Amidst a global pandemic, many activities that we took for granted were halted or even canceled altogether. This two year period brought a multitude of changes to every facet of life as we knew it, and many people are still going through the adjustment period.
Businesses were closed, schools moved online, and social gatherings were now a source of anxiety. While we all experienced these losses to some degree, the young kids of our society were disproportionately affected, especially when it comes to sports involvement.
An article by the Sports Business Journal highlighted just how impactful the loss of sports was to “Generation Alpha” during this time period.
“The temptation is to embrace technology to engage this generation. After all, they are the smartphone generation who’ve been tethered to their devices since birth. Social media, NFTs, and now the metaverse and augmented reality are popular solutions. Yet when we look at kids who are the biggest fans today, the traditional “drivers” still hold power. Kids are more than three times more likely to be avid fans today if they play the sport, their parents are fans, or they’ve attended a game. With one important exception, the biggest drivers are essentially the same as they were for their parents and grandparents. They also require face-to-face connections.
The final driver is a nod to technology — playing video games. We saw a shift a decade ago as fans increasingly said playing video games led to them becoming fans (rather than vice versa). In the absence of organized participation or parents who are fans, gaming can provide kids with an introduction to rules, teams, and players. They also provide an enticing entry point because gaming is the No. 1 activity boys 8 to 17 enjoy today. Yet video games still often require existing knowledge for kids to play in the first place. Games also work best in combination with other drivers.
Any of these activities in isolation can form the building blocks of avidity, but combinations are the glue that create meaningful lifetime relationships with leagues or teams. Kids who have one driver are three times more likely to be avid fans of a sport than those with no drivers. Kids with two or more drivers are seven times more likely to be avid fans than those with none. Multiple drivers require at least one important face-to-face experience: 1) playing the sport, 2) connecting with parents who are fans, or 3) attending games. The challenge is that these traditional face-to-face drivers were also the most affected by COVID, as they were either eliminated or limited for kids during these past two years.”
Read the rest of this article here.
Ultimately, this article reminds us of the importance of face-to-face experiences and interactions. Just like there is no true substitute for being on the field, immersed in your sport, there is no real alternative for fostering an in-person connection with a client.
Like these kids, businesses missed out on two years of critical connection building and in-person interactions. Zoom and Google Meet rose to the occasion, but building connections through a screen removes a necessary layer of intimacy.
These kids represent an issue that is often overlooked in business, and that is your ability to connect with your leads and convert them into customers.
You need to have in-person meetings and connect with these individuals on a personal level, just like Gen Alpha kids need to be out on the field, socializing and fostering a love for their sport.
We can use technology like CloudKennect for automating lead flow to our advantage, but in-person contact is just as important to the success of your business.