3 Reasons Why Mystery Fans Are Causing Problems

Do you know the name of every fan that passes through your venue?

Across the nation, teams are getting hit hard with the Mystery Fan Epidemic. There is an overwhelming amount of teams that know who buys the tickets, but DON’T actually know who’s attending their games.

“On average, a ticket buyer buys 3 tickets”

Randy Lewis, VP Business Strategy & Analytics at the Brooklyn Nets.

Missing Out On Fan Data

Right off the bat, you’re missing out on collecting valuable data from 66% of the fans in your building – and that’s not including the ones who bought tickets from scalpers or on secondary markets (StubHub, TickPick, Vivid Seat, etc.). The growth of this industry is projected to dominate over 50% of the Sports Ticketing market and reach $15 billion by 2020.


Bas Schnater from AZ Alkmaar in the Netherlands emphasized this pain stating, “this is very true and an issue my club and other clubs in my league are facing. 100% data collection is impossible as it throws up too many barriers, but increasing it definitely is a hot topic.”

Matt Hudson, Media Manager at Colchester United, also brought a great point to the table: “[It’s the] same as when families book to bring along a group of their child’s friends for a birthday visit to a game. How do you then access data for the whole group for future engagement?”

Decreasing Game Attendance

There is also a downwards trend in average league attendance. Lee Igel, professor of sports management at New York University, recently emphasized that “the drop-off in attendance for live sporting events is getting worse.” More specifically, there has been a 6% decrease in fan spending on sports tickets since 2014. If this trend continues for another 5 years, this “will reduce the number of people spending monthly, by 10 million.”

The graph below highlights the stark contrast between declining spend on sports and the strengthening of our economy:


Increasing Team Marketing Spend

In response to declining attendance rates, sports teams are increasing their marketing budgets, hoping to bring loyal fans back to their stadiums. The graph below highlights the projected growth of Sports Marketing in the coming year: 

However, without accurate fan data, you could be investing more time and money than you need to on your marketing efforts. Being left in the dark means you’re spending A LOT of money on fans you don’t know, without being able to measure the return on investment.

3 Points to Remember

1. Fan attendance is DECREASING 6% every year

2. Teams are spending MORE on marketing every year  

3. 66% of the time, teams don’t know WHO they’re targeting

To highlight these numbers and trends further, we’ve put together an infographic that breaks down what a mystery fan is and why they matter:


Are you looking for ways to discover these mystery fans? Be sure to check out our breakdown of the 7 Best Ways to Collect Fan Data in next week’s article that will be linked here.