Blog Sports

Super Fan Culture

What’s the Trend:

Super fans are the individuals that make their passion for a brand a central part of their lives and identity.(1) Characterized by their intensity of emotion and “loyalty beyond reason,” brands are looking to harness this super fan culture in new ways through the use of technology.(2)

What’s New:
Super fans (of comic books, TV shows, sports teams, etc.) are loyal, influential and highly social. They share content, praise content and want to convert friends to the cause. They also spend money – whether it’s going to concerts, major sporting events, dressing up for a special promotional occasion or buying whole TV seasons at a time and binge watching episodes.(3) Super fans have always existed. But with new technology, their influence has rising value for brands across a range of industries and has become a growing source of potential revenue. The increase in social media platforms has made it easier to spot these super fans and also added to the faster emergence of super fans. They create blogs and Twitter feeds generating important conversations for a brand to pay attention to.(4)

Sports fans are some of the most legendary super fans, and beacon technology is one way technological advances have been used to identify super fans, enhance fan experience at the stadium and gather important consumer data. Radio-frequency identification cards (“RFID”) are another way to reward super fans. The NY Jets this season introduced the Jets Rewards program for season ticket holders. Fans receive an RFID-enabled card that tracks attendance to games and in return, fans receive points redeemable for a variety of perks such as going out on to the field.(5)

Russell Sapienza, (Partner, PricewaterhouseCoopers) identifies the need for businesses to build “concentric circles of influence” to start establishing “ownership” over their super fans. The inner circle are those within the business innovating, the outer circle are super fans given the opportunity to influence a new product and promote the brand in exchange for an exclusive personalized experience.(6)

Why it Matters:
Super fan culture is about authenticity – super fans will spot a brand doing something inauthentic a mile away, and they will likely broadcast it to their networks. Apply this to Hispanic super fans and we can surmise they would also sense cultural inauthenticity displayed by a brand. Also, opportunities exist to facilitate communities for super fans. While creating a community for them is too heavy handed, it’s important to find the organic communities, observe them and give them fodder to keep them engaged, even in the off season.


  1. Lacy, Lisa. (2014, October). “The New York Jets On Overcoming Adversity During Tough Times.” Momentology.
  2. Sapienza, Russ. (2014). “Engaging with the ’super-fan’: a growing source incremental revenue – Video” PricewaterhouseCoopers.
  3. Gregory, Rob. (2014, April). “How marketers should approach the super-fan.” DigiDay.
  4. Sapienza, Russel. (2014). “The super-fan: a growing source incremental revenue – Video” PricewaterhouseCoopers.
  5. Lacy, Lisa. (2014, October). “The New York Jets On Overcoming Adversity During Tough Times.” Momentology.
  6. Sapienza, Russel. (2014, October). “Engaging with the’super-fan’: a growing source incremental revenue .” PricewaterhouseCoopers Blogs.

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