There once was a time when the access that fans had to a team was strictly limited to what they could read in the papers or game programmes or by catching interviews on the TV and maybe receiving the occasional newsletter or two.
But technology in general, and social media in particular, has changed all that and the world for a fan today is very different to how it has ever been before.
In touch 24/7
The most obvious way any team stays close to their fans today is through their website and the Raptors are no exception. This gives fans the chance to have 24/7 access to news, information and every other possible fact they could ever want about the squad, the results and even when injured players are due to be back in action. What’s more, before websites became so widespread it also meant that during the closed season there was virtually a news blackout but now fans can keep in touch all year round.
While the website offers a great level of immediacy as it’s updated frequently this is nothing compared with the speed which social media can react to breaking stories and this can only help fans to feel that they’re even more in the loop.
The Raptors social media team certainly do have all the bases covered with a presence on Facebook, Twitter, Google +, Instagram and Pinterest and, as all users will know, the great thing about all of these media channels is that they’re two-way.
So unlike in the past when we were just passive receivers of news now we can react, respond and share everything that we learn from it. And with an estimated network of 1.9 billion Facebook users worldwide it means that there is a truly huge potential audience.
Because Twitter is even more immediate it allows an even faster dialogue between teams and fans – and it can also help to build the personality of the team in fans’ minds depending on the tone it uses. A great example of this is the L.A. Kings who have become almost as famous for their sassy tweets as they have for their play.
It’s good to talk
Of course it’s not just in the world of sport that organisations can use all the tricks of modern technology to get closer to their fans and develop even stronger loyalties. For instance with its Wink Experience, the online gaming company Wink Bingo gives new and existing players a valuable information resource that is relevant, fun and genuinely useful – very important in what is a very competitive area.
The Raptors have also shown themselves to be very good at using technology even in an “offline” environment to engage with fans with two examples being the birthday messages they can request to be shown on the video board at half time as well as the “Hotline Bling” booth they held on Drake Night in 2015.
It all adds up to a team that’s truly in tune with its fans – a fact that they surely appreciate.