Tag Archives: Google

Man Utd utilise new Polling feature on Google+

That almost forgotten of social platforms, Google+, is still iterating and looking to improve its offerings to teams and fans it appears.

At a time when the whole discussion about whether it is a viable channel for brands has appeared to quieten off, with many appearing agreeing that no it isn’t (I’m not a big fan and rarely use it).

That doesn’t mean there isn’t a place for it and many teams are still posting daily on their pages and utilising Google Hangouts – certainly one of its best features – such as Liverpool, who are running one on the 20th October with former LFC legend Robbie Fowler.

Continue reading Man Utd utilise new Polling feature on Google+

NBA and Google team up to bring fans Google Hangouts live during the NBA Draft

With the NBA season over, ending in dramatic fashion as underdogs San Antonio Spurs overcame LeBron James’ Miami Heat to take the NBA Championship in Game 5 of the NBA Finals, attention turns for every basketball fan to the NBA Draft.

Considered to be the most exciting draft since 1984, the year that the NBA welcomed Michael Jordan, Charles Barkley, John Stockton and first-pick Hakeem Olajuwon, 2014 is set to bring future legends into the league. To capitalise on this, the NBA are giving greater access to their fans, allowing them the opportunity to speak live with the top draft picks using Google+ Hangouts just moments after the players have been selected.

Giving fans exclusive access to some of the most exciting draft prospects in years – for basketball fans: Andrew Wiggins, Jabari Parker, Dante Exum, Aaron Gordon and Marcus Smart to name a few –is another step in showcasing the leading digital innovation of the NBA. Fans who hope to have their questions answered by one of the draft prospects can use #NBADraftCash.

As the NBA continues to extend their fan base worldwide, as shown by their Global Games programme which sees NBA teams play regular season games around the world as well as playing against local teams in each region, digital appears to be a vital component in their geographical expansion.

For UK fans, the chance of having a Hangout with your favourite new NBA players might be a little ambitious considering the time difference between Brooklyn and England, but can stay up to date with all things NBA and the Draft at @NBAUK and www.facebook.com/NBAUK.


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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Manchester United & Google+ Present #MUFrontRow

Manchester United v Liverpool at Old Trafford is one of the biggest games in world football, and this season you could be supporting the Reds during that match in a way you could never have imagined.

United and Google+ have teamed up to launch a historic Front Row campaign, which will offer a select group of the Reds’ international fanbase the opportunity to “be” at the Theatre of Dreams – live – no matter where they are in the world.

This will be the first time this has ever happened at a football match. On Sunday 16 March 2014 for the home game against Liverpool, United fans will have the opportunity to cheer on the team, appearing via live Google+ Hangout on Old Trafford’s pioneering pitchside digital hoardings.

Throughout the match, Front Row supporters will be able to share in the magic of being at Old Trafford, joining 75,000 ticket holders and fellow Front Row participants the world over.

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How to get involved: Simply share a picture on Google+ that showcases your love, passion and commitment to United, along with the hashtag #MUFrontRow. They’ll then create a shortlist of potential participants and, if you’re successful, you’ll make history as you cheer on the Reds as one of the very first Front Row fans in world football.

Each Front Row participant will receive professional photographs of their appearance, as well as a welcome on United’s Google+ page, shared with nearly two million followers. So what are you waiting for? Get involved with #MUFrontRow to be a part of history.

MoreGet involved on Google+ | Full Terms & Conditions

(first published on ManUtd.com)

Manchester United extend social reach further with G+ and Instagram

Manchester United today extended the reach of its global social media activity with the launch of official pages on Google+, Instagram and Renren. This follows the club’s successful launches on Twitter and Sina Weibo last month.

The new Google+ page (www.google.com/+manutd) will create an online community for Manchester United fans to engage with the club and other members of the community across an exciting new platform. With over 500m Google+ users across the world, the page will enable the club to share behind-the-scenes content, unique features and exclusive interviews. A live Google+ Hangout with two members of the first team will take place in late August, with details to be announced shortly.

The club is also establishing a presence on Instagram (www.instagram.com/manchesterunited), a photo and video sharing service with over 130m users worldwide. This will allow fans to access, share and interact with the club’s iconic imagery and exclusive videos.

In China, Manchester United is launching an official page on Renren (http://page.renren.com/manutd) a Chinese-language social media network that will allow the club to further engage with its 108 million followers in the country.

Today’s announcement follows the successful launches on Twitter and Sina Weibo pages last month, each breaking growth records in their first month of operation. Manchester United also has over 34 million fans on its Facebook page, which launched in 2010.

