Tag Archive | "digital football"

Ball Street and Papa Johns give fans a slice of the action for the run in


This is the most exciting climax to a football season in years.  With so much still to play for, Ball Street and Papa John’s have teamed up to guide fans through the run in with a weekly digital football show — 451.   Like any good football underdog story, Ball Street are going up against opponents with bigger budgets, all while entertaining fans up and down the country.

The 451 show delivered by Papa John’s, the official partner of the Football League covers all four leagues and features a mix of passionate fans and footballing insiders such as Ian Wright, Clinton Morrison and the Football Ramble’s Marcus Speller.

451 is a free weekly show, starting on 17th April until the end of the season and will be available on www.ballstreet.co.uk and syndicated to leading football sites including Caught Offside and Football Fancast.

“Everything these days is about the Premier League but we know there are clubs and fans out there that outside of the top teams that deserve the same kind of treatment,” said Wright, who started his career at Crystal Palace.

Matt Wilson (co-founder of Ball Street) said, “We are a delighted to work with a sponsor who not only a sponsor the Football League, but want to do something meaningful for its fans.  The 451 show is the only place where Luis Suarez and Lee Tomlin will get equal billing”

Speaking about 451 Andrew Gallagher, senior director of marketing for Papa John’s, said: “We very excited to be working with Ball Street to produce 451. We know that from our sponsorship of the Football League how passionate football fans, and our customers, are about the national game.

“Papa John’s is proud to be supporting a show that will give all fans a voice as we reach the sharp end of the season. Ball Street has lined up an incredible team to present the show, and we can’t wait for kick off to see Ian Wright, Matt Holland and a host of other star names in action when 451 goes live.”

Ball Street 451 show trailer….

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Football Companion Squawka Strike Strategic Investment with Global Sports Group, Doyen


London-based startup Squawka has announced a significant investment and partnership with global sports group Doyen to speed up business operations, increase international expansion and enhance platform development as they seek to provide football fans with the ideal digital companion to follow their teams.

Originally launched as a second screen powered by live data visualisations and social media for the 2012 European Football Championships; Squawka has now expanded into a comprehensive 24/7 experience for fans of the world’s biggest sport.

Squawka provides fans with latest news, stats, game analysis, social media, live blogs, and images as well as cutting edge real-time data comparison tools to help fans understand and enjoy the game as a second screen experience.

Squawka receives nearly 2 million monthly unique users across both its www.Squawka.com site and the Squawka Football App on iOS with average dwell times of 39 minutes during live English Premier League games. The app is also generating huge engagement figures with over 10 screens viewed per user session.

Existing Squawka investors include Forward Internet Group Founder Neil Hutchinson, brand guru Sir John Hegarty and Spark Ventures chairman Tom Teichman.  In addition, Squawka will be joined by one of the most experienced teams in sport at Doyen.

Doyen Global was launched in April 2013 by Simon Oliveira and Matthew Kay, two former Senior Executives from Creative Artists Agency and XIX Entertainment.  Their first move was an image rights partnership with Brazilian sensation Neymar.

Since then the company has moved at a fast pace building a diverse portfolio from Exec Producing Box Office hit, ‘Class of 92’ to partnering with tennis legend, Boris Becker, Spanish football legend Xavi amongst others.  This week they announced a partnership with Manchester United teen prodigy Adnan Januzaj.

Simon Oliveira remains a key strategist in David Beckham’s team managing the icon’s communications strategy for ten years. At XIX he also worked across the management of Lewis Hamilton and Andy Murray. Matthew Kay is one of the leading professionals in sports marketing who, whilst at CAA, managed the commercial strategy of global sports stars Cristiano Ronaldo and Jose Mourinho amongst others.  Prior to that, Kay was Commercial Director of Football at IMG. Both Oliveira and Kay will be joining the Squawka board.

