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‘Navigating Post-COVID-19 Requires Listening, Adaptation to Rebuild Fan Trust’
Brad Horn is a professor of practice in public relations in the Newhouse School.
It has been more than two months since sports—and life—came to an abrupt halt. The COVID-19 pandemic has been full of unknowns, but when it comes to the sports and entertainment world, there is a universal undercurrent to it all coming back: trust. The ability for brands, leagues and venues to restore trust in the public will depend on the industry’s capacity to listen to consumers first, Horn states in a Sports Business Daily op-ed written with Syracuse University alumnus Dave Donovan ’92, executive vice president and director of sports for DKC.
“All signs point to a post-pandemic landscape where fans simply don’t just return to gathering just because they can. According to a Seton Hall Sports Poll released in April, only 13% of Americans would feel safe to attend sporting events under any circumstance, and 72% said they would not attend games until a vaccine for COVID-19 is found. That is a stark window into a changed psyche. It means that, among other things, fan engagement must be at the top of the priority list for every brand, athlete, organization, and league moving forward,” the pair writes.
“The question of ‘How are you?’ has never been so important to ask, and never been so critical for the sports industry to understand. It’s the one question we can’t find in our advanced data methods. Simply put: It is the single most important question to help determine when fans are ready to physically re-engage.”
To read Horn and Donovan’s full commentary, visit Sports Business Journal.
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