Tag Archives: manchester united

Manchester United pass 60m fan mark on Facebook, but what does that mean to the club?

Manchester United are celebrating another Facebook milestone, this time passing the 60m fan mark on their page.

Although somewhat behind the likes of former player Cristiano Ronaldo, who recently became the first athlete to pass the 100m mark, and also European rivals FC Barcelona (77m) and Real Madrid (75m).

Continue reading Manchester United pass 60m fan mark on Facebook, but what does that mean to the club?

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




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)

How to Monetise Social Media in Sport [video]

The annual Sportel conference is currently taking place in Monaco, with today being its last day.  It covers all areas of sport including, much to our relief, a social media panel discussion with some of the biggest influencers within sport including Richard Ayers (CEO, Seven League), Shergul Arshad (Head of Digital, AS Roma) and David Sternberg (Head of Media, Man Utd).

They discussed for almost an hour the different approaches, barriers and opportunities that surround social media and the monetisation possibilities it represents.  To give you a flavour of what is to come, the initial talking points raised by the speakers included;

David Sternberg: Manchester United have taken a cautious approach, concentrating on getting the content right (tone, relationships and frequency) before then engaging partners around the possibility of driving revenue from the platforms.

Shergul Arshad: For him it is important to stay authentic to the content and get that right. At AS Roma they have 5 main ways in which they look to monetise social media;

  • Promote ticketing (season tickets and specific games)
  • E-commerce
  • Licensing / Gaming
  • Sponsorship / Advertising
  • Membership Programme (which unlocks more content)

Richard Ayers: It’s about Reach, Retention and Revenue.  There are plenty of examples of monetisation, with ticketing, sponsorship, etc.  Wise businesses fully embrace the two-way channel that social media is and look to take it to the next level, though many are afraid to do so and see it as an old school broadcast channel only.  For him there are two main themes;

  1. Love
  2. Data

So it’s about building relationships and trust with fans and also understanding them, enabling the conversations with sponsors and opening up CRM channels.

You can see the whole of the panel session and find out a lot more about their thoughts and maybe pick up some insights to use yourself from the video below…




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

man utd instagram


man utd google plus

Manchester United Launch Twitter & Sina Weibo Accounts

After many months of wondering when it will happen, the day is finally here.  For Manchester United fans like myself it has been a matter of waiting and knowing that it was when, rather than if, it would be launched.

The delay has been frustrating for some but understandable as well.  For such a massive global brand you do not just just onto the nearest platform and then try and decide what you want to do on it.  The recent expansion of the social media team at the club, with UK Athletics Nicola Turner joining back in April and a recent advert for another social media marketer, has marked an upshift in the push into social media.

The experimentation seemed to take place using the clubs Press Office account, now rebranded @MU_Spokesperson, as it played a major part in the recent retirement of Sir Alex Ferguson.  This confidence and the planning behind the scenes has led to todays announcement.

So now they have two Twitter accounts, @ManUtd @MU_Spokesperson and a Sina Weibo account as they continue to push into the Chinese market.

The emphasis from a press point of view will be the growth in the account.  Will it get to 1m fans quicker than Charlie Sheen managed? (25 hours). And how long before they become the most followed football club on Twitter, battling for supremacy with Real Madrid and Barcelona as they do on Facebook.

But its more about the content for me.  No matter how many fans they have can they deliver the right content that’s going to make it worthwhile for me to follow?  The Facebook page has made significant strides forward in the last few months and I’m expecting some great behind-the-scenes access, breaking news and hopefully some new innovations as well.

So far they have posted 4 tweets and gained over 110,000 followers in the last hour or so.  At this rate it will be 1m by lunchtime!

Whatever happens, welcome to Twitter and Sina Weibo Manchester United!

The Sir Alex Retirement Announcement and Twitter

The news that I (and many other United fans) had dreaded finally arrived this morning.  Twitter had been awash with rumours of his immanent departure since last night when The Telegraph went with an exclusive article.

The news was posted on Twitter and quickly stirred much debate.  Initially there was a dismissive feel to it but when more facts became clear it sent the Twitterverse into overdrive.  No comment was made by the club which only added to the rumours, though this was of no surprise due to the stock listing in NYC that meant that any change would have to be disclosed to them first.

