A new category of sports enthusiasts is emerging, driven by on-demand access, cultural connectivity, and technology-fueled engagement. Dubbed the “on-demand fan,” research suggests this group now represents over 60% of current sports viewership moments – making them a primary audience for Marketplace owners.
While traditional fans remain, new genres of supporters are exploring cultural dimensions like music, fashion and social issues blended with the world of sport.
For these fans, the culture surrounding sports can actually surpass the on-field action in captivating interest. User-generated content and relatable personality narratives often provide the entry point before games take center stage. On-demand fans crave participation in the broader dialogue through creating memes, commentary and remixing highlights.
Activating multidimensional connections
The rise of this audience segment demonstrates the need for sports brands to activate cultural dimensions beyond just selling tickets and merchandise. For 62% of TikTok users who claim to watch major sports events, ‘culture’ is the reason they watch sports, not simply the on-field action.
That might help explain why sales of NFL star Travis Kelce’s replica jersey spiked over 400% after entering into a public relationship with Taylor Swift. The ensuing Chiefs game became the highest-viewed program of the day for women aged 18-49. This demonstrates pop culture relevance does not detract from sports – it can significantly elevate engagement.
Platforms like NFL Sports Marketplace and MLB Sports Marketplace powered by Commerce Dynamics also open doors to new engagement avenues with digital collectibles, special access passes and collaborative fan-inspired product development. The potential exists to foster creative participation that blends entertainment with competition.
The sports experiences of the future must cater to multifaceted interests while retaining excitement around scores and statistics. Marketplaces provide the technical backbone to reimagine loyalty and engagement across cultural dimensions. The on-demand fan craves participation in a broader ecosystem beyond just buying tickets.
Contact Commerce Dynamics today to begin your journey to attracting the on-demand fan.