“At a time when general VC interest in the sports sector has been significant, we have been working hard to bring together a team of like-minded strategic investors that can help propel Squawka to become a household name for football fans. By focusing on the business metrics alongside the incredible strategic value of the board we feel we have a real shot of becoming the de facto multi-device companion for football fans globally.  We are excited to work with Doyen going forward.” - Squawka CEO and co-founder Sanjit Atwal

 

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Arsenal launches official YouTube channel


Arsenal Football Club is starting an official channel on YouTube, the world’s largest video-sharing platform.

The channel will give the Club’s supporters around the world the opportunity to view new and engaging content. Exclusive features will be created for the Arsenal channel, all showing the character of the Club and the personality of the players. Popular features such as the Chat, Twitter Takeover, Arsenal Ink will be released via the platform.

Supporters can access additional exclusives and content through the Gunners’ other sites and outlets which include Twitter, Facebook, Google Plus, Instagram, Soundcloud, WeChat, Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo.

As a prelude to the launch of the official YouTube launch, Arsenal’s YouTube channel was active for just over two weeks last summer and in that time streamed almost 20 years of footage to supporters all over the world. A video of Arsenal fan Vu Xuan Tien chasing after the team coach in Vietnam went viral, with over 3million views through the official page..

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Richard Clarke, Managing Editor for the Arsenal Media Group said:

“An official Arsenal channel on YouTube will allow us to reach a new audience and tell the story of the Club in a different way. We hope YouTube will help us show the character of our special club and grow our global fan base.”

Stephen Nuttall, Senior Director for Sport at YouTube said:

“300 of the top football clubs in the world run official channels on YouTube. The success of the Arsenal channel during the summer demonstrates the Club’s potential to build a great presence on YouTube”.  

The new channel can be found at www.youtube.com/arsenal

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Manchester City become first Premier League club to roll-out full stadium Wi-Fi


Manchester City has become the first-ever Premier League Club to roll-out cutting edge High-Density Wi-Fi throughout their stadium.

With up to 30mb download speed, the large capacity network marks the culmination of a major digital initiative at the club. The free Wi-Fi technology enables fans to take advantage of the club’s range of apps, designed to enhance match-day engagement.

The club recently launched the interactive mobile game City Connect, as well as the travel guide app CityHome, designed specifically with away fans in mind.

The major upgrade to the Etihad Stadium facilities will allow home and away fans to connect through their phone or tablet devices, providing unrivalled levels of connectivity before, during and after games

The High-Density Wi-Fi network, designed and delivered by O2 in conjunction with Cisco is now available throughout the 48,000 capacity stadium, having undergone an extensive installation and testing process.

The new system has been installed throughout the ground, stadium perimeter and BT City Square, the Club’s outdoor fan entertainment zone – in order to enhance the overall visitor experience during live games and future events through mobile technology.

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With the new system in place, fans can now check-in to the stadium on Facebook, tweet about their experiences at the Etihad Stadium, post images on Instagram that could then appear on the stadium jumbo screens and watch pre-match videos on City’s newly released CityApp.

“The launch of High-Density Wi-Fi allows us to offer free, high speed Internet access to all our fans, marking an important step forward in Manchester City’s drive to become the most technologically and digitally advanced football club in the world.

“Mobile technology and social media in particular, play a key role in our fans’ match-day experience. It was, therefore important for us to embrace this growing trend and enable our fans to share their passion for the Club with fellow City supporters around the world, in real time, free of charge, all from the comfort of their seat.” - Diego Gigliani, Director of Marketing, Media & Fan Development

The Wi-Fi roll-out accompanies the re-launch of the club’s primary mobile application, City App. The free-to-download app, updated for iOS’s smartphone and tablet App Stores and newly launched on Android’s Google Play store (on which it has already received user reviews of 4.8 out of 5.0), includes:

  • News: Official Club news and match reports.
  • Videos: Free offering of all the latest CityTV videos including extended highlights, press conferences, news, interviews and features.
  • Match-day Centre: Live text commentary and team sheets of matches in play.
  • Fixtures: Calendar view of upcoming fixtures, downloadable to phone’s calendar.
  • Ticketing: Ticket availability and information to buy.
  • Shop: Mobile-optimised store to browse and purchase MCFC merchandise
  • Social media: Official MCFC Twitter updates.

