Tag Archive | "Football"

The Hidden Value Of Vine


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

Was I the only one who looked through the Loops of my own account to be pleasantly surprised by the number of Loops I’d received on my personal channel? I’ve only put out 15 Vines, but these have been watched over 230,000 times.

This intrigued me on two counts, if I’ve amassed over 230,000 Loops, what have brands generated? And secondly, what do these Loops show? Is Vine actually providing more value to brands than we’ve thought?

First off, Vine is part of the digital strategy of many brands, but it’s not central to it. It’s a subsidiary. That’s not going to change, but looking at how brands are racking up thousands of Loops within a short space of time, Vine might just be a more central aspect of brand strategies. The numbers are particularly impressive.

Brands like Ford EU and Charmin have racked up over 20m Loops between them. Both of their YouTube channels combined total 34m views. So the results on Vine are not too shabby given the dramatic disparity between the cost of generating YouTube video compared to six seconds of Vine! If we break this down, Charmin attracted 8m Loops from 67 Vines, an average of 119,000 per Vine.

On YouTube, they’ve seen 159,000 views per video. It’s not far off. It’s even more apparent with Ford EU, who generated 12m views of 47 videos, averaging 255,000 Loops per Vine. Compare this to YouTube, where Ford EU has managed 29,673 views per video. Consider this greater deal of production cost, you’d have to argue that Vine is providing quite the value for Ford EU.

Then there are those putting more effort into Vine, including post-production uploading, like Nike Football. They’ve amassed over 19m Loops on their own through 14 Vines – that’s an average of over 1.35m Loops per Vine! Let’s say, for argument sake, that an individual watches a Vine three times (probably closer to two but go with it), that means around 5.5m people have potentially viewed Nike’s content on Vine.

With Nike so reliant on time with their ambassadors for content, the opportunity to create a series of Vines in their time with an asset, as opposed to one or two glossy YouTube edits, is an attractive option. Worth the investment? I think so.

Following on from these total numbers, there’s the added bonus of the watching of a Vine several times repeated. It begs the question, when watched three times, is the penetration of simple, condensed messaging, greater than a three-minute long YouTube video?

There are obviously pieces of content that need to be hosted on either channel through necessity, and it’s clearly not as black and white as the numbers suggest, but it could be worth a study, right?

Please excuse the crude analytics, but they simply illustrate the potential in Vine if executed correctly. Many brands will have Vine as a part of their digital strategy, but perhaps it’s time for a little bit more of that YouTube budget to be reallocated into creating Vines.

Back in April last year, I wrote about how brands should be taking Vine more seriously, and whilst it is evolving, it’s been painfully slow with brands. Maybe, with quantifiable metrics, we might just see that investment.

 

loops

 

 

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#DSLondon 10 with The Football League & Wimbledon [event]


Thank you to everyone who took time out to come along to last month’s successful Digital Sport London looking at the use of analytics and data in sport. Tomorrow night (23rd July) we’re taking a broader look at digital sport with insights into two different sports from those who work directly in it.

The venue has changed this month as we move back to Rileys Sports Bar (Haymarket) in the centre of London. Back in January 2013 we held a very successful event at the venue with the ever engaging Richard Ayers. Hopefully we will be back at this venue on a regular basis over the coming months.

Firstly we’ll be chatting to Russell Scott who looks after the digital team at The Football League. He’s been in the role for around a year now and has made some significant changes to both the internal set up of the organisation to bring it into the modern age and also externally with new mobile sites, live blogging platforms and training for the 90 football clubs who are part of Football league Interactive. Not to mention a revamp of their own digital channels and content to fill them.

I will be chatting to Russell and also give time for people to ask questions from the audience or on Twitter. You can also leave a question in the comment box at the bottom of this post if you’d like to do it that way too.

Following a drinks break (very important in sport) we’ll be hearing from Alexandra Willis. She will be taking us through the digital activities they employed at last month’s Wimbledon to engage with fans in ever more interesting and in-depth ways, both those within the grounds and others who are watching/keeping up to date around the world.

