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FanVox Study – “The Business of Football & Fan Engagement”

28 February 2016

Over the past 18 months, FanVox has been monitoring the affairs of the supporter movement across the world. This study compiles the main findings of a bespoke research, with insightful contributions from 148 football stakeholders in Europe and America.

Supporter activism is a phenomenon that has spent several years in the orbit of the football industry. Nonetheless, recently it has gained greater relevance, thanks to the emergence of new technologies and the media impact is has generated. 

FanVox’s vision has always aimed at enhancing the positive impact of activism via the use of new technologies. We also thought it would be very  interesting to understand the dynamics between the football industry, the supporter movement and the influence of technology as their common link.  Therefore, we decided to undergo our first global study in 2015, and we are pleased to present the main findings.

Data Sheet

The survey had a global reach thanks to the expert network FanVox has built in Europe and in the American Continent. This holistic scope allows the reader  to better understand the perception of various stakeholders on football business and fan engagement.


 The Impact of Social Media

The degree of influence of social media between industry and fans was the first topic to be analysed. The responses from both industry stakeholders and supporters turned out to be quite captivating and contradictory.  On one hand, football industry stakeholders perceive that they are now closer to fans and listen to their voice thanks to social media; whereas the latter consider that there is a huge gap between what they request and what they effectively get.


The Football Business

Football has become an entertainment business and we wanted to gather discerning insights on this new status quo.  What is the perception on this new model? What is the role of supporters? It was fascinating to comprehend that there are extreme views on the pros and cons of the football business, along with the general perception that business now comes first. One aspect that raised some doubts was the real ability of fans to raise their voice in an organised and collective way to influence decision-making.


Fans and Social Media

However, the emergence of new technologies has allowed to a greater number of stakeholders to collectively interact, discuss and seek change ind football. The voice of the fan in the virtual world articulates a more vocal and demanding intention to change football for the better. Nevertheless, this intention is not entirely replicated in tangible offline actions.


New Power and Supporters

Lastly, New Power in football, enabled by peer coordination and the agency of the crowd,  is a concept that is starting to be incorporated into the lexicon of football activists and certain football stakeholders. The potential that new technologies can bring to collective action in football is big; however, it will take time and its current purpose is to educate fans on its advantages. Nonetheless, football fans expressed their interest on using tools that would accelerate and enhance the effectiveness of #FanPower campaigns.


In conclusion, we find ourselves before a thriving dynamic Football Industry – Fans – Technology. Moreover, collective action is gaining relevance and strength (plus greater effectiveness) to accomplish its objectives. We are convinced that the secret ingredient to success relies on leveraging online collaboration tools that can viralise and accelerate tangible impact. That is the reason behind FanVox 

Take Part in the 2016 Study

We invite you to carefully read the results of the survey on our website . We are very interested to get to know your insights and feedback regarding this research. Also, if you are interested in participating in the second edition of the study (2016), please get in touch and email us  to info@fanvox.net We will contact you shortly.