“This was a technically challenging project, due to the size and scale of the installation process.  The dedicated Stadium Wireless network with significant download speeds allows us to continually innovate at the Etihad Stadium.  We are now able to integrate our social media and newly installed IPTV and ePOS solutions, enhancing the match-day experience of both home and away fans.” - Sanjeev Katwa, IT Director for City Football Group

 

City AppCity App

 

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THE Football App becomes OneFootball and launches TalkSPORT partnership


THE Football App becomes Onefootball, integrates new Team Stream and announces exclusive talkSPORT Premier League partnership.

The world’s leading football community, THE Football App, has rebranded as Onefootball with immediate effect. With this move, the Berlin-based company of CEO Lucas von Cranach has underlined the intent to further strengthen its position as the primary global platform for football fans to engage and get informed – anytime and anywhere.

To celebrate the new name, the makers of the app have today launched ‘Team Stream’; an entirely new structure that enables users of the platform to stay up to date with all news and events surrounding their favourite team. After updating or downloading the app respectively, users are asked to set their favourite club and national team, true to the company motto, “One team – Onefootball”.

“With our new Team Stream, users can follow their club and get the latest information, results and statistics, all customized to their needs and around their favourite team. Our goal is to bring football and all of its associated emotions to the fans, made-to-measure, no matter where they are located.” - CEO and founder Lucas von Cranach

The new Team Stream integrates social-media sources such as Twitter, delivering the best content from the world of football. Furthermore, Onefootball remains the go-to platform for any information related to the sport, be it results from more than 100 international leagues, videos, news or the latest transfer rumours. All are presented in unparalleled detail and unmatched quality, providing both global and local content, so that every fan has access to the best possible and most relevant information.

Onefootball has additionally partnered with the world’s most famous sports radio station talkSPORT. The partnership includes live and on-demand commentary of all Premier League matches and award-winning shows such as the Alan Brazil Sports Breakfast, Colin Murray, and Drive with Adrian Durham and Darren Gough. The broadcasts will be available in several languages across continental Europe and South America.

Lucas von Cranach, CEO Onefootball adds, “This partnership will enable our community of football fans to listen to all Premier League matches live and exclusively on Onefootball. The addition of this audio content means we are now able to offer our users the ultimate football experience.”

Kurt Edwards, talkSPORT International Sales Director said, “This exciting new partnership brings together two of the biggest names in football distribution. As Global Audio Partner of the Premier League, this is a perfect way to bring talkSPORT’s exclusive commentaries and wider sports programming to even more passionate football fans around the world alongside Onefootball’s fantastic content.”

First launched in 2008, Onefootball is the most comprehensive football news and networking service. The platform enables fans around the globe to follow their team and features minute-by-minute score updates, news, video content, and statistics across more than 100 leagues worldwide in nine languages. Free to download, it is available for iOS devices, Android, Windows Phone, Windows 8, Asha devices (through the Nokia store) and Samsung SmartTV.

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Hyundai UK partners with YouTube channel Copa90 for 2014 World Cup


Hyundai UK, ahead of this summer’s FIFA World Cup, has signed a content partnership with YouTube channel Copa90.

The collaboration will see Hyundai UK support two original Copa90 shows, which launched last week with a competition to give fans a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to win VIP trips to the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.

YouTube research shows that football fans love to be online and that their favourite source of video is YouTube. 10.4 million football fans are online and 99% of them use the internet either everyday or most days. 4.5 million football fans are heavy YouTube users and every month they view an average of 100 YouTube pages.

Each visit is on average eight minutes long. 
This is why Hyundai UK decided to take an innovative approach when determining its partner activation strategy for the 2014 FIFA World Cup Brazil.