Original article on ManUtd.com

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Google Glass to get first sport-outing at Wimbledon?

Bethanie Mattek-Sands, No. 58 in the WTA rankings, will be wearing Google Glass at Wimbledon this year. The exciting news is the first of its kind and demonstrates Google’s confidence in Glass and their belief that Glass is comfortable, secure and not distracting.

Even ahead of the tournament she has been experimenting with the technology whilst at the Wimbledon player party, sharing some of her pics from the night via the glasses.  The big question now is if she will be allowed by the organisers to wear them during a match.

Google says Mattek-Sands has already benefited from Glass, as have her fans:

“Glass’s potential in the sports realm is huge, and it can connect athletes, coaches, and fans in new ways. For Bethanie, it’s allowed her to capture her strokes from her point of view during practice and share those with her coaches. It also helps her search recipes and perfect her cooking, something that’s important to a professional athlete with dietary allergies and restrictions. Bethanie’s fans can also see the world through her eyes as she embarks upon the road to Wimbledon, where she’ll play her first match next week.”

My first thought was whether or not hand-eye coordination would be affected, but given that Glass is more likely to just be used as a camera, this shouldn’t be an issue. The other consideration is the length of time Glass will record for, and whether or not that will need to be activated on the court. Also, will it live stream? There are lots of questions to be answered.

Obviously, Wimbledon organisers could well jump in an ban it but the mere fact Glass is being considered for live, professional sport is a huge step for the product, and for the future of sports video broadcasting. Just imagine Ian Poulter (he seems the type) wearing Glass on the 18th tee at Augusta in 2014. Or perhaps looking through the batting-eyes of Alistair Cook in the Ashes later this summer… The opportunities are endless.

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Below are a couple of Bethanie’s tweets as she got ready for the Player Party;

BT Sport sees potential in Google+

At the UKSN event last week, we discussed in great length the future of sport and broadcasting. One interesting point that emerged from panel guest Mark Coyle was BT Sport’s interest in Google+ and that they have big hopes from that platform. This was echoed by Leigh Moore at the adidas lab this weekend. They both appear to believe that Google+ could be a real trump-card in the battle with Sky.

So why, when most others have abandoned the platform, do BT Sport see a future on Google+? The interest seems to lie predominantly with Google Hangouts which, without doubt, have been one of few shining lights for Google. Hangouts have been used with the likes of Pele and Beckham, and can certainly offer a bridge between fan and sportsperson.

If BT Sport can integrate this as a regular feature and be creative with the platform then there’s a high chance of encouraging regular conversation and engagement that forms part of the 360 package that BT Sport is aiming for. “The conversation never stops” as Leigh Moore pointed out at the adidas lab panel, and BT Sport want to be part of it throughout. Current engagement levels on the page are low but it’s still an active community of 300+ followers.

How they intend to maximise the platform will be revealed over the next month or so but for the moment, BT Sport’s intent to make social media a focal point of their outward communications is a positive move. Sky use these channels as more of broadcasting tool and it is clear that BT Sport are correctly looking to encourage regular conversation.


Other companies have seen potential in G+ just to have backed out not long after. The platform remains almost a graveyard of company pages. BT Sport believe they can reverse this trend and good luck to them.

Do you think Google+ could work for BT Sport? Would you consider getting involved in conversations and hangouts on the platform?


UEFA’s social media reach tops 10 million

UEFA’s reach on all social media platforms has surged through the 10 million mark, with the official UEFA Champions League page passing 5 million fans overnight following the launch of the UEFA.com users’ Team of the Year.

Launched in January 2011, the official Facebook page of Europe’s premier club competition has gone from strength to strength, with supporters receiving and interacting with news, photos, galleries, polls and live updates during match weeks. The page provides a platform for fans around the world to share their views on the competition and engage with content on UEFA.com.

The UEFA Europa League page has also proved attractive, with over 1.3 million users interacting, and UEFA is nurturing flourishing communities with seven further Facebook pages dedicated to UEFA.comUEFA Women’s Champions League,UEFA Women’s EUROUEFA Training GroundUEFA Futsal EUROUEFA European Under-21 Championship and UEFA EURO 2012.

UEFA’s reach is not confined to Facebook, with a successful and versatile Google+ page catering for over 2.4 million. With news and photos from all competitions appealing to a global audience, it is the seventh most popular page on the platform.

