July 13, 2019 / Insights Why your website is key to nailing live sport

By Patrick Galloway (@pat11g)

For Sydney based sports lovers Craig, Dean and James, their decision to attend one of the CBD’s leading live sport destinations one Friday night in winter came down to one key online moment.

“I knew the game was on and at lunch I had walked past The Office Hotel and thought that could be a good option to have a couple of beers and watch the [Super Rugby] game,” said Craig, who initiated the outing.

“When I got back to work I checked the website and I saw the game was on, so I sent a message to the boys and said let’s go and catch up,”

Craig grew up supporting the ACT Brumbies and his friends, who work in the financial services industry, used to play the sport at a semi-professional level.

Sportsyear researchers Klaudia and Mary conducted hundreds of in venue surveys across multiple venues.
Sportsyear researchers Klaudia and Mary conducted hundreds of in venue surveys across multiple venues.

They had no qualms when the offer to meet came through via text message, mid-afternoon.

“They replied within two minutes,” said Craig.

“I have seen it pumping with lots of sport and atmosphere on a weeknight, so I thought it was a good call,”

The latest Sportsyear research has shown that Craig’s journey is typical of many sports fans, who actually have a short list of venues in their mind, that they will pitch to other friends.

The Sportsyear research conducted showed that 53% of sports fans check a venue’s website when they need to answer the all-important question – is a venue on their short list going to show the game?

Research shows a venue's website and its social media channels are key to attracting undecided sports fans.
Research shows a venue's website and its social media channels are key to attracting undecided sports fans.

Sportsyear Co-Founder Patrick Galloway says that while a venue’s live sport schedule on the website is important, flagging whether a game will actually have sound is also critical.

“We know from all our research in this space, that fans want atmosphere,”

“The amount of screens, the size of those screens, and whether there is any volume available, is a really important piece of information that fans like Craig are trying to track down on websites,”

Galloway stressed the importance of venues thinking about this fan journey, when creating and improving their online experience for what Sportsyear has termed ‘swinging sports fans’.

“A live sport button visible to a sports fan who has landed on a website, and a link to a stand along live sport page is an important first step.” said Galloway.

Galloway says Sportsyear is helping partner venues market live sport the right way.

“Sportsyear provides our partners with major event promo tiles and sports scheduling widgets, which then sit on that page and inform sports fans in a clear and simple manner,”

“Social media also stood out to us in our research as a key channel for those in hospitality to consider, in addition to their website,” he said.

Sports bars like The Office Hotel, the final destination of Craig and his mates, are continuing to cater for sports fans, given the growing appetite for live sports across all hours of the week.

Duty Manager at The Office Hotel Will Lindsay, says the venue’s live sport offer continues to strengthen – and Sportsyear is playing an active part in that process.

“Sportsyear has saved me a stack of time each week and it’s great that we are now communicating an on-point message to locals, as well as people in town who want to know what’s on,” said Lindsay.

The Office Hotel in Sydney is a leading live sports venue on the short list of many CBD workers.
The Office Hotel in Sydney is a leading live sports venue on the short list of many CBD workers.

Each week, Will logs into Sportsyear’s hospitality platform and adds food and drink specials to his venue’s live and loud games, which have been automated by Sportsyear.

It’s all live synced to the website, and it's always right.

As for Craig, he says he’ll definitely be back.

“Because of the number of screens available, I now know I can land a seat anywhere and will be able to catch any game I like,”

“This is pretty much sports fan heaven,” he said.