The collaboration with Copa90 allows the automotive brand to focus on delivering football fans with unique and engaging content that will add value to their FIFA World Cup experience. 
The Copa90 shows will engage audiences in the lead up to the 2014 FIFA World Cup, with a series reviewing all twelve host cities; followed by a new interview series during the tournament.

All of this activity is launched with a competition, asking fans to recreate their favourite ‘GOAL’ celebrations and enter them online. They will then be in with a chance of winning one of seven pairs of VIP packages to the 2014 FIFA World Cup to see Brazil v. Mexico in Fortaleza on June 17, 2014.

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The competition is open for entries and fans can enter by visiting: www.hyundai.co.uk/experiencemore

“Our long-term partnership with FIFA allows us to connect fundamentally with a passionate global audience. For this year’s FIFA World Cup Brazil, we wanted to further improve that connection by working with Copa90 to bring engaging content and an exclusive competition to enhance the fans’ experience of the tournament – bringing a bit more of Brazil to Britain.” - Hyundai UK’s Marketing Director, Andrew Cullis

“We are thrilled to be working with a brand of Hyundai UK’s calibre to deliver a set of experiences our audience could not have achieved without them. This is a great example of a brand looking at ways it can add value for the audience they want to engage.” - Tom Thirlwall, CEO of Bigballs Films – the digital media company behind Copa90

It’s certainly a different angle for a sponsor to take for a big event such as the FIFA World Cup. It’s one I’m delighted to hear about personally as it is a company I worked for last year during it’s first year as a YouTube backed football channel. With over 500,000 subscribers to the channel it is certainly a force to be reckoned with and one which brands will want to be associated with more and more.

TD

 

MFWCC

 

Maya Jama

 

Posted in Football, Sport, YouTubeComments (1)

Google+ & Manchester United – The Front Row Story


We covered recently the initiative between Manchester United and Google called The Front Row (or #MUFrontRow).  The idea being that a select group of super-fans from around the world would be chosen to be “at” the stadium for the Liverpool game.

This was definitely a first as it utilised the digital advertising boards on the pitchside.  Allowing those in the Hangout to feel part of the stadium and for everyone in the stadium and watching on TV to see them.

It’s a great idea that really brings fans to the centre of the campaign, and the club. Pity that the performance on the pitch didn’t match the one off it as United slumped to a 0-3 defeat to one of their greatest rivals and sink them into even more trouble.

To finish off the campaign, the club have put together this very well shot video. It hero’s those fans involved and shows how it looked on the pitchside boards as the players lined up on the pitch.  A really interested idea from Man United, hopefully we’ll see more as the months go by from their digital team.

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Man City come out top in Social Media Premier League study


There have been a number of research pieces over the last few months that have looked at the ways in which top level football teams have been engaging on social media platforms.  Towards the end of 2013 Umpf put together a study over a one month period, taking in 148 sports teams with Spurs coming out on top.

There are others from eConsultancy (using Radium One) and Simply Zesty which have concentrated on the Premier League, and a recent one from Chinese agency Mailman Group that took in the top European clubs using Chinese social media platforms.  Not to mention the real-time tables produced by my friends at We Play and NineteenEightyFour (for FC Business).

So where does the latest one from marketing research and insights consultancy Accepted Socially fit in? Well they have identified a small period of time, between Jan 27th and Feb 3rd this year, and taken a more in-depth look at how clubs preformed in that time.  For me it was actually less about the final results table, though this helps in comparison quite nicely, but about the lessons that can be learnt by the clubs from the analysis given.

During the week chosen each time played the same amount of games (2) and each had one home and one away. The transfer window also closed during this period so it took a look at how engagement and conversation differed with those who were more and those who were less active – which was actually most of them as it wasn’t the most exciting of last days.  Below is how they made their decisions on the scores;

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From theses metrics and areas the company then went into more detail about what each club had been up to during that period. Using clear images that had been posted by the teams, giving opinions into what content was being posted and why it was good, bad or indifferent. And also explaining some of the reasons why they had been particularly active or not.

