It’s the love and adoration and pure passion of these fans that has made these leagues household names in different regions of the world
When we talk about the top sports leagues in the world, which ones generally cross our minds? Most of us will say English Premier League, National Football League, Major League Baseball, Indian Premier League. These are some of the top leagues of the world that have captured the imagination of fans over the years and are still going strongly. A lot has to do the way these top leagues have cared and valued their fans. It’s the love and adoration and pure passion of these fans that has made these leagues household names in different regions of the world.
Sports leagues can gain a lot by engaging and valuing their fans in every possible way. Let’s have a look at some of the benefits that certain leagues have experienced over the years.
Many top sporting leagues in the world have benefitted in terms of increased brand awareness because of fan engagement. Premier League football that replaced the old first division football in England in 1992 is now a global league with presence in more than 40 countries. The brand of Premier League football has grown with star players like Gerrard, Beckham, Henry etc. and is now the most popular soccer league in the world. Almost all the soccer lovers on this planet know about the English Premier League and probably have better knowledge of it than they have about their own national domestic soccer league.
As more and more people become aware about a league as a brand, it automatically generates interest among the people and leads to increased viewership. This may take some time but surely brings tangible reward for your efforts. Super bowl TV viewership in United States had risen from 79.51 million in 1991 to 108.40 million by 2013. Similarly, Major League Baseball has grown its average viewership from 14.7 million to 18.12 million in the last decade. Such drastic results may not come overnight so a lot patience, planning and strategy is required to reach and sustain such high levels of sports viewership.
Over the years, various sports leagues have gained huge monetary benefits out their global branding image and higher viewership indexes. NFL revenues have grown from 4.28 billion dollars in 2001 to a staggering 11.09 billion dollars by 2014. This results because of better broadcasting deals, higher ticket sales, improved merchandising deals etc. If we talk about merchandise sale only, Major League Baseball earns more than $3 billion in revenue annually. This goes to show how fans and supporters embrace their teams and clubs and feel proud to own their merchandise and become part of their sporting fraternity.
Creating Sustainable Fan Base
When, your intent is to value and care for fans you are actually building a base that will be everlasting. They will stand by you in your difficult times as well as share your joy and success. Sustaining fans for years and years can be difficult but teams and leagues have done it successfully over so many years. There is no dull day when city rivals Liverpool and Everton meet in tense derby days. Generations of loyalty towards their beloved teams have helped maintain their charm even after so many years and this is possible because of the ways these teams have cared and nurtured their fans.
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