Thilo Kunkel, Ph.D.

Gamified fan engagement to increase loyalty

The School of Tourism and Hospitality Management at Temple has formed a strategic partnership with Swiss software developer Appventures to conduct data analysis of their ARENOO soccer fan engagement app. Initial data analysis has led to a paper to be presented at the Sport Marketing Association conference in October, held in Philadelphia. The following is the abstract of the paper: Digital media has created ample opportunities to grow sport brands, generate revenue, extend the fan experience beyond the game, introduce loyalty programs, and allow for the gamification of these programs.  Gamification represents customers’ playful interaction with brands aimed at increasing their engagement with the brand and subsequently their loyalty toward the brand. The current research is based on data from the ARENOO football fan engagement app.  The app allows users to engage with their favorite sport and collect points based on their interaction with their favorite football team.  Results of Person Correlation analyses indicate that users’ activities within the app were strongly positively correlated with team related outcome variables, such as stadium attendance.  This research supports and extends theoretical knowledge related to gamified customer engagement.  Furthermore, we present a fan engagement tool that is of relevance to sport practitioners who are looking for new routes to engage customers in a digital, mobile environment.  In particular, the app allows sport managers to deepen the relationship with existing sport brand customers and generate new customers by building on their relationship with the sport and then funneling them into customers of the brand. For information how sport organizations can benefit from the ARENOO app, see this link: ARENOO – Gamified fan engagement to increase loyalty 3 page flyer  

Read More

Academic research that can help the sports industry

Can academic research help sports industry?  In the latest issue of the Sports Business Journal (August 12 – 18, 2013, Volume 16, Issue 17) senior writer Bill King addresses the question how academic research can help the sports industry. Bill King makes the argument that academic research has a lot to offer to the sports industry.  He highlights six articles that are beneficial for sports practitioners – one being the article “Brand Architecture, Drivers of Consumer Involvement, and Brand Loyalty with Professional Sport Leagues and Teams” (Kunkel, Funk, & Hill, 2013) published in the Journal of Sport Management. Obviously, I am very proud that my article received a mention as being relevant for the sports industry.  Hopefully, both league and team managers will find value in finding out more about the brand relationship of their entities as perceived by consumers, to leverage their close relationship.  

Read More