Again there will be opportunities to ask Alex questions and tap into her knowledge. I will be putting a few questions to her and, as with Russell, there are a number of ways in which you can get involved.

Thank you to our series sponsors; Brandwatch, Grabyo and Rawnet. Both Brandwatch and Grabyo will be demonstrating their products at the event so be sure to say hi and find out more about what they do and how they can potentially help your business (or clients).

There are over 50 people already signed up, so there is plenty of networking to be done over a couple of mid week drinks. Join us from 6pm (first talk starts at 7pm) by visiting the link below to book your place…

 

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Manchester United launch ‘Social Media Hub’


Manchester United have been slowly expanding their efforts on social media over the past few years and have now expanded that with a new release that brings together all their channels into one place.

They first launched on Facebook back in 2010 just as social media was becoming popular within sport and clubs were jumping on board. But then the club sat back, just at a time when ‘noisy neighbours’ Manchester City were pushing the boundaries on a number of platforms.

Last year they (finally) launched on Twitter and have amassed over 2.7m fans on the platform, adding to their 50m+ Facebook fans and expanded their social media team with new experienced hires. They’ve also launched language specific accounts on Twitter and a Sina Weibo account to connect with fans in China. Plus they regularly update their Google+ (2.9m) and Instagram (1.1m) accounts with behind the scenes and match day content.

Now they have teamed up with Australian tech company Stackla to launch the Manchester United Social Media Hub. It allows fans to see all the content being produced by the club in one place across all their major accounts. Stackla have been providing their social media aggregation system to a number of campaigns across sports, fashion and much more over the past few years.

You can also see specific campaign content by clicking on the ‘New Kit’ and ‘Tour 2014′ tabs as the club promoted specific elements to boost revenue streams – new kit sales, tickets, etc.

Not everyone is a fan of these hubs but they do work especially around specific events in my opinion. With so many profiles scattered across the internet it can be hard to keep up with them all. This gives fans the opportunity to do just that and also follow the links to discover platforms the club is on that they didn’t know were there before.

What do you think?

Man Utd Social Hub

Man Utd Social Media Hub

 

 

 

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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

 

 

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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.

 

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The Premier League 2013/14 Facebook Recap [infographic]


Little has been spoken about the Premier League in recent weeks as the World Cup hits our screens tonight with the opening ceremony followed by Brazil’s opening game against Croatia.

But analytics company Locowise have perked our attention with the release of an interesting infographic that gives a thorough breakdown, and a number of interesting stats about how our teams have been performing on Facebook.

It looks past the obvious stats, such as Manchester United having the biggest Facebook page – which has just passed 50m fans, a good 20m more than nearest rival Chelsea.  For example, did you know that Hull’s page fan base grew by an impressive 787% during the season? Or that there were 34,159 total posts made by all the clubs?

Take a look below at this and many more interesting stats from the season just past. How did your team perform?

epl_infographic2

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New Second Screen Fantasy Football App enables viewers to interact with World Cup matches in Real Time


Ultimate Fan Live yesterday announced a new free mobile app that offers fans a social way to watch the 2014 FIFA World Cup. Fans who are not able to attend the World Cup in Brazil this summer can play the second screen fantasy football game using any iOS device. Instead of just watching on TV, Ultimate Fan Live players can compete in real time against their Facebook friends in a second screen game that syncs with the live match.

The unique mobile app provides a platform in which up to five friends compete against each other during live matches. They pick players and earn points based on players’ live performance on the pitch. In this way, friends engage with the game in real time and compete to top the Ultimate Fan Live ranks.

“Football viewing is no longer solely a passive spectator experience. Fantasy Football games are outdated, appealing only to hardcore fans that invest for an entire season. The promise of second screen offers an exciting new way to enjoy the World Cup with your friends.” - Sohail Godall, CEO and founder of Ultimate Fan Live.

Unlike traditional fantasy football leagues, Ultimate Fan Live can be used for short 90-minute games, so players do not need to commit for an entire season. It will enable millions of World Cup viewers around the world to have an even deeper level of enjoyment of matches as they try to follow the players in their game and not just those with the ball.