The launch of official UEFA Champions League and UEFA Europa League Twitter accounts in August has added a new dimension to UEFA’s social media coverage.@ChampionsLeague and @EuropaLeague have over 200,000 followers between them and provide news, photos and live goal updates for every game, encouraging fans to get involved using #ChampionsLeague and #EuropaLeague.

The introduction of a new UEFA Champions League homepage on Twitter bringing together all the official club accounts is also an easy way for fans to follow the competition.

@UEFAcom has all the other competitions and bases covered and continues to grow with 180,000 followers, while@TRAININGGROUND is dedicated to grassroots football in Europe. UEFA.com’s network of reporters across the continent have also embraced social media, tweeting from press conferences, matches and providing unique insight from their home countries.

UEFA Champions League
UEFA Europa League
UEFA Women’s Champions League
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article from UEFA.com

AC Milan to host first Google+ Hangout with Daniele Massaro

AC Milan are going to be ramping up the activity on their Google Plus account next week by hosting their first Hangout with former player, now PR man, Daniele Massaro.  The hangout will take place on Monday 15th October at 4pm (UK).

For those of you who may not be familiar with Daniele, here is a quick player biog.  He played for Milan between 1986 and 1995 winning 4 league titles. 2 Champions Leagues and 2 Cup Winners Cups.  Not a bad haul!  During this period the team were known as ‘Gli Invicibili’ (The Invincibles) as they went through their most successful period, even managing to go through the whole 1991/92 league season unbeaten.

That team was one of my favourites back in a time where you could watch live Serie A matches every Sunday on Channel 4 (do you remember Gazzetta Football Italia?).  The AC team had legends such as Marco van Basten, Franco Baresi, Ruud Gullit, Demetrio Albertini, Frank Rijkaard and Zvonomir Boban playing and were managed by firstly Arrigo Sacchi (who left to coach Italy) and then Fabio Capello.

They are not the first club to host a hangout on G+ as both Manchester City and Chelsea have done similar with Patrick Vieira and Petr Cech.  It is a feature that Google has pushed a lot over the last year or so with David Beckham and Barack Obama making appearances.

The AC Milan Google+ page has been up and running for a while and has a respectable 179,000 fans.  We’ll have to see how many tune in as the viewership can be notoriously low.  The Petr Cech hangout maxed out at around 700 viewers.  Very small considering the size of the clubs social presence (over 2m fans just on G+).  Hopefully this one will fair a little better.

Uniquely for a an event like this, I’ve been invited to be one of the 9 who will be asking questions during the live session!  So if you have a question you would like to ask Daniele then either add it into the comments below or get in touch at @UKSportsNetwork.

It will also be broadcast live on YouTube so make sure you tune in!  Here’s a video below promoting the event from the club…

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P&G Launches “Gillette Football Club” Channel on YouTube

Gillette, which is the sponsor of football on YouTube in EMEA, has launched the Gillette Football Club channel on the video site, with content including goals, highlights and behind the scenes footage from international football leagues and clubs.

The channel has gone live today in beta. It features content from leagues including Spain’s La Liga, and Italy’s Serie A, and over 50 different clubs, including Manchester City FC, Chelsea FC, Paris Saint-Germain, and Olympique de Marseille.

It does not have online Premier League highlights, however, as the rights are owned by Yahoo.  Much of the ‘football shows’ comes from a new partnership with Copa90, part of Big Balls Films, as the brand looks to set up a video football magazine style site.

The channel will feature news from sports content providers such as TalkSport and ESPN. Gillette plans to launch exclusive branded football content on the channel and social gaming.

It also has a stats page with information on leagues, including the English Premier League and players, provided by Squawka (well done Sanjit!).  The stats section includes information on top European goal scorers and Gillette’s team of the week.

Gillette already has an association with football through its partnership with grassroots football organisation streetfootballworld. For every user which registers on the new Gillette YouTube channel, P&G it will give one dollar to streetfootballworld, up to a limit of $3m.

The channel also has an “explore Gillette” section for the channel, with videos of past TV campaigns, information about products and the ability to click through to buy Gillette them on Boots’ ecommerce store.

Matt Brittin, vice president of sales and operations at Google, said: “The ever expanding team of YouTube football partners create a diverse and compelling content line up for fans.

“We’re delighted to join forces with Gillette to build a fantastic new YouTube experience for our passionate football community.”

The channel was developed with Proximity BBDO Paris.

The launch comes shortly after YouTube launched a foreign football league highlights channel by sports media rights company MP & Silva. The Scottish Premier League also recently launched a highlights channel on YouTube.