Tag Archives: digital football

Juventus Asian / Pacific Tour , Backstage video Andrea Pirlo is not impressed

Juventus nail it with #PirloIsNotImpressed

Juventus have been making great strides and been amongst the pioneers in digital amongst Serie A teams. And it’s latest idea, #PirloIsNotImpressed, has seen great global success since its launch on 22 August.

Shot during our recent summer tour in Sydney, the entertaining skit features Juventus and Italy star Andrea Pirlo judging four acts who seek to impress him with their respective performances.

Famed for his dead-pan expression, Pirlo is unmoved by what he sees before the challenge is then passed over to the online community, who are encouraged to try and win him over by sending in their own attempts.

In less than 10 days, the video has registered over 1.5 million views, 850k on YouTube and 700k on Facebook, and the hashtag has commanded a reach of over 20 million (figures provided by Juventus FC). At its peak, the #PirloIsNotImpressed hashtag was used almost 3,000 times in one day.

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In addition, #PirloIsNotImpressed has also been adopted by thousands of users in discussions unrelated to the world of football.

This engaging initiative continues to proceed and, after several Twitter replies along the lines of “nice try but better luck next time”, users remain eager to see if  anything is capable of winning Pirlo’s approval.

We wait to see how the club choose to extend the campaign but it’s one that shows the success in testing an idea and letting it grow organically. It is now something that could go on for a long time with its own cult following.

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#CoolJob: Social Media Manager at 1966 Group

1966 was founded in 2006 by Terry Byrne and specialises in maximising intellectual property rights, global licensing, branding, endorsements and appearances globally within the football industry.

The team consists of coaches, ex players, managers and global brand and events experts with world-class expertise within the sports industry.

1966 exclusively manages the commercial interests of the England football team including full representation and management of the players commercial programme and relationship with the FA and its partners

 

Role: Social Media Manager

Salary: £25k-£30k pa

Job Function:

Reporting directly to the Head of Communications, the Social Media Manager will be responsible for creating and implementing the social media strategy for all companies within the 1966 group and specific individuals  within the footballing industry.

 

1966/United Marketing

  • Create social media channels and populate
  • Grow followers b2b for SEO
  • Give individual advice to high profile sporting personal on content strategy for their own social media channels

England Footballers Foundation

  • Social media content strategy and calendar to grow followers and engagement
  • Work with the players themselves to create content, tweets etc

Core Responsibilities:

  • Hands on approach to create, implement and populate the strategy for the 1966 groups social media presence across existing platforms on a day-to-day basis.
  • Daily moderation, content updates, monitoring and community management of social platforms
  • Provide your own creative flair and social media expertise
  • Reporting to key internal stakeholders on new and emerging social media platforms and wider market trends.

Desired Skills and Experience

  • A minimum two years relevant digital/social media experience.
  • Displays in-depth knowledge and understanding of Social Media platforms and their respective participants (Facebook, Twitter, Yelp, Google+Local, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest etc) and how each platform can be utilised in different scenarios
  • Some background knowledge of Public Relations would be useful
  • Possesses ability to identify potential negative or crisis situations and apply conflict resolution principles to mitigate issues
  • Strong project management or organisational skills
  • Excellent written and verbal communication skills.
  • Must be comfortable with out-of-hours work and working reactively to tight deadlines.
  • Knowledge of and interest in football and its unique position within social media.
  • Track record of increasing reach and engagement through own ideas and individual management of social accounts.
  • Demonstrates creativity and documented immersion in social media, and can provide examples.
  • Familiarity with social monitoring tools.
  • A team player with confidence to take the lead and guide other employees where necessary.
  • Familiarity of working with high-profile figures.

 

Applications should be sent into enquiries@1966.com

 

 

1966

 

 

tribehive

New club app from Football League the answer to match-day internet access?

Last year a project called Digital Stadium was being tested in a collaboration between the University of Sussex, Brighton & Hove Albion FC and Corridor Design which looked at how modern smartphone apps can be used to build new ways of communicating within stadiums.

Currently the ideal of making stadiums ‘fully connected’ comes at a huge expense. Only the likes of Manchester City, Celtic, Rangers, Liverpool (in one stand) and other teams in the US and Europe have invested in such projects which can cost £1m+. With many stadiums starting the creak with age its not something as easy as many might think to set up.

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City’s fan engagement loud and clear with social media voice messaging service

Barclays Premier League Champions, Manchester City, have expanded their global social media presence by joining the leading voice messaging service, Bubbly.

With over forty million subscribers around the world, Bubbly allows users to create their own 90 second voice blog, or listen to voice recordings from a host of celebrities from the world of film, sports, comedy and music.

Users can also add a photograph with 140 characters of text, and share their favourite posts with their Facebook friends and Twitter followers.

Based in Singapore and designed primarily to cater for the 4 billion consumers in emerging Asian markets that still use feature phones, the service has seen rapid growth since its launch in 2011.

As part of the new Manchester City Bubbly account, the Club will release exclusive voice recordings from City stars such as Sergio Aguero, Joe Hart, Vincent Kompany and Samir Nasri.

Players will also record interviews in their native languages, including French, German, Portuguese, Spanish and Serbo-Croatian in order to engage with City’s multi-lingual global fan base.

From post-match interviews to Club features, the voice messages will give fans an insight into what goes on behind the scenes at their favourite club.

Commenting on the new Bubbly account, Diego Gigliani, Director of Marketing, Media and Fan Development for Manchester City, said:

“As the Club continues to attract fans from across the world and our global community grows, we will constantly seek out new and engaging ways to connect with supporters, particularly through the use of popular social media platforms, like Bubbly.

“Whether it’s through pre and post-match interviews on the pitch, or getting to know their favorite players off it, Bubbly will enable the Club to have more frequent, short-form touch-points with our fans across the world, bringing them closer to the club and helping to build deeper relationships.”

This sentiment was shared by Bubbly CEO, Thomas Clayton, who added:

“We’re ecstatic that Manchester City has chosen to connect with their fans using their real voices on Bubbly.  With the new season just around the corner, it’s a fun time to check out what these guys have to say about what’s ahead.”

Manchester City fans and followers, can access exclusive content online by visiting www.bubbly.net/MCFC, by downloading the Bubbly app on their smart phones, or by using the access codes for their feature phones.”

 

Some memorable moments from the most social World Cup ever!

It’s all over. The most connected World Cup. The most digital World Cup. The most social World Cup…ever.

New sporting records were set for tweets sent, Facebook interactions and inappropriate photos involving Mario Balotelli and the Queen.

But with everyone from sponsors to sports stars, brands to broadcasters clambering over themselves to tap into the Brazilian buzz, what made you smile or share?

Andy McKenzie of digital sports content specialists LiveWire Sport picked out some memorable moments from the last month.

Pre-tournament

The weeks and months leading up to major events are always hugely important for brands to maximise their time with big names before disappearing behind FIFA’s commercial curtain.

Digital campaigns leading up to the World Cup Finals generally centred around gaining maximum exposure for high-end advertising campaigns featuring star players.

Adidas and Beats by Dre caught the eye, but Nike stole the pre-tournament show.

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Nice storytelling, a hint of humour and Rooney’s dodgy Scouse accent helped earn their 64m YouTube views for The Last Game, without any of their stars presumably even having to appear in front of a green screen or step into a recording booth.

Good job they got in early as the only player in the campaign that made it as far as the semi-finals was David Luiz, who perhaps took Nike’s ‘Risk Everything’ message too seriously.

Hats off to the Daily Telegraph’s Project Babb for a brilliantly stitched together Roy Hodgson rap. Altogether now – “You’ve got to hold and give…”

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And both the BBC and Guardian built some nice interactive tools for picking your best-ever World Cup side.

 

Kick-off

Time to unveil the shiny new technological toys.

The official FIFA.com site had a new live centre and a social hub that was packed full of detail and data, with sponsors like McDonald’s, Hyundai, Castrol and Budweiser handed some prime real estate, while Sony had a destination of their own at One Stadium Live.

Facebook created a World Cup hub to access content, while Twitter rolled out a number of innovations including hashflags, man-of-the-match voting (sponsored by Budweiser), score updates and dedicated match pages for each game.

ITV used Grabyo and partnered with Paddy Power and Twitter Amplify to maximise their live rights, while everyone enjoyed some friendly fun at the expense of Robbie Savage

Every detail of the tournament was analysed – even down to who won the World Cup of arm-folding (some welcome news for Tottenham fans).

 

Big moments

The rapid rise of real-time content continues.

Who can react quickest to those huge talking points, with brands all trying to create that ‘Oreo moment’.

Adidas set up a newsroom in Rio to react to events by creating content and it seems the #allin motto applies to the resources they put behind it.

There was the odd marketing own goal – like Delta’s giraffe gaffe and KLM’s Mexican mischief  – and a few weird ones – like Listerine’s #PowerToYourMouth.

