Young football fans demand their football experience to be mobile and enjoy brand associations with the football content that they view as long as the branding is entertaining and not sales-based, according to groundbreaking new research from Copa90 in partnership with  Fuse Sport + Entertainment . The ‘Euro 2016 Fan Survey’ studied more than two thousand young football fans aged 13-24, with the data collected and analysed in summer 2016.  

Barry Flanigan, Chief Product Officer at Bigballs Media, said: “Young fans consume a huge amount of football content on social media like all fans, but what stands out is the importance of a mobile-first experience, alongside their heavy usage of messaging platforms. It’s the content beyond the 90 minutes that this audience cares about, not just the usual match news and stats. The fans don’t have a resistance to brands creating content for them that they love, just to those supplying more traditional, interruptive advertising that looks to sell and gets in their way.”

He added: “Gen Z football fans are big users of ad blockers but anything that is genuinely entertaining and resonates on a personal level, especially if fans can share it with others, appeals to them.”

The study showed that content that drives emotion and entertains such as memes, gifs and fan reactions, is as important to fans as match footage, news and stats. Twitter, which remains the go-to channel for live updates on football, represents a major opportunity for brands. According to the research, 79% of young fans enjoyed seeing tweets from brands that were entertaining and funny during Euro 2016, and 77% feel Twitter is a great place for brands to show personality during a sport event.

The survey highlights the importance of new emerging video and messaging services like Snapchat and WhatsApp, alongside established social platforms such as Facebook, YouTube, and Twitter. Some 80% of the young fans surveyed use Snapchat regularly and 65% use WhatsApp.

Read more details of the study on this article from Marketing Communication News