Information Sharing To Influence Sports Fans

In my last post, I talked about the effect of simplicity on sales conversions.  There are many simple changes, such as altering site design, to yield significant improvements.  With that in mind, I’d like to propose another simple idea, that is supported by one of my favorite books, in addition to many social websites:

PEOPLE are influenced by other PEOPLE.

It sounds simple. Think about it.  People are influenced by other people.  Yet that idea is often not utilized to its potential.  With than in mind, I want to look at how sports organizations can use this theory to further influence fans.

How often do fans know the actual number of tickets sold (or even available) at an event prior to considering a purchase?  Rarely.

How often do fans know the actual number of people signed up for the teams’ email newsletter?  Almost never.

Would it make a difference if fans did know?

FansAccording to years of research the answer is simple.  YES.  In addition, lessons can be learned from social sites today that are not only setting the tone for the new age of the Internet, but marketing and sales as well.  For example, WeFollow.com (a popular Twitter tool) greets visitors with a simple pop up encouraging them to sign up.  They also show a message that says (when I last view the site) “Now listing over 684,078 Twitter users.”

While that little bit of information might seem insignificant…its not.  Why does it work?  A non-customer goes to the site, is greeted by a simple welcome screen, and sees that over 650,000 people use the service.  Well if 650,000 people use the site it must be good, right?  That user likely became a customer, as Kevin Rose (the founder of Digg and WeFollow.com) can attest to as well.

If fans knew that 1,500 people had purchases tickets through the teams website that day, or that 87% of tickets had already been sold for a particular game, wouldn’t that influence them to act?  Yes, because fans are influenced by other fans.

Now there are a few caveats to this method.  First and foremost, the method should only be used when the relayed information is true.  If WeFollow.com doesn’t have 600,000+ users it would be inappropriate to market that.  Secondly, the strategy should only be used when it would help the organization.  For example, if WeFollow.com only had 7 users, it’s probably not a good idea to showcase that on their sign up page.   If the information works in your favor, as it could with attendance or email newsletters, it can certainly make a difference.

7 comments

  • I completely agree with your approach. Keeping it simple and sharing information in a visually pleasing and easy-to-use format makes a huge difference. Most sports sites are cluttered and don't have a 'hot button' approach to become a member or buy tickets. Infact most have so many road blocks that it almost puts off people from buying anything.

    To add to your point on what kind of information to share, with current technologies its possible to share interesting stats e.g. how many families/ how many people from your city/ locality/ how many fans of X vs Y – without compromising privacy.

    A visual, uncluttered, approach that makes information useful & usable would go a long way to influence sports fans.

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  • Thanks for the comment! You make a great point about the additional statistics to share. I actually have a post ready to go on that aspect, but am trying out (unsuccessfully) waiting on posting Part II until Part 1 has been seen enough. I think I’ll post it anyways in the next few days as there are certainly opportunities (as you suggest) to provide even more detailed information to influence consumers.

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  • Interesting tactic. You are getting people to comment to prove that people are reading, but it will also have a benefit of increasing the SEO of this post and your site, in general.

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  • Interesting article, however, holding back new stories in order to jump start commenting seems counter-productive.

    Best of luck.

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  • Darren and Justin,

    Thanks for the comments! The comment thing was more of an idea I wanted to try but hasn't quite been as successful as I hoped. It hasn't been the reason I haven't posted lately – been busy with a few other projects. I have quite a few drafts of different ideas ready to go, so I'll be posting more content in the next few days.

    Like

  • Darren and Justin,

    Thanks for the comments! The comment thing was more of an idea I wanted to try but hasn't quite been as successful as I hoped. It hasn't been the reason I haven't posted lately – been busy with a few other projects. I have quite a few drafts of different ideas ready to go, so I'll be posting more content in the next few days.

    Like

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