Sports Media 3.0: The Fan360 Revolution
Sports Media 2.0: Social media Was Only the Start
Most of us can’t recall the days when media outlets were the only channel of communication with the wider world. With the invention of social media, the walls between journalists and athletes have fallen. Whereas in the past, athletes could only transmit their feelings, emotions, perspectives, agendas and points of view through the global media’s mouthpiece, the dependence of sports celebrities on the so-called “Fourth Estate” no longer exists.
Consider the modern nature of sports amid today’s media backdrop. Twitter has nearly a $30 billion market cap as newspapers and magazines continue to close in droves. Mark Zuckerberg is the 4th wealthiest person alive, and New York real-estate scion Donald Trump just Tweeted his way to the Oval Office. How things have changed.
And so it stands today – athletes don’t need a middleman anymore to reach their fans.
Sports Media 3.0: The Fan360 Era
But don’t get too comfortable - the sports media landscape is about to get disrupted yet again. First, there is a massive bifurcation on social media: if you spend all day on Twitter, you won’t be abreast of all things Instagram, for instance. For fans who want to follow their favorite players, it’s a chore nowadays to do so. Second, the only ones gaining real economic benefits from social media are shareholders of social media companies.
Welcome to Fan360, the hippest thing in sports media since Twitter. Fan360 is an aggregator of an athlete’s entire social media universe – Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, you name it. Plus, news, stats, scores, highlights, videos, all in one.
And here’s the kicker: big-time athletes are signing up en masse to join the cause. Gianluigi Buffon? You can find him on Fan360. Widely considered as one of the most famous football legends in the world today, Buffon is signed on to promote the product and participate in its launch along with dozens of the world’s top soccer stars, including Argentine Angel Di Maria who plays at PSG.
In a 2013 report, the global consultancy Accenture wrote: “Fans are more than simply consumers. Their devotion to a team sets them apart. They’ll follow their idols through good times and bad. And they have to be treated differently to make sure that their devotion is recognized and developed into a mutually rewarding relationship that continues to deliver value for owners and fans themselves.”
Now we have finally arrived to the era where fans are rewarded for their dedication and engagement. Fan360 rewards every fan’s action on the platform, be it posting, sharing or liking with tokens and offers fans special experiences, which brings them closer to their sports idols.
Fan360 offers a little something for everyone: fans get rewarded for their engagement with tokens they can exchange for tickets, merchandise and special experiences as well as fiat currencies; clubs will use blockchain technology to enable ticket traceability (who’s tired of StubHub fees?). With Fan360 brands can reach “micro” influencers, who will be modern-day brand ambassadors. Fans and athletes will find incentives every step of the way, which is crucial to stay one step ahead.
Shorter attention spans among consumers are changing the way fans engage with their favorite players and teams, according to consulting giant McKinsey: “With so many sports options across so many screens, fans of all ages—not just millennials—are watching fewer games and quitting them faster. Overall reach for sports on TV hasn’t declined; ratings have dropped because fans are watching fewer and shorter sessions.”
Athletes understand that fans interest these days is not only in the outcome of the game, but also in finding a deeper engagement with their idols. Social media in its current form is great but Fan360 gives athletes what they really want: true ownership of their brand.
Giving more power to athletes – on and off the field – is a big win for fans, players, owners, and brands. And that is the Fan360 formula for modern sports-media disruption.