Philip Kelly-Ayo, an engineer who has been one of the app’s beta testers commented: “As Ultimate Fan Live is based on real data it offers a level of social connectivity and a deeper investment in the match being broadcast. It’s also a great source of banter with my friends!”

Ultimate Fan Live is available globally from the App Store for all iOS devices from 10th June 2014 for all 2014 FIFA World Cup live matches.

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adidas launch live World Cup YouTube show, ‘The Dugout’


The picture is becoming clearer from one of the biggest sponsors of FIFA, who recently extended their deal until 2030, after the release of their recent TV ad… and now news of a brand new YouTube series. It presents a major shift for the sports brand as they go directly after World Cup broadcasters, stating that “the traditional press conference is no more..”!

The global sports manufactorer is going to be broadcasting live from Rio a series of exclusive programmes on the platform starting from the first day of the World Cup, June 12th. It’s a very similar move to that of Hyundai UK who teamed up with YouTube backed football channel Copa90 earlier in the year, though with a different emphasis. adidas have got together with Kick TV, the US equivalents of Copa90, which is part of MLS Digital for this one.

It will be hosted by Jimmy Conrad, Layla Anne-Lee and Hugh Wizzy and give fans the opportunity to take part in a virtual press conference incorporating live interviews with the likes of Cafu, Kaka and Lucas Moura, adidas product reviews, behind-the-scenes action with adidas sponsored teams and chances to win prizes.

It’s another part of the adidas sponsorship plan that has been over 2 years in the making. London-based social media agency We Are Social will have been closely involved in the strategy and will I’m sure be on-site working long shifts to make this the best campaign ever.

Senior PR Manager (adidas Football), Rob Hughes, someone I knew well from my time at WAS (disclosure: I used to work on the adidas account at WAS), has said;

“The Dugout is a very exciting concept for Adidas, bringing together the best of Adidas talent with the reach of YouTube. The broadcasts will allow all football fans around the world to participate in the global conversation surrounding the Fifa World Cup. This youth-magazine-style football show will be fans’ inside view into the tournament, showcasing Brazil at its best with many famous faces and will be a must-watch throughout the competition,”

The first show is being aired at 2.00pm BST (10.00am BRT) and there will be 6 in total as part of the #AllInOrNothing campaign that has been intriguing commentators around the world since its launch. The final show will be on the eve of the World Cup Final. You’ll be able to watch it on the adidas Football YouTube page at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuAPWG5e8lQ&feature=share

“The streaming of live adidas shows from Brazil is a unique brand proposition and a great example of a strategic partnership creating new, engaging and innovative content to a relevant audience. Our partnership with adidas has already seen us work together on many elements of their World Cup campaign, and these broadcasts will position adidas and YouTube at the heart of the conversation around this summer’s tournament. We are delighted that the World Cup’s number one partner, adidas, has chosen YouTube to play such a central role in their World Cup campaign.” - Lucas Watson, VP, Global Brand Solutions at YouTube.

It’s another different approach we’ve seen in recent weeks, but not so different from what Hyundai have put together. It is is though an example of a brand directly taking on traditional broadcasters as they make use of their access to players, coaches and other World Cup content. They’re also working with an already established YouTube channel in Kick TV and thus will be tapping into their audience. The start of a new trend?

Add to that the expected big spend using YouTube TrueView and they’re be looking to get the attention of every football fan out there. I also expect to see and really tight and well executed social media plan that will bring others into the conversation.

Will you be tuning in?

 

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World Cup Fans Seeing Double, with Multi-Screening on the Rise in 2014


New research from Google reveals the extent to which football fans have changed in the past four years. The UK’s World Cup 2010 spectator was not mobile-savvy, with just 20% of searches for the game, players and teams taking place on a mobile device. Search query volume dipped during and peaked at the end of games as fans focused on the big screen. By contrast, the newly released Google report 2014 World Cup: What a Difference 4 Years Makes predicts that today’s football fans will engage with more than one screen during World Cup 2014 matches.

