BRAVES FANBEAT’S FIRST HALF

In baseball, the All-Star break marks the season’s unofficial “halfway” point, when teams evaluate what they’ve done during the first three-plus months and set goals and expectations for the season’s second half.

With the Midsummer Classic this week, we thought we’d take the same approach at FanBeat.

The Braves are FanBeat’s first official MLB partner, so it’s certainly an historic season for us and it’s been exciting to watch the number of users grow throughout the season as more Braves fans learn about FanBeat and play the app. Here are three takeaways for the first half of the year.

FANBEAT “STICKS”

One of the metrics of which we’re most excited and proud is how many users play the entire game. Every Braves FanBeat game has 28 questions and this season on average every user answers 17 questions. Moreover, in the last 7 games, 63 percent – almost 2/3 of all users that try the game — end up playing the whole way through and answering at least 2/3 of the questions. In an era when all sorts of programming and apps compete for our attention, FanBeat is incredibly excited about the high level of engagement we’re seeing from users.

FanBeat can enhance engagement for any sport, but it seems tailor-made for baseball because of the sport’s cadence and tempo. Between every inning, fans know to check their phones, go into the app, and answer one predict-the-action question and one trivia question. The timing for breaks in the action is predictable and the middle of innings – once dead times for fans – has now become a game within the game that fans anticipate and look forward to.

PRIZES ARE A GREAT MOTIVATOR

As great as bragging rights are, the stakes are always a little higher when free stuff’s on the line. The game prizes include club pavilion tickets, an autographed baseball, $10 Georgia Lottery scratchers and Braves T-shirts, while the season prizes include $5,000, a weekend at the Braves’ spring training site in 2017, meet-and-greet with a Braves player, and an autographed Braves jersey.

If you haven’t seen the FanBeat promotional video that aired on Braves Vision in June, you can view it here. The star of the video is Hugh T, who’s been one of our most avid players so far this season. When asked in the interview what he’s won this year, Hugh replied, “What haven’t I won?” Hugh rattled off the list of swag he’s won and then added, “I’ve won everything but an autographed baseball. That’s driving me to continue to play.”

Sure, having expansive knowledge of the team’s history makes for entertaining dinner table – or in this case bleacher seat – conversation. But it’s even better when you can leverage that franchise insight into Braves tickets, T-shirts … and hopefully an autographed ball.

FANBEAT MAKES EVERY GAME COMPETITIVE

As a former sports writer who is supposed to be objective, I always used to say that I didn’t root for specific teams, but I always rooted for a good game. Now that’s not really true any more – I have been a diehard Braves fan since I was 6.

However, the point in some ways still holds. I know that the closer a game is, the more fans will stay tuned in to the game. If a game becomes lopsided – one way or the other – casual fans tend to stop paying attention. In a scoreless pitcher’s duel, fans are hanging on every pitch. When the game’s a 9-1 rout, though, not so much.

What we’ve learned is that with FanBeat, fans stay engaged in the game regardless of the score because they’ve got their own stake in the action. Even if the Braves fall behind 6-1 in the fourth inning, fans who are in the hunt for T-shirts, scratchers, an autographed ball or that spring training weekend will continue to watch the game and root on their team.

The numbers from this year have borne that out. Our retention statistics from games where the run differential is five or more are no different from games that were decided by one run or two runs. That’s another benefit to every FanBeat partner – increased fan commitment and engagement to the team.

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