Founded in 1902, with 31 Spanish Liga titles and 9 UEFA Champion League victories, Real Madrid are the most successful football club of all time. The club is currently managed by the enigmatic Jose Mourinho and the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is home to some of the worlds best players.
After speaking to Oscar Ugaz, Online Marketing & Digital Business Manager, and Pedro Duarte, Mobile Business Manager back it March, it was easy to understand how the Real’s on pitch success had translated into the online world.
Over the past few years Real Madrid has built up a substantial social media following which currently stands at around 4.7 million users and their official Facebook page gets 30,000 new fans every day. The Spanish giants have also managed to build up a large mobile audience, with over 160,000 downloads of their MyMadrid mobile app in its first year. And what’s equally, if not even more impressive, is the fact they have built up an audience that is willing to pay for content – the club’s mobile subscription offering has 35,000+ registered users.
The club has now taken their digital offerings to the next level by becoming first football club in the world to launch an authentic social game for all its fans and followers. The game, Real Madrid Fantasy Manager 2011, is already available on Facebook and IPhone, and gives all football fans the opportunity to step into Jose Mourinho’s shoes and become manager of Real Madrid.
The essence of social gaming mechanics is the feeling that you’ve accomplished something, and Real have captured perfectly. Game users are able to interact with other players, compare their results with those of their friends’ and prove that they are the ideal candidate to manage Real Madrid. In order to prove they are the best, they will need to create a virtual team of players, train them and prepare them both physically and mentally for each week’s match. They will also be able to experiment with the club’s management including signing up players, dealing with the facilities, ticket sales and much more. Participants will move ahead in the game by purchasing and using a variety of virtual assets and products that will enable them to improve the team’s performance. There’s also some great prizes for the winners including the chance to meet the Real Madrid players in person.
By using the Facebook and iPhone platforms, the game will benefit from the advantages of social distribution, immediacy and convenience. The game is designed to enable users to play on both platforms from a single account. Therefore, are able to start playing on their mobiles and continue on their desktop computers when they arrive home.
Social gaming is a booming industry at the moment, and with games like Mafia Wars and Farmville boasting tens of millions of users it’s hard to see the momentum slowing down. The vast majority (95%) of social gamers play multiple times per week; nearly two-thirds (64%) play at least once a day. Slightly more than half (53%) of social gamers say they’ve earned and/or spent virtual currency in a social game and 28% have purchased virtual currency with real-world money highlighting the monetization potential these games hold.
“Facebook is one of the biggest and fastest growing social platforms around, and also reaches an international audience. We have been working with them for over three years now in what has proved to be a very fruitful association. The club has been experimenting with several communication, marketing and business strategies and we feel that the time has come to fully immerse ourselves into the social gaming field. On the other hand, our experience with MyMadrid and the distribution and sale of mobile content worldwide have enabled us to create a sustainable and proven business model that will be available also for this new project” commented Pedro Duarte, Mobile Business Manager and Oscar Ugaz, Online Marketing & Digital Business Manager from Real Madrid.
What do you think the future holds for sports and social gaming?