For example it was found that during the recent Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid 2014 UEFA Champions League semi-final, 53% of UK searches took place on a mobile device, with the cumulative volume of mobile searches far surpassing those during the 2010 World cup final match.

  • Mobile Fans: UK fans are over two-and-a-half times more likely to search on mobile during major live football events than other devices compared to four years ago
  • Most Searched: There have been more global searches for the World Cup between 2010 – 2014 than for the Olympics, Tour de France and Superbowl combined
  • Most Watched: 64.7m hours of football-related YouTube footage watched globally in the past month

The research also finds that football is by far the most watched sport on YouTube globally this year, with 64.7m hours of related footage watched last month alone. Worldwide Google search data shows there was more interest in the World Cup than the Olympics, the Superbowl and the Tour de France combined, even with the latter two taking place annually.

“We now know that digital interaction occurs in tandem with a football match, giving advertisers the opportunity to react and offer content to fans in real-time. Marketers need to take this second-screen opportunity seriously. With recent research finding that 25% of UK men admit to shedding a tear during a football match, engaging with these passionate fans in the heat of the moment can be incredibly valuable for brands.” - Jordan Rost, Insights Marketing Manager at Google

Screen Shot 2014-06-06 at 16.22.51

Savvy advertisers are already creating great content for fans to consume before, during and after matches. Google’s analysis of the top five most watched football ads on YouTube in the UK shows that the content was all created by big brands as they all aim to engage with the extremely passionate fans that can be found on the video platform. Interestingly enough, only one of the videos is from an official sponsor of the football tournament:

1 Nike Football Nike Football: Winner Stays. ft. Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., Rooney, Ibrahimović, Iniesta & more
2 barclaysfootballtv Thank You #YouAreFootball
3 UKCapitalOne Capital One – Grounds for Improvement. The Credit Card that Supports the Supporters [VIDEO 2]
4 adidas Football Introducing the Battle Pack — adidas Football
5 Google UK Google+ & Manchester United – The Front row Story

 

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Introducing Shuffl, the World Cup sweepstake app you should be using


Marmalade on Toast is a small, creative digital agency, based in Winchester. They’re passionate about all things creative and love sport. In 2012 they decided to run our own studio sweepstake for the European Championships, so created their very own web version, rather than cutting out bits of paper! The result was a simple, but effective website: http://euro2012.marmaladeontoast.co.uk/

It was released to the public, and was picked up by a number of users. When the World Cup came up this year, they realised they needed to update the website, and decided to create something truly unique. Hence Shuffl was born. Its designed to work across multiple devices, with groups of friends or colleagues, as you can see below.

With the new app, they wanted to retain the simplicity of the initial idea, but add in a twist. They looked at the way people engage with sports today, and as many people would be connecting via mobile or tablet devices, they realised they had an opportunity to create a cross-platform, cross-device app, with a fun, gaming element.

The idea of Panini stickers was an inspiration, and so they started on mobile, creating simple, graphic ‘cards’ for each team, and then devised a mechanism (the ‘shuffl’) to allow users to flip the cards across each others screens, almost like a roulette wheel. Once they’d tested the app on a few users, they knew it would be much more engaging than a simple sweepstake team selector.

The app launched on 20th May, using social media and email contacts from the original Euro sweepstake. The app has been widely picked up, with over 1000 users signing up within 3 weeks.

Games are stored, tweeted and shared, so that everyone knows just who has who in the World Cup sweepstakes. They’re hoping to take the app further, adapting it with unique designs for all major sporting events such as Wimbledon, the Rugby World Cup, Euro 2016 and beyond. Co-founder of Marmalade on Toast is Simon Harmer;

“Every time I play Shuffl with friends or colleagues, they love it. Its very addictive – my 6-aside team has so far racked up 4 different sweepstakes! I’ve only managed to pick up France and Italy so far, so I’m pushing for another one! The joy is watching the teams spin past on the devices, and waiting to see where Brazil or Spain drop in!”

Good luck to them! Give it a try and run your office sweepstake from http://justshuffl.com

shffl 1

 

 

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