Japanese professional basketball team Alvark Tokyo was having a great season. The team had won their last five games, and had great statistics going into the next round. However, there was one number where Alvark Tokyo was lacking: female fan engagement.

In recent years, most professional sports leagues have reported female fans as one of their largest growing demographics.

 “60% of women report watching sports.”

– TailgatingSportsMarketing.com

But despite female fans’ growing interest in watching live and televised sporting events, most female fans report feeling misunderstood by sports brands and left out in fan engagement strategies.

Recent research has found that there is a difference between male and female sports fans’ motives and definitions of being a fan:

Females reported being fans because they attended and watched sporting events with family and friends while males were more likely to consider themselves fans because they played sports and wanted to acquire sports information.”

– Old Dominion University

Female sports spectators are drawn to the social aspect and fan experience surrounding the game.

Research by the NCAA has found that female sports fans want a more emotional experience, with personal stories about the players and coaches, when watching games.

So what does this mean for sports brands and teams looking to appeal to their female sports fans? A strategy centered on pink jerseys isn’t going to cut it. Sports stadiums need to enhance the fan experience with the female sports fan in mind.

Some stadiums have successfully improved the fan experience by providing free wifi or creating apps that show restroom wait times.

However, Alvark Tokyo wanted a more cost-effective strategy that was easier to implement for their staff. They partnered with Prolitec scent marketing.

Prolitec installed commercial scent machines near the stadium’s entrances and courtside near the audience. These scent machines diffused a pleasant smell that would appeal to Alvark Tokyo’s female fans.

Female Fans filled the Alvark Tokyo stadium thanks to the addition of Prolitec ambient scentingFemale Fans filled the Alvark Tokyo stadium thanks to the addition of Prolitec ambient scenting

The result? The scenting program received such rave reviews from the female fans that it garnered news coverage in Japan.

One reporter spoke to two female basketball fans who expressed that they noticed a pleasant scent upon entering the stadium:

“Did you notice anything when you entered?”

“It smelled good.”

When Alvark Tokyo won the game, the commercial scent machines raised the output level so that the smell was stronger. Since scent has been proven to create positive feelings and memories about a brand, game attendees would instantly link that smell not only to positive impressions of the Alvark Tokyo brand, but also to the team’s victory. This smell becomes a trigger for the positive feelings of excitement and joy felt watching their team win, enticing attendees to return to games in the future.

Alvark Tokyo’s scenting program has been a huge success, with a record increase of female fan attendance at recent games.

If you want to learn how your sports brand can enhance your fan experience, contact us today!

Watch more of Alvark Tokyo’s journey to increase female fan engagement below: