Lightning Rank #1 For Emotional Connection By True North

Sunshine Coast Lightning prides itself on being a community Club. Our people are central to our success – from players, coaches, staff, partners and, of course, Members and fans.

Since the Club’s inception in August 2016 the wider community has embraced Lightning as the team of the Sunshine Coast and through success and integrity the Club has accumulated fans globally.

The genuine relationships Lightning has built with its supporter-base across four seasons has resulted in the Club now topping all Australian Winter Sports Teams for Emotional Connection.

In comparison to all AFL, NRL, Super Netball and other codes, Lightning achieved the highest Benchmark Emotional Connection score in True North Research’s latest report.

True North’s research centres around how emotion drives fan behaviour.

Emotional Connection incorporates more than just on court performance, also taking into account a Club’s playing culture, corporate culture, community and fan engagement as well as financial performance, social leadership and heritage.

Strong emotional investment subsequently increases the purchasing behaviour outcomes, advocacy of the Club, as well as sponsor impact and awareness. 

Lightning ranked first overall across the core values of respect, enjoyment and trust, as well as a number of other sporting, community & engagement and commercial management attributes.

In addition to emotional connection, Lightning’s sponsor recall and positive sentiment, consideration, usage and trust of our Partners ranks first and second, respectively across all teams and sporting codes.

These results translate into tangible results for our loyal Partners and indicate brand association with Lightning will deliver actual awareness and outcomes.

“Overall the end results are significant [for Lightning],” the True North Research report states.

“Amongst those aware of a Lightning sponsor, two thirds are having a positive reaction to the sponsor.  This compares to only 40% for the average sponsor of winter league team. 

“Across all metrics Lightning’s sponsor outcomes results are significantly higher than the average Winter league team’s sponsor results. 

“This is most notable around sentiment and consideration – up 17% and 8% respectively on the average. “

The Benchmark score and research findings incorporate responses from Fans, Supporters and the wider Market of those familiar with the team.

The Emotional Connection (EC) that fans have to sports teams and sponsors was especially pivotal in 2020 and has Lightning well placed to move forward into Season 5 as a Club.

To find out more about partnering with Lightning, contact GM Commercial Matt Williams (