How can you use gamification in sporting events?

The future of sporting events will be interactive and fun. Consequently, there is no doubt whatsoever that businesses will have to reinvent themselves and rely on innovation as well as gamification to create new ways to enjoy sports.

In fact, competitions, influential brands and businesses in the sports world will have to turn to gamification and digitalisation if they want to remain attractive since supporters now want to be part of the game!

Why gamification?

Gaming companies have mastered the art of interactive gaming, which helps them promote social engagement with consumers. With a growing number of people spending time playing games, it is the ideal place to reach your audience through their preferred channel.

Gamification has become part of daily life without us even realising and sports marketing is predisposed to work well in this context since it is already based around games for professional athletes. With the huge popularity of eSports tournaments which are capable of drawing in millions of viewers online, sports gamification is gaining a stronger and stronger foothold and sporting events are one of the most promising uses of this enticing concept.

Strengthen supporter engagement

Through votes, interactive quizzes, satisfaction surveys and real-time polls, which are shared live graphically, supporters can actively engage and stay connected. The behavioural and individual data can also be collected, analysed and re-injected to improve their client and user experience.

The rewards are also part of the game to thank users for the hours spent viewing the content. For example, you can offer virtual rewards, such as badges, trophies or even award points like they do for high-level athletes. You can also offer boot studs or any element that relates to your sport’s universe. With a little imagination, you can keep your audience happy by any means!

Young people are more drawn to sports thanks to event games

One of the most significant evolutions in gamification for sports is the increase in engagement with young people. In fact, gamified sporting events are an excellent way to reach the generation of 17–30 year olds who are more connected and motivated than ever before by the world of gaming. Instant access to media and fast entertainment have become the norm and that is why, for these audiences, traditional sporting events can be considered long and monotonous. The gamification of sports allows for an expansion of engagement with young people by making your events more accessible and attractive for the fast-paced digital world that some of them live in.

In fact, by integrating sports into media such as marketing or event games, young people can experience the excitement of sports in a condensed manner that is more oriented towards the action which better catches attention when they are watching or playing sports. Additionally, by adding elements of play to this practice, young participants are able to identify familiar and enjoyable elements in sports and are more inclined to practice a physical activity.

A considerable improvement in performance

In addition to helping improve engagement and participation among young sports fans, gamification can also encourage athletes and sports lovers to surpass themselves by improving their performance. Portable technology such as smartwatches and fitness trackers measure physical activity and performance and give athletes access to this very advanced data to see their progress in real-time. They also include popular elements of gamification such as badges and progress bars which provide extra motivation to keep training and improving!

Furthermore, the inclusion of social and gaming elements such as rankings with friends has allowed for the development of social sports communities.

Sports become more universal and digitised

Finally, gamification and the digitalisation of sports contributes towards making competitions and sporting events more global by letting athletes from all over the world measure themselves against one another and draw in a more international audience. Technological connectivity ignores physical distances and locational constraints that hinder the spread of international sports. Different digital sports platforms let individual athletes, such as cyclists, use connection technologies to race and measure themselves against one another from opposite sides of the world.

By facilitating more connections and higher engagement on an international level, the gamification of sports can help a business to develop and grow both its number of participants and spectators all over the world. So with gamification, sporting events are becoming more accessible and combining the best of sports and entertainment!

How do you most effectively combine a sporting event and gamification?

Gamification is an excellent marketing tool but it must be applied correctly to your event to be effective and fulfil all of your goals. One of the most important pieces of the puzzle lies in the conception of the gamification elements which must be familiar and easy to understand for your clients. If the elements are too complex, consumers will quickly lose interest!

The measurability is another key element in the successful conception of gamification because users are more engaged when they can compare their results to others. Additionally, it is essential to ensure that the goals of gamification are achievable because experiences that are too difficult quickly create frustration for players which can lead them to giving up on the game completely.

Gamification can be actively integrated in all real sports events — so the event game begins to play a direct role in your sport of choice. An effective approach that is already used by Drimify is organising a competition and getting visitors to take part in a digital satisfaction survey during a sports-themed fair, for example. These tools will allow you to create loyalty to your business and considerably increase levels of engagement with your clients!

Sports marketing and gamification go hand in hand. By effectively using gaming mechanisms to encourage consumers to participate, sports brands and businesses achieve their goals and are perfectly positioned to connect with their audience which opens a whole new world of possibilities!

Success story

An excellent example of this concept can be found in the agreement between Allianz Riviera and OGC Nice club, in the top division of French football, who have developed a “Stadium Experience” application for mobile. The club’s gamified app has tested the game functions that have radically changed the way the public view live sporting events. Fans and supporters registered to the app could make quarterly predictions on diverse game statistics through their accounts and were then rewarded with points and ranked live alongside other users.

Jean-Pierre Rivère, president of the Nice football club:

Thanks to the application, we can make the most of new technologies for the benefit of the fans. Getting excited about a great shot […], taking advantage of advanced statistics and taking part in interactive bets and polls online… It’s an additional service, on demand. It would not be possible without the extremely fortunate collaboration set up with Allianz Riviera.

By creating this interactive, tailor-made experience, sports enthusiasts engage with and devote themselves to interactive gamification, while sports club marketing specialists reap the incredible benefits of being able to reach clients through an easy and interesting channel to put in place.

Add real value to your sporting events thanks to gamification. Try our demos right now and do not hesitate to contact us to make the most of our advice. The Drimify team is at your service to discuss your sports-themed event game project.

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