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Building a Great Community in the Sports Industry

Written by Alida

Published January 24, 2018

In this example, one of our clients in the sports industry used creative recruitment tactics to achieve FANtastic results. The client’s refer-a-friend recruitment campaign resulted in a community of new and old contacts who truly care about their brand.

After reading this story you’ll be able to use creative recruitment tactics to attract a community that is more: Engaged, Responsive, and Authentic.

The Story:

The client wanted to build an active and engaged membership, and to do that, they knew they would need to use an active and targeted approach to recruitment. They also wanted to make sure they could reach beyond their existing list to find new sports fans to reach out to; this is how they decided to start with a refer-a-friend recruitment strategy.

Building a Great Community in the Sports Industry

Invited the Super Fans first

The initial invitation went out to a carefully targeted list of people who they knew would be most engaged. Within that invitation study, they also asked those recipients to refer anyone they knew who might be interested in joining the community as well – friends, family, colleagues… anyone who might want to share their thoughts, opinions, and feedback about the brand. From their initial list, this company actually saw a 10% lift on the overall recruitment through this added option!

Building a Great Community in the Sports Industry



Setup an auto-invitation process

Once the names were collected from the welcome, an automated process was setup to invite the new referred members. Quick tip: including the referrer's name in the invite email will ensure the invitee doesn't discount the message as SPAM.


Building a Great Community in the Sports Industry


Hosted an invite-only event

The client invited community members to a special, invite-only event, just for selected fans who were part of the community. At the event members could meet with their community facilitators, as well as offer their opinions to help shape future offerings – specifically food and drink options that would be available at the team’s venue. This event was a huge success, and allowed the community managers to become “real people”, offering even more authentic interaction.


hosted online events

The First Big Win

admit one ticket

The client wanted to launch a new mobile app that would replace paper tickets, but didn’t want to upset fans. The client worried that fans would miss the physical experience of having a ticket stub to hold on to as a memento; they assumed the new technology and digital tickets wouldn’t be widely adopted.

So they launched a study....

The community study and pilot program resulted in an outcome that was the opposite of what the client suspected — customers preferred the mobile tickets, and liked the ease of use and convenience. The app was successfully launched to a much larger group of users, and is now the primary method to enter the stadium and attend the team’s events.