Unsurprisingly Manchester City came out on top. Their production of lots of news given to fans across all channels, including women’s and youth sides, ensured they scored highly. As well as not being overly commercial and, as you would expect, being very creative in what they do and how they do it.  Something the club has been long renowned for doing when it comes to digital.

 

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At the other end of the scale was Stoke City, scoring lowly in every category. The assessment was that despite the signings of Peter Odemwingie being well covered, the general lack of updates made engagement hard.  There are no behind-the-scenes or training ground pictures and content is generally major club news and match day coverage, with a push towards the Stoke TV player.

Newcastle United, who came next to bottom, have recently acknowledged there was work to be done when it comes to social media. Their focus had been around commercialising the platforms with very little actually engagement. It finally looks like they’ve accepted that this approach was badly thought out and have made moves to change this – which is great to hear.

You can take a look at how your team performed by clicking on the link here where you can see a sample report or request the full one. All 20 teams have a nice section with all the info on.

 

Man City

 

Stoke City

 

 

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West Ham United launch their first “Social Media Match”


Tonight West Ham United take on Hull City in the Premier League.  Now a mid-table clash between two teams who have hit some reasonable form as we head into the business end of the season.

The game at Upton Park has been picked out by the home club as an opportunity to really push what they do when it comes to engaging with fans through social media.  Most teams will launch one or two new initiatives, but not West Ham.  They have gone all-out for this one and there is a huge amount going on across Twitter, Facebook and YouTube.

There is action happening pre-match, during it and post-match! This is all aimed at activating the clubs 900,000+ followers across all their social media platforms (and presumably building on this number too).  It’s already gained coverage in the Metro, with whom it has a strong relationship and fans have been discussing it on forums, in fanzines and across social media platforms.

West Ham’s Media Officer (Digital), Leo Tyrie, explained to us the thinking behind the idea…

“As a Club West Ham United are always looking for new and exciting ways to engage with our fanbase and the idea of theming a match around our social media output made perfect sense for us.

Our numbers across Twitter and Facebook have steadily climbed over the past couple of years, while we have recently developed our output further across Instagram, Google+ and YouTube.

We want our supporters to feel as involved in the matchday experience as possible and we’re looking forward to showcasting their – and our – content around the match against Hull.”

Below is the exhaustive list of what has been going on, and also what will be happening during the day. I’m wondering if there will be any new Vines after the media team came along to our Digital Sport London event on Monday night, perhaps doing some last minute research! (They were mentioned as an example of best use of the tool during the event – well done Leo and your team).

 

Pre-match

 

#HammerShirts - The club asked fans to  Tweet them with messages of support for the team. The best 20 messages will be printed on T-shirts and worn by the players during their pre-match warm-up. The players will sign their own T-shirt, which will be sent to the fan who Tweeted their message. These messages will also appear in the Official Programme on matchday.

• Phoenix from the Flames - Fans were also asked to submit videos of them recreating your favourite West Ham United moment from the 2013/14 season! The winning entry or entries will be broadcast on the big screens before kick-off and on the Club’s Official YouTube channel.

The final piece of pre-match engagement was to conduct the main interview with Mohamed Diame in the Official Programme. Fans had to submit their questions for Mo on their Twitter page @whufc_official using the hashtage #AskMo

 

Matchday

 

#Gloveaway - Goalkeeper Adrian will be leaving one of his gloves at a mystery east London location, which he will announce at 12noon on matchday on his Twitter page @AdriSanMiguel. The first fan to find Adrian’s glove will be given two tickets to the game (if required) and get to meet Adrian. (Similar to the Treasure Hunt run by Nottingham Forest recently)

• Competitions - There will be the chance to win a piece of signed memorabilia by entering their matchday starting XI prediction competition on Twitter using the hashtag #WHULINEUP and by predicting West Ham’s first goalscorer using #WHUGOAL

• #HammersPlaylist - Tweet your favourite song to be part of the matchday playlist at half-time. West Ham will create a ten-song shortlist, with the top three songs voted by fans on @whufc_official making the half-time playlist over the PA system. To nominate your ONE song for the Hammers Playlist, fans can do so now using the hashtag #HammersPlaylist

• Matchday coverage - Their multimedia team will be following the players around the Boleyn Ground on matchday, with regular videos being published on the Club’s official YouTube channel.

