issues. But I think it would be really hard for a sports team or league to step away from Facebook. Primarily not primarily as a publishing platform, but I think from an advertising platform, it provides the most advanced advantages to help sell tickets, merchandise and memberships and the like. So I think Facebook is the toughest. And I think if I looked at things personally, I would probably say Twitter. I still I still consume a lot on Twitter. I don't post as much. And I don't. I've never been a big conversationalist on Twitter. I'm always I've always been more of a publisher consumer on Twitter. But I do still find myself flicking through tweets, keeping track of what's happening on what people different people are doing, what different teams are doing. I do a lot of that via via Twitter. So that would be my would be by social media platforms, which would be the toughest to give up. Let us know what are your what social media platforms would be toughest for you to give up an answer on the platform? That maybe would be the one that's your preference.
Sean understands the sports digital landscape, and that’s why he started Sports Geek. Working with clients across the sports digital world, he helps teams & leagues drive more revenue from digital and is focused on getting "cheeks on the seats" in stadiums. You can hear him on Sports Geek or present keynotes at sports conferences worldwide. Send him a tweet @seancallanan.