Then it happened.  At around 9.17am the only Manchester United presence on Twitter (there is no official team account, only the Press Office) tweeted a simple short message that left no doubt.

Fergie Retires

The move by the club shows how the platform has become the number 1 place to break news.  It is where all the press have a presence and where clubs have been able to enable some kind of control over their ‘brand’.  Players use it to have a voice whilst clubs will always use it for marketing and PR (not so much engagement goes on still).

As soon as the new broke it sent Twitter into meltdown.  People like myself posting messages of disbelief and thanks to a manager who is without doubt the most successful manager ihn the history of the game in England.  I’ve been a fan for over 25 years and have only ever known one manager.  It’s a day we’ve feared will one day inevitably arrived but we didn’t want to happen yet (if ever).

A little after this post was first published I was sent a neat infographic from the guys at Simplyzesty.  It shows the reaction over a longer period of time and some more details of Facebook as well.  Make sure you have a read of their full article on the announcement here.

sir alex retirement infographic

Taking a quick look at the stats (via Topsy) you can see when the story first broke late last night and then when the official announcement was made.  A total of over 300k mentions in half an hour shows how people from around the world were talking about it.


The use of the hashtag by the club was nicely done and lead it becoming the number 1 trending topic in the world.  At one point 8 out of the 10 trends were related to it and in there was the name David Moyes.  Once the initial shock receded then the next obvious step was to start speculating over who will take over.

The bookies favourite is Moyes, the Everton manager who has managed to over deliver almost every year for the last 11 years.  Will he succeed and be up to the task?  Will it be Jose Mourinho, someone who has shown no secret as to his desire to manage at Old Trafford when Sir Alex calls it a day?  Or an outsider such as the successful Jurgen Klopp from Champions League finalists Borussia Dortmund?

It is rumoured that his successor will be announced within the next 48 hours so we will wait and see.  It’s going to be a nervous time to firstly see who gets it and then if they can carry on from where Sir Alex left off.  Taking another snapshot from Twitter most of the conversation is around Jose but Moyes is close behind.  Can this be a judge on who will actually get it?

Next United Manager


Once again Twitter has shown that it is the place to be for breaking news such as this.  It would be interesting to see how many people have used Facebook as well to let friends and family know.  It is still a platform to take into account and United used that as well to break the news.  It also added a great banner to the top of their page, which I and many others have taken and used on our profiles.

Not only that but the club have reacted quickly by starting a new Facebook tab allowing fans to send in their messages to SAF.  A selection of these thank you messages will be published in an exclusive #ThankYouSirAlex book and a lucky few will win a signed copy of the book.  Nice touch by the club and very reactive.  The club have improved immeasurably in their use of Facebook (and now Twitter), so a well done from me.

Thank you Sir Alex.  It’s been a great journey!

fergie banner

Cool Job: Contributing Editor (Social Media) @ Manchester United

Thanks to Rab from Rangers for pointing this one out on Twitter and he is right, there will be a huge amount of fans and social media experts sending their applications as we speak.

It does sound like a great role at an amazing team (yes, I’m a United fan).  This brings with it the opportunity to get your hands dirty when it comes to creating content for the social media channels… which currently consists of Facebook.  I’m sure as the team builds up at United then the number of platforms they are present on will also increase.

How soon before we see RvP doing a live Google Hangout or Twitter Q&A?  There is so much content being produced with the opportunities for so much more that their social media audience could grow massively.

Below are details on the role and the information of where to apply to…


Job Title Contributing Editor – Social Media
Job Type Full-time
Location Old Trafford
Salary Not disclosed
Contributing Editor – Social Media
Harnessing the power of social media, you will apply your innate creativity to generate involving content across a range of platforms.


The Role: Strengthening our growing editorial team at Old Trafford, you will create engaging content for a number of UK and international social media channels. At the same time, you will assist in implementing and delivering marketing strategy and promotional campaigns, whilst seamlessly integrating our social media content with our other media platforms. Your impact will be felt across our UK and overseas websites, matchday programmes and newsstand magazine, and you will act as an in-house expert on social media, so you can expect total involvement and enormous challenge.