Brazil’s monumental fall from grace was perfect Paddy Power territory

while PornHub gained an unexpected uplift in extra followers on the back of their tweet.

Brilliant Ads shared a quite brilliant take on the 2014 logo that got nearly 13k retweets

while @brazuca was silenced for one night.

The USA finally fell in love with soccer. Obama watched on Air Force One, Hulk Hogan and Will Ferrell pledged their allegiance to the beautiful game and then there was Tim Howard and THOSE saves.

Hats off to the Scottish FA for reacting to Germany’s crushing of Brazil with a timely and humorous post about their upcoming Euro 2016 qualifier (v Germany).

Scottish FA

The Final

Things turned out nice in the end for adidas in their battle with Nike as Messi and Muller, Argentina and Germany all manufactured their way to the final, seeing off the Nike-sponsored pair of Brazil and the Netherlands in the semi-finals.

Adidas had David Beckham on their YouTube show The Dugout, the official ball, the winners of the Golden Glove, the Golden Ball and the Golden Boot.

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Nike still had the match-winning Mario Gotze

but maybe nobody reacted better than Lufthansa to Germany’s win.

https://twitter.com/lufthansa/status/488437053131329537

As another major sporting event passes through our timelines, what has stood out for you? Did we miss any outstanding World Cup content? Is anyone out there really interested in animals predicting scores?

 

Cricket - The Ashes 2009 - npower Fifth Test - Day Four - England v Australia - The Brit Oval

Inside Two Circles: Chatting Data & Sport with the BTSIA Agency of the Year 2014

At our last Digital Sport London one of our guest speakers was Phil Stephan from Two Circles, who earlier this year were named winners of the coveted Agency of the Year title at the BT Sport Industry Awards in London.

They are a sports agency with a difference – they put data at the heart of their approach.

Phil managed to fit a lot of interesting information into his 10 minutes at the June event at The Bakery in Old Street. He caught the imagination of many in the room and I for one was left wanting to find out more. So I caught up with Phil recently to do just that…

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Arsenal breaks 4m fans to become 3rd most followed sports team on Twitter

Over the last 12 months Arsenal have seen a rise in follower numbers on Twitter launch from 2.2m to just over 4m.

This makes them the third most followed sports team in the world – and you’ve probably guessed who the top two are…. FC Barcelona (12m) and Real Madrid (11.7m).

Much of this growth has been down to varied content that keeps the fans both informed and entertained. They do the usual club news, team information on match days, competitions and behind-the-scenes peeks that we all love.

But they have also pushed the boat out with regular Q&A’s, infographics and “live-tweeting” a replay of the 1989 title decider against Liverpool at Anfield. Celebrating its 25th anniversary.

They also have dedicated Twitter accounts that cover North America, Indonesia, Vietnam and Japan. As well as having a Spanish language feed that covers several countries.

“We are proud to be the first Premier League team to reach four million Twitter followers. We are fortunate to enjoy fantastic support right around the world and social media has proven a brilliant way of engaging with our fans, wherever they are.

Last season we led successful Twitter campaigns around key events such as the signing of Mesut Ozil, the FA Cup final victory and the subsequent parade – where we tweeted video from the top of the bus. We even got Arsène Wenger to do a Twitter Takeover for the first time. With the new season fast approaching, we’ll be looking to introduce more innovations in the months to come.” – Richard Clarke, Managing Editor @ Arsenal Media Group

wenger twitter

 

 

Record breaking fixtures release day for the Football League on digital

Last month saw one of the most anticipated days in the football league calendar take place, the release of the 2014/15 season fixtures.

The Sky Bet Championship, Sky bet League 1 and 2 fixtures were revealed at 9am across all club websites on Wednesday 18th June. The clamor to get this information first led to nearly 2.5m page views in 24 hours!

A whole series of stats saw a record breaking day for the Football League on digital. The league and its technology partners, Sapient Nitro, Perform Group, Scribble Live and Akamai worked closely together to ensure fans got all the news and info they would need across multiple devices and in time. This led to some interesting stats;

  • 1,002,228 unique visitors across club sites and football-league.com
  • This was a 30% increase on the 736,993 on the same day in 2013
  • Total page views were up 75% to 2,411,426
  • Fans spent on average 2 minutes on their mobile, compared with 30 seconds last year
  • Nearly 674k views on mobile, an increase of 135%

So what led to these dramatic increases? We caught up quickly with the Football League’s Digital Director Russell Scott to find out more. One of main questions was how they managed to increase time fans spent on mobile so dramatically. It turns out there were two key changes that have taken place during the last year;

1. Content, and loads of it. The volume of content produced by clubs over the last 12 months has more than doubled, quite simply twice as much for fans to look at. More importantly the clubs use of content schedules and live blogging have enabled them to produce more engaging content that entertains fans and keeps them coming back for more.

