By Johnny Askounis/ email@example.com
Fans unable to be present at Turkish Airlines EuroLeague games due to the coronavirus restrictions have been met with efforts by Crvena Zvezda mts to keep them at the Stark Arena in any way possible. Anadolu Efes previously introduced fans in courtside seats through video technology.
Teams are reinventing themselves attempting to create a game-like atmosphere despite unprecedented surroundings. The Belgrade club forming a virtual community via The Always with Crvena Zvezda initiative is a prime example featuring images and messages from the fans during home matches.
“Step by step, with good planning and execution, we established over a nine-year span a strong community of our supporters all over the whole world, through all social networks,” Marketing Director Janko Stankovic said, per Euroleague.net. “We are very proud of the fact that we changed the way of thinking of our ‘average’ supporters, who are very important for the everyday life of our club, with every single action they take: buying season tickets, buying commercial content in the official fan store, and be part of our loyalty program.”
Zvezda fans have bought more than 1,000 season tickets on a contingency basis, depending on whether they will be able to eventually able to witness 10, 20, or 30 games from all the club’s competition in person. At least 40% of the season-ticket buyers were among the supporters sending messages shared directly with players.
The Serbian outlet recently launched a new Viber community. Planned next aiming to strengthen the bond between players and fans are live video conferences on Instagram and Facebook. Also, a new podcast including former players and influencers touching club topics is approaching.
“The situation is difficult on a global level, but these are the circumstances when each of us must do our best,” mentioned Jankovic said, “In the most difficult circumstances, hard work and creativity can bring an advantage.”