User-generated content (UGC) has become a game-changer in sports marketing. UGC fuels fan engagement, expands reach, and drives ticket sales. In this blog, we explore the advantages of UGC in sports marketing, with real-world examples from major sports clubs that have successfully utilized UGC to engage fans, reach new audiences, and increase ticket sales.
1. Build a vibrant community
By creating dedicated forums or UGC campaigns on social media, sports clubs can foster story-sharing and a sense of belonging among fans. Arsenal Football Club used UGC to build a vibrant community with their #ArsenalRecreated campaign. Fans were encouraged to recreate iconic football moments associated with the club and share their creative content on social media, including TikTok. This initiative showcased fans' love and passion for Arsenal and fostered a strong sense of community among supporters.
2. Reach new audiences
When fans share UGC, they introduce sports clubs to their social circles, potentially reaching new audiences for the team. The Green Bay Packers, the American football team, regularly run the Packers Everywhere campaign, inviting fans to share their favorite memories and experiences with the team. Fans submit photos, videos, and personal stories through the team's official website and social media platforms. The Packers showcase selected UGC on their marketing channels, but it's the fact that fans spread content via their own social channels that really reaches new audiences and amplifies fan engagement.
3. Turn team spirit into sponsor value
Sports clubs can increase the value of their sponsorships by encouraging their fan base to engage with a sponsor brand through UGC. The Portland Trail Blazers collaborated with Alaska Airlines on the #WearInTheWorld campaign, inviting basketball fans from all over the world to share their team spirit photos on social media for a chance to win the trip of a lifetime and game tickets. This initiative generated value for the sponsorship and strengthened the relationship between the team and the sponsor.
4. Drive ticket sales with UGC in sports marketing
Promoting UGC featuring fan photos, testimonials, and unique game-day experiences generates FOMO (fear of missing out) among potential attendees. The German Bundesliga club Borussia Dortmund launched the Yellow Wall Stories campaign in the 2019-2020 season, encouraging fans to share their memorable experiences, photos, and videos from the iconic Yellow Wall standing section at their home stadium. The engaging content helped drive ticket sales by capturing the excitement and camaraderie of the Yellow Wall experience, attracting both loyal fans and new enthusiasts to the matches.
These examples demonstrate how sports teams and associations can effectively use UGC to create excitement, engage fans, boost the value of sponsorships, and ultimately drive ticket sales by leveraging the authentic and passionate content generated by their supporters.