SHIFTING THE DYNAMICS BETWEEN FANS AND PRO TEAMS.
By Sebastian Altmark, FHO Head of Creative
KEY TAKEAWAY: What if teams became fans of kids instead? What if players had kids for heroes? What if there was a game where fans led the strategy and the team supported them?
There is a kind of love that is transmitted as a legacy. A love that runs in families, in communities, in organizations, and also across generations. A love so unique that no matter one’s race, age, or gender, it inspires people to come together as if they were one. And when everyone is winning, they all share the victory as one, and when they are losing, they share the pain equally, too. This unique love makes each victory – and every defeat – an opportunity to rise up, to overcome challenges, and to improve. This sort of love is a true fan’s love. And it is through tradition that the love stays alive and is passed on to new generations so they can experience the same profound feelings for a lifetime, too.
The question is, how much love are we, as professional organizations, giving to our young fans? What kind of relationship are teams building with kids in a way that not only secures the love they have for each other, but also has a positive impact on every one of their young fans?
The love of sports, but particularly the love for that particular game itself, is a lifelong passion, and by living that passion, kids build their own identity through being a team member. This development is tied to the legacy held within their households, their communities, and their favorite organizations in the same way that their name, age, or nationality informs their identity, i.e. their team is who they are.
The new identities: fluent love
The individual identity paradigm is shifting rapidly these days. What was traditionally regarded as a long-lasting and immovable construct is now considered to be fluent, multiphasic, and dynamic. Personal identity occurs along a spectrum, it is in constant flux, and it mutates during the process of life as we analyze our experiences by questioning our surroundings. Today’s younger generation sees love and identity as far more malleable and undefined than previous groups did.
To feel is to experience, and nowadays kids want personalized experiences where relationships and dialogues are directed at their singular identities more than at their group identities. More than that, they want to feel part of the group, but in a way such that their identity is valued and they are encouraged to make a direct impact.
Kids today inhabit an era of immersive personalization so they expect to be more than mere passive spectators sitting outside the story. In education, research shows – and professionals state – that the struggle to engage children is real. Schools were designed as places where kids should sit still for 6+ hours while trying to process all the information they’re given. More and more experts in education are questioning the pervasiveness of ADHD diagnoses in schools by asking themselves if this epidemic is due to kids struggling to adapt in educational settings or, on the contrary, if it is the school itself that is not adapting to meet the newfound needs of, and new cultural changes facing, kids in the digital age.
In entertainment, we see a similar phenomenon. Kids no longer expect – or want – to be a passive audience. They want to take part in the experience and they also expect to be a key actor in the narrative. Interactive devices, multiplayer games, augmented reality, social media, etc. are the norm for this new generation, while traditional media is making important efforts and investments to adapt and stay relevant.
The world of professional sport is not an exception to this progress, and in order to build a long-lasting legacy with young fans, the dynamics of the fan-team relationship must be re-considered and updated now.
For Heroes Only (FHO): facing the challenge
As with any relationship, the one between young fans and their favorite team requires constant communication, recognition, adaptation, and nourishment. Neglecting this relationship opens up potential risks to the organization’s legacy upon which their fan base is built and threatens their appeal to their audience over time.
At FHO, we have come up with a universal approach that creatively solves this challenge. Our strategy is predicated upon sporting brands teaming up with their young fans in ways that transcend the traditional dynamics between fans and teams and the sport itself.
In simpler words, what if teams became fans of kids instead? What if players had kids for heroes? What if there was a game where fans led the strategy and the team supported them?
That is what we do. We provide an immersive experience where you support your fans in their endeavors through life, where you inspire them to achieve their goals, and where you renew their love for their favorite game and their favorite team. We promise you a powerful, new way to secure a long-lasting legacy for decades to come.
Let’s have a conversation today so we can show you how we deliver a lifetime of memories to your fans.
Sebastian Altmark, FHO Head of Creative