• #MattsMatchday - Midfielder Matt Taylor will Tweet his matchday from start to finish on his Twitter page @Official_MattT using the hashtag #MattsMatchday

 

During the action

 

• Player pundit - The club will be asking a first-team player (subject to availability) to join them in the Press Box to give his expert opinion on the action during the game on our official Twitter page @whufc_official

#HammerTimeDuring the game, they want fans to Tweet a photo from wherever they are watching the match, whether that be in the ground, at home or in a bar, on your own on with a group of fellow supporters using the hashtag #HammerTime. This will be interesting with the lack of 3G generally available at grounds – will any fans be able to do so during game time?

Matchday coverageSharing the very best images from in and around the Boleyn Ground all matchday, including action photos, in a gallery on their official Facebook page.

 

Post-match

 

Man of the Match - Launching live Man of the Match vote immediately after the final whistle on the official Twitter page. The player with the most RT wins Man of the Match, with one of the fans who voted for him winning a signed prize.

 

It’s a pretty extensive list of activity – the West Ham media team are certainly going to be VERY busy for the rest of today!  Good luck to Leo and the team down at Upton Park. Hopefully we’ll follow it up with a chat with them about how it went and what their plans are going forward.

 

West Ham Mo Diame

 

 

Posted in Football, Social MediaComments (1)

Derby County win “Best Digital Content” at Football League Awards


Sunday night saw the most interactive and widely broadcast Football League Awards ceremony in its history.  Taking place at The Brewery in London it not only hosted 600 guests from clubs, sponsors and the football industry but was broadcast on YouTube and Facebook as well.

The streaming of the awards was primarily on the Football League’s YouTube and Facebook pages but was also syndicated out to club websites and YouTube channels.  The main awards were for the players with Danny Ings picking up the Sky Bet Championship Player of the Year.

On top of that they employed ScribbleLive, who are a partner of the Football League now, to run a live blog throughout the evening.  Running this alongside the livestream gave fans more of a reason to watch the awards of the FL website, something they’re keen to increase.

Results of the livestream are pretty impressive. The Football League has revealed to us that it received 59,860 unique visitors to the live blogging page. Those people spent on average 8min 36 secs on the page.

From the point of view of this site the main interest revolved around the “Perform Best Digital Content and Audience Growth Award”.  There were 5 teams nominated for this category; AFC Bournemouth, Coventry City, Derby County, Oxford United and Queens Park Rangers.

The category was assessed by a team of judges and was based on which club could best demonstrate results that they achieved during 2013 in developing content to grow audience to their websites and channels.

The team that came out on top was Derby County for their ‘Return of the Mac’ campaign, which was delivered across a number of mediums.  The campaign centered around the return of manager Steve McClaren to the club, he was assistant manager from 1995-99, in September 2013.

Derby County Football League Awards

The strategy was designed to encourage fans to back the new management after the sacking of popular manager Nigel Clough.  The result of their efforts led to an increase in the number of unique visitors per month to over 200,000 and improved social conversion rates to nearly 25%.

On winning the award, the club’s Multi-Media Editor Matt Reeder said;

We saw the opportunity with Steve’s appointment to re-engage with the fans and built the ‘Return of the Mac’ strapline which came from Faye Nixon in our marketing department.  We worked on the whole concept and also looked at how we could re-engage with our fans across all platforms – RamsPlayer, the website, Twitter, YouTube.

Before ‘Return of the Mac’ we looked at how we could drive that exclusivity we could offer with the new manager and took ownership of that which meant we were the first place fans came to.”

Well done to Derby County and their digital comms team.  We’re hoping to speak with the club in more detail within the next days and have a new article up about the club and their digital plans.

You can watch the whole 1hr 40min+ video below of the ceremony with every award covered.

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