Sport fan league: S new theory in sport marketing and sportainment

Poster Presentation , Page 270-270 (1)
Paper ID : 1124-SPORTCONGR
1Assistant professor, Faculty of sport management, sport sciences research institute of Iran , Tehran,Iran
2PhD student, sport marketing, University of Kharazmi,Tehran,Iran
Introduction: Fans need to get close to their clubs and feel the sense of belonging (1). In the other hands, clubs need to attract fans to make a huge fan pool so it can make profit out of them. There is something in common between these two aspects of management that is called fan engagement. Now days, technology progress has made it easier for sport marketers and fan managers to get closer to their fans engage them with the club affairs (2). Some platforms like social media, private TV, applications and even electronic games are the modern technology in front of fans. But, the question is, how much it goes further? How close and effective fans could get to their clubs and even to the matches?
Methods: So, to find the answer to main question, qualitative method through focus group was used. In this case, four experts in fan management in academic and executive area gathered in a focus group. And after 3 sessions of deep analyzing, live interviewing and coding the data, the following theory of ultimate fan engagement created.
Results: Findings revealed that there could be an ultimate fan engagement path that could fulfill fans motivations, clubs marketing intentions, sponsors objectives and event marketing goals. That’s fan league theory. This theory is based on game hub and gamification system that runs a fan league parallel to the real league. So, fans can compete against other fans beside club players and they can bring a trophy to the house.
Conclusion: This theory could be next trend in sport marketing area because it sees all stakeholders of a sport event.