7 Ways to Win at Sports Marketing by Rewarding Your Fans

Discover 7 creative ways to engage and reward your sports fans, from in-game photo contests to hashtag campaigns.

By Jane Vance ・5 min read
Business & Marketing Strategy
Campaign & Contest Ideas

Let’s face it, your fans don’t get enough credit. They stand by the team win or lose. They show their support by following team news, buying merchandise and showing their love year-round. So why not go the extra mile for them?

Sure, t-shirt tosses and kiss cams are exciting for a minute, but what about all of the fans that don’t catch the shirt or smooch their honey in front of a bunch of strangers? Why not try engaging them online?

It’s a safe bet that almost all sports fans have their phones on them while watching the game, whether they’re at home or in the stadium. That’s easy access to the good ol’ world wide web. Put those phones to good use and improve engagement at the same time with these online campaign ideas for rewarding your fans.

Have them smiling with an in-game photo contest

Trying to sell tickets to future games? Let folks at the game submit photos of the good time they’re having with an in-game photo contest. Ask them to fill out a form to submit their photo. After submission, send them a discount code for the team shop or snack bar.

Use the photos you collect to create an online gallery. Display the gallery on your website or use the images to promote future games on social media. You can take the contest a step further by choosing one of the entries as the “fan of the game” and featuring it across your marketing.

Template used: Photo contest template with added code distribution feature

Pump them up with a hashtag contest

Your fans are your best marketers, so tap into their team spirit with a hashtag contest. Anything goes here. Have fans take photos of themselves watching the game, in a team jersey, of their favorite game-time snack, of their fan den; the possibilities are endless.

To enter your contest, have them post their image to Instagram or Twitter with your branded hashtag in the caption. Posting to social media gets your team in front of your fan’s friends. Seeing someone they know having fun with your team will inspire folks to join in next time around.

Features used: Hashtag feeds

Give them a chance to sit courtside

Let fans win an opportunity to sit with the announcer during the next game! All they have to do is submit their name and email address to enter. For bonus entries, allow entrants to submit a video or a TikTok post where they announce the lineup themselves.

Choose a random winner before the next game, then shoot all of the entrants an email with a small discount on tickets or a heads up on the next contest. This is a simple and special way to collect email addresses to build your email list while having a bit of fun.

Templates used: Giveaway template with added extra points for TikTok or photo submission

Build your following by acknowledging their love for your team

Fans use a variety of ways to keep tabs on the team: newsletters, Instagram, Twitter, blogs, you name it. Why not share all of the ways they can follow along? A Points for Actions campaign can allow you to boost your fans’ engagement on all your social media and provide your fans with an opportunity to win a prize.

Encourage folks to follow you in as many places as possible to prove they are the most hard-core fan. Randomly choose a winner and reward them with an ultimate team prize pack. Don’t just send them swag, do more by giving them the opportunity to meet their favorite player, a ticket upgrade, or some other way to go the extra mile for them just like they go for the team.

Template used: Points for Actions

Get invited to the (tailgate) party

Whether it’s their food, games, size of the group, or a combo of all the above, fans take pride in their party before the game. Ask them to show off their tailgate or at-home game viewing set up to determine who throws the best game day party.

Allow users to submit videos or photos of their tailgate to enter the contest. From there, ask them to share their entry to collect votes -- the entry with the most votes wins. You could even show off entries or feature the winners at the next home game.

Templates used: Photo Contest, TikTok Video Contest

Test your fans’ knowledge

Are your fans as diehard as they think they are? Put their knowledge to the test with a quiz. Ask questions about the team’s stats this season or team history. Make the outcomes fun for fans to share and ask them to challenge their friends to see who is the true expert on their favorite team. You can take your quiz a step further and reward those who participate with a unique coupon code to the team store or a discount on tickets.

Template used: Knowledge Quiz

Make someone’s day with instant tickets

An instant win giveaway is a great way to reward a fan with some last-minute tickets! Instant win giveaways allow you to reward fans on the spot with whatever prize you wish to give out, but they’re especially handy when you’re trying to fill the stadium on short notice. Use one of our game templates, like spin the reels or scratch and win to give fans a chance at winning tickets to the upcoming game. Make it quick and easy for participants to claim their prize by sending them a QR code via email that can be scanned at the door.

Template used: Instant Win, Scratch & Win or Spin the Reels

Want to give one of these ideas a shot? Our templates make it easy. Just find the idea you want to try, then click on the featured template to get started. You can customize the template with your logo, photos of your players, the stadium and other content that reflects your team. If you need any help, our support team has your back:

About the author

By Jane Vance ・5 min read

Jane has over a decade of martech experience, with an emphasis in content marketing, UX, and customer success. Her combined skillset and years of hands-on experience make her a valuable player in the industry. In her free time, Jane loves quiet family dinners at home and a good book.

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