The enlargement of the so-called fanbase (the number of fans), loyalty, the ability to to attract the young audience that, for some time, has shown a waning interest in sport and its major manifestations. Common and planetary problems to which every company and every organization is called to find solutions, just look at the recent choices of Formula One or – why not – also the aborted Superlega of football, conceived precisely because of these issues.
In our part of Italy, one of the most significant realities is undoubtedly Varese Basketball, which boasts a remarkable loyal base (between 2,500 and 3,000 subscribers in the years preceding the pandemic, not at promotional prices) but who has to deal with generational changes and new requests by the public. Arguments already very clear within the red and white management which, to find further answers, has also chosen to deal with the LIUC; the university based in Castellanza where, among other things, a path in sports management and sporting events and where the captain of Openjobmetis, Giancarlo Ferrero, also recently graduated.
Thanks to the push of two associations, the Leo Club LIUC chaired by Elisa Katrin Libertella e LIUC Alumni, a hackathon – a team exercise – aimed precisely at developing related ideas and proposals to the enlargement and consolidation of the Varese Basketball fan base, also in light of the impossibility of attending the sports hall in the last and a half championship. One participated in the “Playground Hackaton” ten students divided into two teams in which there were also a series of figures from Pallcanestro Varese and LIUC: there were two players (the same Ferrero and Giovanni By Nicolao), the representatives of the white and red world and some teachers of the university. The event took place in one afternoon, therefore even with a short timeframe to arrive at a final elaborate.
“I believe the format adopted it was very interesting because it made it possible to put many different actors at the same table »explains the professor Antonio Palmieri, director of the Sports Management specialization in LIUC and lecturer in management of sports clubs e governance of sport. «The players and managers of the club brought theirs experiencea, the students made fresh and innovative ideas while professionals and teachers stimulated debate and provided i applied models for the management of sports clubs. Interesting proposals have come out even if it is clear that this was only one start point to then go deeper into the most interesting possibilities ».
«Now in fact it is worth thinking about an action plan, build two-three projects to be brought to the field and then assess the effects in the short and medium term. The idea is precisely to find ourselves to move on to the next phase: to create a format together with Pallacanestro Varese and Liuc – it is the opinion instead of Umberto Argieri, president of the trust of fans “The Basketball are Us”, which participated in the hackathon – For our part it was nice to have a contradictory precisely with people who are part of the age group we want to address. Hearing things from kids has a great value».
The trust on the other hand it is a reality that has long existed among its aims is to involve the public in activities related to the red and white world. «The hackathon was an opportunity that goes perfectly in line with the programming that we have been carrying out in recent years. Bring Varese Basketball “inside” the territory, among people, companies and realities of all kinds, therefore also in a university of the caliber of Liuc, also given our proximity to Liuc Alumni. And it was one important experience in terms of format, a “zero bet” that everyone liked ».
In the final works they found their place above all solutions related to the experience that every spectator must live inside the sports hall. “Those who go to attend a match must live a unique experience – explains Professor Palmieri – made both from the competitive side and from many other aspects that must be addressed before, during and after the event sporty. It is necessary to create a dedicated path but also to have one profiling of each guest in order to offer what may interest them most ». The teacher also remembers how «there are different segments of fans with different expectations and needs. We need to think about initiatives aimed at all these segments, personalized initiatives in relation to the different targets and the new technologies help in tracing a precise profile of the fans “
«Also the relationship with schools of different degrees is a very interesting speech that was put on the table by a student – she continues Argieri – Varese Basketball has already activated this channel for years through the initiative “Basketball, a school of life” and it is worth continuing this dialogue with the institutes and building a modern communication and engagement plan to intercept the young and very young public ».
THE IDEA: A “PERMANENT LABORATORY INSIDE THE LIUC”
The agreement on these issues born between Liuc and Varese Basketball could also lead to establishment of a permanent laboratory that can help the sports club to develop its own fanbase and give the students of “Cattaneo” the opportunity to verify in the field the solutions conceived and studied on the university benches. Both Palmieri and Argieri – our interlocutors on this matter – agree on usefulness of a similar structure. “As far as I’m concerned, it would be nice if all Liuc students become fans of Openjobmetis, a reality that has aims and logic similar to those of a university.” “I wonder why this solution was not thought of before – concludes Argieri – but it is nice to look to the future and think about how to achieve it”.
Meanwhile, Argieri and “We are basketball” are ready to launch the partnership with the project “Italian District” that will come presented at the Enerxenia Arena. An innovative solution that – promises the president of the trust – goes beyond the needs of the basketball club but which, across the territory, can also involve many other sports realities of the province.