The COVID-19 pandemic has changed a lot about how we interact with the world. Nowhere does this ring truer than with sports fans and sports organizations. While stadiums were closed during lockdown, fans were forced to watch from the comfort of their own homes instead of cheering on their teams in person. Now, fans are starting to trade the couch for the box seat, but they aren’t the same fans that sports organizations used to know pre-pandemic. Now, sports organizations have a new need: understanding the new sports journey with real world data.
We’re going to take a look at Washington Nationals’ fans and the best business approaches that Nationals Stadium can take to encourage them to return to the stands.
Baseball Target Market: Fan Analytics with FanVue
When you hear the word “sports fans”, there’s always a very specific image that comes to mind: team jerseys, face paint, beer koozies, and bumper stickers. However, sports fans are more than just their favorite teams; they’re people with actual interests and sports marketers would do well to take a closer look at who their fans are.
For Washington Nationals fans, we found that 74% of visitors to the stadium were mostly local to the D.C. area; the majority of fans traveled 0-50 miles to visit Nats Park. With this data, Nats Park could utilize this geographic information for advertising purposes. They could also use this data to inform decision-making when it comes to parking (Is there enough?) or to offer discounts to those fans who are using the Metro or ride-sharing services.
Nats fans are most likely to be coffee lovers, moviegoers, pop music fans, gym lovers, and college football fans. These folks are less likely to be foodies, gamers, NASCAR fans, and are likely not very interested in budget hotels or cruises.
Fascinatingly, Nationals fans are more likely to be coffee shop lovers and healthy eaters. They are also more likely to be interested in going to the movies for entertainment, and green living. Nats fans also enjoy pop music over other types of music, such as jazz and blues. When they aren’t cheering for their favorite team, they love visiting the gym, home improvement stores, and tech retail shops. They prefer to visit mid-range and luxury hotels.
Knowing this information, the Washington Nationals could, for example, create a campaign that features the stadium’s eco-friendly features. They could also offer free three-day gym passes with a ticket purchase or even a gift card to the local favorite coffee shop.
Target Market for Baseball Season
Of all the categories visited during the sports season, most Nationals fans visited hotels and places that offer general accommodations (13.52%). Visitors to Nats Park also went to fast food restaurants (9.55%) during the season as well as grocery stores (10.32%).
When looking at the individual chains visited the most during the season, TGI Friday’s seems to be the most popular, compared to the general population. Fans over-indexed for visits to TGI Friday’s, Five Guys, Cheesecake Factory, Ruby Tuesday’s, Jersey Mike Subs, Papa John’s, Red Robin. Nationals fans also over-indexed for Michael’s over Hobby Lobby, and prefer Advanced Auto Parts over AutoZone.
What can Nats Park do with this data? They could use it to help them pinpoint brands that might be interested in sports sponsorships. It also provides insight into the types of food or pop-up stores that their fans would respond positively to while at the stadium.
Using Location Intelligence to Bring Fans Back
All of the insights above were gathered using location intelligence and Gravy FanVue. Using this real-world data solution, sports organizations can go beyond ticket data and get to know their fans. As more fans return to the stands, personalizing sports marketing messaging has become crucial than ever.
With location intelligence, stadiums and sports teams can reach the pinnacle of personalization for their fans, helping bring back your best cheerleaders: your fans. To learn more about Gravy FanVue, contact us to speak with an expert today.