Engaging Expat and Secondary Sports Fans in APAC

Jamie Crick, Managing Director, APAC , 05.17.24

05.17.24 Jamie Crick, Managing Director, APAC

Any country's media environment is awash with its most popular sports, particularly during their respective playing seasons. Depending on the time of year in APAC that could be cricket in India, baseball in Japan, or AFL in Australia. These widely-followed sports enjoy massive media attention and generate significant buzz that captures the collective national psyche. So how do foreign or secondary sports and rights-holders cut through these noisy environments to engage and convert potential fans?

The answer lies in a multifaceted marketing approach that incorporates targeted communications, culturally nuanced messaging, and strategic timing to effectively engage and captivate both expat and secondary sports fans.

Time your swing

At AGM, we know timing is everything. It's critical to connect with fans at the right moments. Understanding the ebbs and flows of a sport's calendar lets us align media spend, messaging and initiatives during peak interest periods - the start of a season, a playoff push, or derby weekends - as well as know when that interest is most likely to solidify into action, such as activating a subscription. We also consider what's happening outside the sport. A lull in mainstream sports content is an opportunity to win over less committed fans, and a public holiday may allow viewers to watch a live match in another country at a time of day that wouldn't usually be convenient.

Speak the same language

Expats' native languages can be an excellent tool both for targeting and messaging. Nothing says "we get you" like a message about your favourite team in your home language. At a broader level, while competitions and individual fixtures fuel hardcore fans - who are more motivated to find you themselves anyway - more casual fans need hooks like players, teams, and stories to invest in. At AGM, we do this by spotlighting talent with local ties or global fame, or showcasing legendary club rivalries, giving more neutral fans something to latch onto.

Be part of the banter

Sports fandom = community, and this is even more true when a sport is not part of the mainstream discourse in a given country. Brands are welcome in those communities when they're able to authentically communicate their shared passion. Becoming a regular part of fans' social conversations - even if in a purely informative capacity - builds a genuine connection. When we help brands reach those communities, we often use influencers from those very communities as brand and content advocates to expand organic reach, awareness and trust.

Win the game

Our success in engaging expat and secondary sports fans across various regions is a testament to our strategy - but the work doesn't stop once the campaign is launched. We launch a suite of follow-up interactions that keep the conversation going and the excitement alive. By delivering persistent and engaging content that resonates with our newfound fans, at the right time, we increase the likelihood of transforming casual viewers into fervent followers.

Don't just play the game — win it. Want to know more about our approach to sports fandom and engagement in global markets? Get in touch.

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