Guest Post: Tips for Away From Home Sports Fans by Luke Murray

When you move away from home, it means you are far away from friends and family, but for sports fans, it could also mean being far away from your home stadium and local sports fans.  According to a research study on American mobility, 63 percent of U.S. adults have moved to a new city at least once, and 43 percent have moved to a completely different state altogether. It’s not likely that you’ll give up your favorite sports team when you move, so what are some options for staying connected?

Join an Online Community

Staying connected to your sports team and its fans is made easier with the creation of online sporting communities such as FanCred. According to FanCred CEO Hossein Kash Razzaghi, “There are 3 billion people connected to the Internet globally, including more than 500 million sports fans on mobile daily. There is no larger vertical niche than sports - fans have a deep, emotional, and cultural connection to their teams.” Social and mobile apps are enabling fans to connect with their team and fellow fans in new ways.

With an app, users can create their own personal profile showcasing their sports team to capture everything they do as a sports fan such as their thoughts, photos, videos, games they attend or watch, or even articles read. Users also have the ability to connect with other fans from around the world and add them to their team feeds so they can chat and post before, during, or after a game. Users can also get real-time scores, stats, and game details.

Engage Through Social Media

Even though you aren’t face-to-face with sports fans back home, it doesn’t mean you can’t connect with them during a game. According to a study conducted by University of Connecticut researchers, social media has become the location for sports fans to discuss games, celebrate wins, and discuss losses in real time. Although the study found that sports fans are more likely to engage on social media after a victory, they are engaging nonetheless. Co-author of the study David Atkin says, “The social media interaction on Facebook and Twitter is one of several networking options fans employ in the 21st century. Fans are also involved with fantasy leagues, write blogs as “pseudo journalists,” and post comments on team message boards.”

Engaging in social media is not only a great way to discuss the game, but it can be a great tool to meet local fans. Consider searching for team blogs or forums to connect and chat with fans. For example, if you are a Chicago Cubs fan but have recently moved elsewhere, check out the BleedCubbieBlue.com community. The site provides the latest news on the Cubs, but also hosts a means for fans to post about anything Cubs-related that is on their minds. This could be a great place to post a quick inquiry about Cubs fans in your new city or ask for suggestions on how to find a good sports bar. Just be sure to drink responsibly and get home safely on the occasion that you find yourself watching the game solo. You could ask fellow fans if they have a better experience calling a cab or using a service such as Uber or Lyft.

Until you are able to find your local sports fan niche, use the tools available to stay connected and enjoy your favorite sports teams wherever life takes you.