2. We recently launched a new mobile site for all clubs. A simple responsive site that focuses on surfacing a large amount of short-form scrollable shareable content. The change is having a significant impact on user behavior, frequency of visit is growing steadily and user numbers are climbing significantly (YoY growth of around 40% last month). Clearly this again underpinned by the great content clubs are publishing. Of particular note are the clubs who schedule in early morning news every day, fans quickly learn that visiting the club site before 8 in the morning is a rewarding experience and we see overall mobile audience grow.

 

Fixture release day is the biggest day for football; club websites, with transfer deadline days being the only other dates that generate a similar amount of traffic. Thus it’s key to getting it right and all the partners have a role to play in it.

Sapient Nitro planned a key role in ensuring that all the fixtures were released at exactly 9am across all 90 club sites in one go with no delay, as well as planning to manage a high capacity audience (peaked at over 60k concurrent users just after 9am).

Scribble Live was used to power the club wall page or a dedicated fixture release live blog embedded in an article on each club site. Enabling clubs to publish immediate reaction to the fixtures and then follow that with views from others in the club, fans and pull content from social media.

Meanwhile, Perform published the fixtures across football-league.com and ensured all references in the Player product were updated. And the Akamai platform was used to manage content delivery and ensure site speed was high even under the high variable number of users. A true team effort!

“The day of the fixtures release is always the biggest day of the year for club websites so we’re delighted to breaks records once again. The Football League interactive network of 90 clubs across the Premier League, Football League and Football Conference has once again demonstrated the great strength of all these clubs working together.”

It sounds like there are more plans afoot for the new season, which I hope to catch up with Russell and speak to him about for the site in the next few weeks.

 

Is Sponsorship being devalued by Social Media?

Guest Post: Tom Kelk is a tech/sport blogger and Senior Social Exec at communications agency, Pitch. You can find him on Twitter (@TomKelk)

This is the first World Cup where brands have heavily activated around the tournament through digital channels – when they have no sponsored right to do so. Since South Africa 2010, Facebook has more than doubled its monthly active users, Twitter users now send more than 10x as many tweets per day and now Instagram exists!

The social media landscape has been transformed in four years, and gives an indication to why brands are putting the effort into activating around Brazil 2014. Surely all this chatter around an event is a dream come true for the official sponsors? It’s not quite that simple.

In a recent study by Unruly Media, only four of the top 11 most viewed brand ads about the World Cup were from sponsors. Less than half. Continental Tyres – one of the leading official sponsors, didn’t feature at all. Sony – an official partner, are nowhere to be seen.

Unruly Media Braziliant Brand Tracker

Unsurprisingly, Nike use their assets and force the relation in the minds of consumers. All the Nike-sponsored teams and players were involved in their heavy-cost ad that implies they are official sponsors – but they’re not.  If you did a poll, how many would say Nike were a main World Cup sponsor?

Beats have come out trumps from this World Cup through an impressive ad utilising their playing assets. Again, no ‘right’ to have a World Cup conversation but used World Cup players to enable the link with the consumer.

Obviously the study isn’t flawless, but it does continue to highlight an interesting question. In the digital age, is there still the same value in being an official sponsor?

To answer the question, it’s worth dissecting a sponsorship package to understand where the value still lies, and where better to look, than FIFA.

FIFA state that a sponsor benefits from: “Wide product category exclusivity which is afforded to all Commercial Affiliates, allowing each brand to distinguish themselves from competing brands in their product category.” Now, whilst this has been aggressively reinforced in and around the stadiums, this is far from true in a digital space. To start with, look at the table above. Nike above adidas, Samsung above Sony and Nissan above Hyundai. Not looking that distinguished from competitors there… What about beer brands? Budweiser, official sponsor, have activated heavily around the World Cup:

But has that stopped Newcastle Brown Ale benefitting from the platform? Not one bit.

Another key benefit outlined by FIFA, is “offering a unique platform vis-à-vis their competitors.” This point is the crux of the debate. I would argue that this platform has disintegrated in recent years. Social media has enabled brands without the official connection to ambush these ‘unique platforms’.You only have to consider the Suarez incident.

