Sport Fan Connection Tour

The Premise

The SportFan Connection Tour was a multi-city, multi-sport trip –a sports fans dream vacation– turned into a research opportunity.

Trevor Turnbull and Mike Olaski toured the North-Eastern United States taking in games, observing broadcasts, interviewing fans, players, executives and staff of the area’s teams. They gathered information and data that helped them determine a Current Reality or “State of the Sports Industry” with regards to fan engagement, financial returns, identified needs, undiscovered opportunities, existing and potential service providers, promotions, the tracking of online reputations, and emerging trends as it relates to The Sport, The Fan, and The Connection between them.

Both Trevor and Mike have experience not only as players in collegiate and professional athletics, but are also professional software/media producers, and marketers in varying projects and capacities and have owned/operated their own website development company together in the past.

Their mission was not to preach, sell or influence, but too listen to all the varying, relevant perspectives from old-school stalwarts to new media dreamers. This is a listening tour. We want to ASK THE RIGHT QUESTIONS….to record and to analyze.

They wanted answers to questions like:

  • What are teams and fans currently doing to add value to the Sport-Fan connection? (In-Game Experience, Fan Engagement, Integration of New Media, Fan Generated Content, Online Participation)
  • Where do sports fans currently congregate online to connect with other fans? Are teams participating in those conversations?
  • What social tools are teams using to engage with their fan base? (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr, Ustream, Websites, Blogs, Forums, Mobile Apps)
  • How are teams using these social tools to communicate with their fan base?
  • What are the current concerns (if any) surrounding social media from the team perspective?
  • What do fans want from teams now that social media has empowered them with direct access to the players and the ability to impact the teams brand (both negatively and positively)?

The Sport-Fan Connection, is much like the Mind-Body Connection; it is often overlooked, or at least often misunderstood. It is an inextricable connection; a holistic, symbiotic relationship where one can not exist without the other. When looking at connections like this we always see a balance; an exchange of elements from one side of the equation to the other — which develops a system of supporting one-another by exchanging value.

The Sport-Fan Connection is the exchange point of value between Sport (leagues, teams, players and staff), with the Fan (media, bloggers, individuals, and organizations). The exchange point is any point of contact between the two including Game-Time and Off-Field Interaction (Websites, iPhone Applications, Twitter). Values exchanged take the form of game experiences (live or broadcast), merchandise, and activities such as Fantasy Sports.

Schedule

09.09.21    – New York        MLB    7:10 – Atlanta Braves @ New York Mets
09.09.22    – Washington     MLB    7:00 – Los Angeles Dodgers @ Washington Nationals
09.09.23    – Washington     NHL    7:00 – Chicago Blackhawks @ Washington Capitals
09.09.24    – New York        NHL    7:00 – Washington Capitals @ New York Rangers
09.09.25    – New York        MLB    7:00 – Boston Red Sox @ New York Yankees
09.09.26    – New Jersey     NHL    7:00 – Philadelphia Flyers @ NJ Devils
09.09.27    – New York        NFL    1:00 – Tennessee Titans @ New York Jets
09.09.28    – Boston            MLB    7:00 – Toronto Blue Jays @ Boston Red Sox
09.09.29    – New York        BSN    6:00 – The Business of Sports Networking Event
09.10.01    – Philadelphia    MLB    7:00 – Houston Astros @ Philadelphia Phillies
09.10.02    – Baltimore        MLB    7:00 – Toronto Blue Jays @ Baltimore Orioles
09.10.03    – Washington     NHL    7:00 – Toronto Maple Leafs @ Washington Capitals
09.10.04    – Washington     NFL    1:00 – Tampa Bay Buccaneers @ Washington Redskins

Objectives

The SportFan Connection Tour was a fact finding mission with two primary objectives:

  1. Research and Document Current Realities: To document past, current and emerging issues, techniques, and opportunities for the Sports Market to further engage with the Sports Fan, creating new and more intimate connections and interactions so that each party can receive more value from one another.
  2. Discover and Present Opportunities: To produce a multi-media report of the fact finding mission so that interested parties including Leagues, Teams, Broadcasters, Service and Software Developers, Marketers, Players, Coaches, Support Staff and Fans can recognize opportunities to further develop the relationship between the two primary stakeholders in the exchange of value, the Sport, and the Fan. This report will not only expose found facts illustrating trends, but will make suggestions for actions going forward for all concerned parties.

For Sponsors

Everyone who can offer any assistance on our mission to gather feedback from all parts of the Sport-Fan Connection, please be aware of the small exchange in value we can offer you in return. We greatly appreciate all your accommodations, and in return all participating entities will receive:

  • Team/Brand exposure – (Blogging, Tweeting, Fan Interviews, Executive Interviews)
  • Viral Video Product (Did You Know Video) – Statistical Observations in Slideshow/Graphical Format.
  • Exclusive Findings Report – Detailed analysis and conclusions from collected data
  • Action Plan – Whitepaper of suggested immediate actions based on our findings – Tailored to each participant (Teams, Leagues, Marketers, Developers, Webmasters)
  • Consultation during interviews. Conversations before, during and after the games. – (Our interviews are 2-way streets. Executives and staff may discuss, and obtain our viewpoints on any related topic.)
  • Executive/Industry exposure as thought leaders and innovators
  • Exclusive Sponsorship Opportunities – (Sponsorship recognition of any developed materials)

Promotional Channels

Whether or not you chose to provide direct sponsoring or facilitating our requests for Pre-Game, In-Game and Post-Game research, you will receive exposure and opportunity through the following channels.

  1. Exposure on leading Sports-marketing Blogs (www.sportsnetworker.com, www.thebusinessofsports.com, www.ryanstephensmarketing.com, www.thesportsbusinessexchange.com, www.jasonfpeck.com, www.sportfanconnect.com and others)
  2. Exposure through Affiliate/Sponsoring websites
  3. Exposure through participating Team/League Properties
  4. Exposure through Social Networks (Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, Flickr)
  5. Exposure on Trevor Turnbull and Mike Olaski’s Personal Properties and Networks (modest….but growing every day :-)

We Could Use Your Help

Trevor and Mike will fund the incidental expenses during production (although we are offering a sponsorship opportunity below to cover our small budget). We ask only for a modest level of co-operation in the form of the following requests:

  • All-Access Press Passes (or some form of access to the event)
  • Interview Requests – Access to Executives, Staff and Players of varying viewpoints where available and appropriate
  • Statistical Research Sharing – Do you have any existing, relevant stats packages regarding social media, marketing, fan engagement and promotions?
  • Stock Photography, Video and other Media – Help us package and frame your team/brand with your existing media.
  • Tickets and Prizes for Survey Participants to increase interest and participation on promotional channels.
  • Each participant is invited to furnish 1 or more pair of tickets to be offered as prizes for survey participants online.
  • Promote the survey/prizes through your channels: Website, TV, Radio, Etc where available and appropriate.

Sponsorship Opportunities

We are offering a Sponsorship Opportunity to cover the cost of this production. We are expect to have only modest expenses for this project, and we will cover production costs ourselves, however, we will accept a sponsorship under the right circumstances. For example, if a Team wished to pick up our cost of Hotels, Car Rentals, and Equipment Rentals (Budgeted at $5,000), we would furnish promotional placement of the sponsoring entity on varying broadcasts online, in video, blog posts, tweets, and otherwise, both through our properties, and any syndicating properties (TBD). Any sponsorships will have no impact on findings or the presentation of views, and will be disclaimed before presentation of such. In the case of a multitude of interested parties, sponsorship tiers are possible, which could further cover post-production costs.