The rising cost of utilities, rocketing fuel costs and the general cost of living is a concern for many people, and understandably so. However, as the UK faces a historically big hit to household income, we cannot underestimate the importance of attending sports events in keeping us all smiling.
The more chaotic life becomes, the more important cheering on our favourite teams, playing our favourite sports, or just being with friends at the races becomes in helping us beat away the winter blues.
Sports participation has a tremendous role in improving the nation's social, mental, and physical well-being. Whether we watch it or play it, sport is an emotional refuge, a bolt hole from all that worries us; it is escapism and entertainment all in one. Just look at how the nation got behind the 2022 World Cup; we almost forgot it was Christmas!
However, the cost of living is a real problem, and people are understandably cutting back on leisure activities or seeking lower-cost stay-at-home alternatives to meet the soaring costs of bills. In fact the Office for National Statistics claims 54% of us are already spending less on non-essentials.
The sad reality is that we now find ourselves in a year where sports events attendance is considered a luxury, and as a sector, we need to find new ways to feed fan retention to ensure our crowd numbers stay strong in these trying times.
A fierce advocate of the motivational value of rewards and the revenue reciprocity this brings to the commercial growth of the mature sports market.
At Rewards4, it is possible to help fans save money simply by watching and supporting the team they love. We believe in #passionrewarded; fan loyalty is at the heart of our existence.
However, the idea of a loyalty programme isn’t new. Loyalty and rewards programmes have been around since American Airlines created the first 'frequent flyer' loyalty programme in 1981. A tried and tested concept that consumers have flocked to for many years to lower costs and increase affordability.
In fact, 2022 research by e wallet and brand marketplace Swapi claims that 42% of Brits use loyalty schemes to combat the cost-of-living
However, the traditional rewards and redemption strategy is a thing of the past. Loyalty programmes are no longer an antidote to rising prices but an opportunity to enhance the fan experience, incentivise behaviour and forge an emotional connection with fans. An emotional connection that is data-rich and that provides crucial insight invaluable to marketing teams that will drive commercial growth.
As we enter 2023, we do so with greater awareness of our spending and cautiousness that extends beyond monetary value. As consumers we seek experiential factors and personalisation more and more, and we need to harness this desire and engage with fans through collaborative opportunities and meaningful rewards.
The increasing financial uncertainty makes this a pivotal time for the sports industry. It is also a time of great opportunity, with the development of loyalty bringing great insight into the preferences of our audience and equipping us with the data that will enable us to create real change where it matters most.
Rewards4 currently works with over 50 sports organisations, helping them to: 1) deliver a loyalty proposition which recognises and rewards the loyalty of more than 400,000 fans; 2) collect first party data from those fans and deliver valuable insights.
To find out how Rewards4 can help you to support your fans, get in touch with the team today: https://www.rewards4group.com/partner-with-us.html