June 1

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What’s Your Story?

Katie Rudy

June 1, 2021

customer engagement, customer experience, fan engagement, fan experience, sports business, sports marketing, superfan

Brittany Hodak recently joined us on Flip the Switch to share her insights on cultivating super fans and experiences.  Combining personal stories of becoming a Wolverine fan with studying fans through her marketing and collectibles company ZinePak / The Superfan Company, Brittany crafted a SUPER strategy to foster relationships and build super fans that can be executed across a wide range of brands, including music, retail and sports.  

To find SUPER fans:  

S – Start with your story
U – Understand your customers
P – Personalize the experience
E – Exceed Expectations 
R – Repeat

Sounds simple enough, right?  

Repeat reminds us that your story is present tense and that it’s being rewritten every day.  

“Pretend that you don’t have the jerseys, you don’t have the brand, you don’t have the name. If people didn’t know which team was playing, what could you do to make them want to come back anyway?  What are the parts about your story that no other team in your league is going to be able to replicate that have nothing to do with legacy? What are those moments? What are those impactful things that you’re doing to ensure that all of your fans feel welcomed, appreciated, validated, engaged?”


Brittany Hodak

What your fans need to feel welcomed, appreciated, valued and engaged will change. Therefore, your story should change. Are you constantly evolving to meet the needs of your current customer or fan?

Within the last week, countless sports and entertainment organizations announced their venues will be at full capacity again. The photo galleries and hype videos accompanying the announcements reminded us all of the camaraderie that we have missed over the last 15 months.  

The announcement is just chapter one. What will be added to your story in the next few months? Next year? 

The words adaptive, nimble and agile became some of the most commonly used words in the industry last year. Through all the challenges and hardships, think about the positive takeaways. What did you learn from your fans through those virtual game day pivots and digital engagements? If you had fans in the past year, what experiments did you run that you will roll out stadium-wide? How will you leverage that insight to enhance the in-game experience at this year’s events? 

It starts with understanding your customers’ story and conducting regular, active listening.  In the last year, how many of us may have listened to customers’ needs, but were not able to meet them, because of capacity guidelines or other restrictions? Now you have the opportunity to act on input. Consider pulse surveys, focus groups, introducing (or re-introducing) fan councils, options that allow fans to provide feedback and impact real-time changes. 

“Super fans are created at the intersection of your story and every customer story.”

What will your next chapter say?

For more from Brittany, listen to the full conversation here.

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