How volleyball is leveraging digital platforms for fan engagement

Micah Drews


Volleyball is a sport that has grown in popularity significantly over the past few years, with over 2 million regular NCAA viewers by the end of 2023. 

Digital transformation has been the name of the game for most mainstream sports around the world, such as football, basketball, hockey, and tennis. Volleyball has not lagged too far behind in deploying digital channels to increase fan engagement and build communities around the love of the sport. 

Digital media management deals, data collection and performance analytics are only a handful of applications that have helped bring volleyball into the new age of global sports. 

Rebrandings of clubs and national teams have also played an important role in updating their identities and helping fan engagement.

The advent of online sportsbooks, including volleyball crypto betting sites, has boosted the popularity of volleyball among the betting community as well. 

Online fan engagement in volleyball

Increasing engagement in a sport that does not have as big of a global audience as football and basketball can be tricky and various teams and associations around the world have come up with creative approaches to digital fan engagement efforts.

For example, the American Volleyball Coaches Association, or AVCA, has partnered up with Rivals Media to create a free-to-play mobile sweepstakes platform. 

Fans can participate in the sweepstakes platform free of charge and predict outcomes of upcoming volleyball matches, while also being offered to make a donation to the AVCA Volleyball 4 All fund, which provides scholarships for people engaging in the sport. 

Digital fan engagement opportunities in volleyball 

When it comes to digital transformation, there are a number of ways volleyball may take advantage of online channels to reach more fans around the world and increase the inclusivity of the sport.

Video content

Match highlights, press conferences, coach and player interviews – these are some of the common types of video content used by professional sports teams and volleyball is no different. 

Furthermore, teams can organize contests for fans, where they can demonstrate their own abilities in the sport that they follow and win prizes, such as matchday tickets, small cash prizes, etc. 

Such video content greatly increases fan engagement by establishing a relationship between the fans, players, and the team as a collective, which creates a sense of belonging and community between everyone. 

Fan participation and interaction

Various fan participation efforts can be organized by volleyball teams using digital platforms. For example, social media contests, surveys, trivia, and giveaways can greatly increase fan engagement.

After all, fans are the main stakeholders of volleyball teams and their support and attendance on matches is essential to create a winning atmosphere for the players. 

Fan meetups with players, participation in training modules, and online AMAs can help fans get to know the players and take a sneak peek behind the scenes. 

It is easy to alienate fans when they only watch games online, which is why it is crucial for volleyball teams to bring the fans closer to the action and daily activities of the team. 

Data analytics and insights

Providing fans with detailed match analytics and performance insights help create a clear view for them to evaluate performances and see what areas their team can improve in.

This is also very convenient for the coaching staff as they can leverage the data to implement them in their strategy and improve the performance of the team by highlighting pressure points where improvements are needed. 

Data analytics have seen a lot of growth in mainstream sports, with football and basketball taking full advantage of the technology, with team scouts also conducting research based on data gathered in countries of interest to make player transfers and swaps, which is something volleyball teams can also greatly benefit from. 

E-commerce and merchandising

Volleyball teams can tap into e-commerce channels to offer merchandise to their fans, which may include jerseys, hats, special kits, and more. 

Online merchandising is very popular among sports teams, with some generating more money through global merchandising than they do through matchday revenues. 

Many sports teams go through rebranding and change their visual identities in order to craft attractive merchandise that not only their fans would like to wear – increasing their reach beyond the sport. 

About Micah Drews

After playing volleyball at an international level for several years, I now work out and write for Volleyball Blaze. Creating unique and insightful perspectives through my experience and knowledge is one of my top priorities.

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