Fan Engagement: How British sports fans changed the game - SportsHotels - The sports accommodation experts

Fan Engagement: How British sports fans changed the game

Running out onto the field or taking the shot of a lifetime, with excited fans yelling and spurring you on… there’s nothing like it! We see so many teams achieve heights nobody even dreamed of when they have a solid fan base out there with them, and that’s true wherever you are, no matter which sport you’re playing. But we’re huge fans of British fans because we don’t just cheer and go home. Every fan is part of the team and puts their heart into it – it’s part of our lives.

Sports psychologists are unanimous saying sports fans motivate and energise their teams, and it helps players deal with fatigue, and it can even boost their physical strength! For sports teams, engaging with fans and making them part of the team can have unbelievable results all round.

We love sports fans who stand up for their team and wave those banners in their local pub or at an international final, and it’s such a brilliant part of the whole sports experience – being there with fellow fans, feeling that team spirit well up inside you and singing your heart out.

More Than Football

English football fans keep being voted the most passionate and tend to get into the news most, so you don’t need statistics to tell you that’s the biggest fan base, but Statista did some research in 2022 and it turns out boxing is the next most popular with 29% of British sports fans being into it – more than cricket or rugby, but those have a lot of supporters too.

Brits are also big supporters of tennis, motorsports, golf, athletics, snooker, darts, American football, and basketball, and we’re seeing huge jumps in support for our netball teams too, at local and international levels. 

Around 20,000 English fans went over to France for the Rugby World Cup. A whole lot wore fancy dress in France and at home, waving flags and banners the whole way through, and the team felt that.

You’ll see those flags and banners at just about every sports event and they’re a big part of identifying fans in the crowd and creating even more atmosphere.

The Chants!

Can you hear “Swing low, sweet chariot” without thinking about England rugby? It moves the whole crowd when it echoes through a stadium. Those songs, chants and pre-game anthems are an amazing build-up for the fans and the players.

A few others do it too, like the All Blacks doing the Haka at the start of a match, but raucous singing is a very English thing!

Football chants are the funniest, no question, and they’re such a big part of being a fan. “That is embarrassing!”, “If you’re watching on the telly you’re a ****”, ribbing players on the other team with “(player) what’s the score?” and “You’re not singing any more!” Watching football wouldn’t be the same without them. These are mostly spontaneous and they happen when something is happening in the game, but European fans go for more choreography and they like to chant or sing no matter what’s happening. They’ll even have someone with a megaphone leading the chants and coordinating things, but our English fans are a force of nature and it all happens organically.

Getting Involved

Our sports fans don’t just sit around and watch. They love these sports and they want to participate! How many cycling fans do you know who are cyclists themselves? Golf fans are top in playing the game they’re fans of – around 76% love being out on the fairways themselves.

Of course, all that shouting, cheering and team spirit has mental health benefits for the fans AND the team. Research by Better has shown that being a fan helps people to feel part of a community and spend time with friends and family. Being a sports fan is inspiring for everyone. There’s a sense of unity, and it motivates many people to be more active too – not only jumping up and down, but getting out there and playing a sport too.

We feel that fan energy every time we organise travel for a team or a fan. Here at we’re all about making those experiences even better, and we want to help get even more fans to those sports events to support their team and be part of a winning team spirit. Want to watch your team in action? Get in touch and let’s find you the best fan experience!

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