There was a clamour for attention from brands off the back of the biting incident, but how many were official? The only one that springs to mind, was the Uruguayan Mcdonald’s Twitter account, which was more than likely not signed off in the higher echelons of Mcdonald’s as FIFA would absolutely frown upon sponsors discussing the incident!

Aside from the conversation, what else do FIFA sponsors have the ‘right’ to use? They can use official tournament title and logos – but is it beneficial, or is that in fact a hindrance? When using social media, audiences have developed an eye for official titling, and have almost developed an instinctive filter to those posts. Besides, as seen with the Snickers tweet above, who needs to reference the World Cup when over 5,000 tweets per second are being sent? Everyone knows what you’re talking about. In fact, could we go further and ask whether it could be better to work unofficially?

So, taking all this into account, does the traditional sponsorship model need altering to include further digital rights and should sponsors be negotiating harder to get this cover? Surely when their competitors begin to be more prominent in discussions over the World Cup, for example, surely they have a right to question costs?

Perhaps the new ideal ‘bigger brand’ model will follow the likes of Nike and Beats who find themselves less restricted by buying direct player assets and activate on an unofficial basis.Bigger brands will increasingly explore these opportunities in a creative capacity to give them the right to participate more heavily in these conversations. As for the smaller brands, they’ll continue to jump in and out when there’s a product link, and get small wins when they can.

There’s obviously still value in sponsorship. Access to assets like players and visible advertising rights are ultimately beneficial. However, social media allows a conversation to be had by brands when they couldn’t do so before without treading on toes and this is where sponsors need to be tougher on their sponsorships to maximise the value they receive on a digital platform, as well as a physical.

This is a topic that a dissertation could focus upon, and I’ve just brushed the surface here, but what do you think? Is the value of a sponsorship still the same and how has it been affected by the rise of social media? What should brands do to fight competitors on both platforms?

 

ITV to share near-live video highlights of the World Cup

ITV will be sharing near-live highlights of the FIFA World Cup to ITV.com and social platforms following a deal with Grabyo, the real-time video company. ITV will be using the Grabyo platform to share match highlights and post-match commentary clips from its live TV coverage across ITV.com, Facebook and Twitter within seconds.

There has been a rapid acceleration of social media usage as well as mainstream adoption of smartphones and tablets since the last FIFA World Cup. There are now 30 million mobile social media users in the UK[1] while smartphone penetration is expected to reach 75 per cent of the UK population this year[2].  Furthermore, UK consumers now spend an average of 96 minutes a day on social media.[3]

ITV recently launched its new mobile first web experience, ITV.com. The site adopts a clean and simple design offering users a rolling timeline of news around its portfolio of programmes, allowing for content to be shared seamlessly on social media platforms.

Using this new design and working with Grabyo, the broadcaster aims to deliver an exceptional multiscreen World Cup experience to viewers this summer. Live coverage will be complemented with real-time video highlights, which can be discovered on Twitter and Facebook and viewed immediately in a real-time video gallery on ITV.com. The video highlights will cover key moments from 34 matches as well as post-match commentary, culminating with the World Cup final. Brands will have the opportunity to sponsor the clips and extend distribution through promotional and campaign tools.

Ollie Irish, Executive Producer for ITV Sport, said:

“We are very excited to be working with Grabyo to deliver real-time video highlights of ITV games across social media channels and itv.com. The partnership will allow us to enhance the viewer experience and drive conversation around this major TV event as well as offer compelling opportunities for our clients to connect with consumers as all the action unfolds.”

“We’ve been working with sports formats for the last six months but we always knew that the World Cup would be the ultimate real-time format,” comments Grabyo CEO Gareth Capon. “As a real-time, bite-size format that is optimised for viewing on mobile devices, short-form live video is highly appealing to social media users. We see huge and immediate spikes in traffic as premium sports content is shared on social media – and not just the obvious clips such as goals but from all kinds of irreverent clips too. We’re expecting World Cup clips to drive very significant organic reach on their own but it will be fascinating to see how this is extended using promotional tools such as Twitter Amplify.”

Grabyo recently revealed that 72% of its video traffic is mobile, illustrating how effective real-time social video is at reaching mobile social media users, and its platform regularly scales to hundreds of thousands of users within seconds as clips are shared.

 

[2] IAB – http://www.iabuk.net/blog/2014-the-end-of-the-beginning