Top tips for Sports brands

The world of subscriptions is changing at lightning speed so how can Sports OTT brands navigate such volatile times? Only sports brands that understand their subscribers and act fact, will survive. 

It can be incredibly tough to grow a sports subscription service – but this begins by taking a fresh look at the way brands engage with their subscribers and learn how to build an experience that goes beyond just the sport. Building and maintaining all relationships start by developing a two-way communication between brand and subscriber. This requires effort and patience, of course, but if Sports brands don’t lay the foundations of a transparent and open relationship with their subscribers, it can cause bigger problems and more work further down the line.



Our new research into the Psychology of a Sports subscriber revealed that many sports brands are failing to understand the ‘subscriber mindset’ and are struggling to connect emotionally with their customers. Therefore, Sports OTT brands need to work much harder to building relationships with their customers in order to grow revenue, services and subscription longevity. 

However, all is not lost. Don’t give up on the relationship yet! The key is to begin focusing on the different psychological factors at play throughout the customer journey – if you want to have a significant impact on acquisition, growth and churn. 

During the acquisition phase of the customer journey, dissatisfaction and suspicion can begin from the moment a subscriber joins a sports subscription service. Subscribers can feel that their boundaries have been violated, especially if asked to hand over financial information or commit to the brand too soon.

At the growth stage, subscribers feel that brands quickly disappear and stop communicating with them once they have signed up, and typically only get in touch regarding financial matters, such as a price hike or upgrade option. Therefore, brands often create ambivalent or avoidant attachments to subscribers by failing to truly understand what they want and need.

In the later stages of the relationship, subscribers are often left feeling rejected and ignored by OTT brands that prioritise new customers over building valuable relationships with existing ones. Which often leads to churn.




1. Build relationships early

The first key strategy involves adapting the sign-up process to make it as easy as possible to register. Brands should avoid pushing prospective customers to share financial details too soon, and are encouraged to engage with them at the start of the relationship when they’re most receptive. 


2. Be transparent and flexible

During the growth phase, Sports OTT brands must be transparent over billing, get to know their customers better so they can tailor content to suit interests and moods, and provide quick and easy options to upgrade and downgrade. Being flexible and understanding at this stage is essential, as well as having a friendly customer support team that is easily accessible for queries.


3. Make it easy to leave

Finally, instead of making it difficult for a consumer to leave through phone interrogations and auto-renewal billing, Sports brands can provide easy cancellation and rejoin options, with the ability to ‘dip in and dip out’ or ‘freeze’ accounts. This helps foster a positive interaction, with subscribers more likely to return as valued customers. Of course, this stage wouldn’t be as necessary if sports brands listened, understood and engaged with subscribers from the start!


Best practice

Download a copy of the Psychology of a Subscriber report for 45 best practice tips and advice you can use to react quickly and build a brand your subscriber cares about. Click here.