What We’re Looking For: Passionate about digital and social media, you will bring a sharp editorial mind and a tight writing style, backed by excellent organisational and time management skills. Needless to say, you are capable of adapting to different platforms and meeting strict deadlines, and you will ideally combine strong interest in football with familiarity with multilingual websites.


The Club: Manchester United is unlike any other football club in the world. We inspire over 333 million passionate followers and have enjoyed unparalleled success both on and off the pitch during our 130-year history. In short, we are a truly iconic global brand.


Closing date: Friday 23 November 2012

Job Description

Post Title: Contributing Editor – Social Media

Rate of Pay: Salary offered will be commensurate with relevant experience and the level of responsibility undertaken in the post. Benefits include (subject to certain eligibility criteria) membership of the Group Pension Scheme, up to 25 days paid annual leave and an Occupational Sickness Scheme.

Accountable to: Website Editor

Manchester United is looking for a Social Media Contributing Editor to join our growing editorial team, based at Old Trafford.

The successful candidate should be able to demonstrate:
• A passion for digital and social media
• A keen editorial brain and a tight writing style
• Ability to work under pressure
• Planning and organisation skills
• An ability to adapt to different digital platforms
• Experience of working across digital and social media platforms
• Knowledge of football and an understanding of football fans is preferable but not necessarily essential
• Previous experience in working across multilingual sites is also preferable but not essential

Key Responsibilities
The key responsibilities of the post are:-

• Creating engaging Manchester United-related content for a number of social media channels, both in the UK market as well as internationally
• Working alongside the Manchester United editorial team to deliver this content, using the Club’s style and tone
• Working in partnership with the social media campaign manager to implement and deliver social media campaigns to support our family of websites both in the English language and internationally
• Integrating and promoting MU’s social media content and platforms through the Club’s other media channels, including ManUtd.com and international websites, MUTV, the matchday programme and the newsstand magazine
• Work with the social media campaign manager to ensure social media tools (eg sharing buttons etc) on our family of websites are up to date
• Act as a MU advocate on a variety of external social media platforms
Self Development
To undertake any necessary internal or external training sessions in accordance with the Company’s Performance and Development Review Policy and to take personal responsibility to seek opportunities to develop yourself and to realise your own potential.

Identify, implement and evaluate the training and developmental needs of staff that may from time to time be within your area of responsibility, give appropriate feedback and actively show interest and involvement in training activities for all employees whilst looking for opportunities to further develop individuals.

Team Work
Ensure effective communication within your work team and actively offer support and guidance as necessary.

Security / Stock Control
Ensure compliance with all of the Company’s security, stock control, loss prevention and key holder procedures.

Equal Opportunities and Harassment
Ensure understanding, awareness and compliance with the Company’s Equal Opportunities and Harassment Policies.

Hours of Work
The employee is required to work 35 hours per week. Hours of work should be planned in accordance with the demands of the business and as such it will be necessary to work outside normal business hours from time to time.

This document is a guide only. The employee must undertake any other duties as may be reasonably assigned by the Head of Content and other Executive Management from time to time.

To apply go here

Macheda latest player fined for Twitter outburst – what is the solution?

Where will this end?!  I’m of course talking about the fine implemented by The FA on Federico Macheda, the Italian youngster on loan at QPR from Manchester United.

He has been fined £15,000 and warned about his future conduct after using abusive language on Twitter after being left out of the match day team recently. He said; “Totally p***** off…this is not what i deserve. F..k all!!!!”

You can understand his frustration as he went to the club to gain first team experience that would help his new club with some goals and his own game to ensure he goes back to his parent club with a chance of making the first team.  This has not been the case and so he took to Twitter to vent his frustration in the one public place he had access to.

If you’ve read this blog for any length of time you will know that this is certainly not the first time its happened and most definitely wont be the last.  For the last 3 years there have been regular instances of this happening.

So what, if anything, could be done about this to help?

For the bigger profile players, those who are obviously earning a good wage there could be some options worth exploring.  This is also a point in which someone with social media experience can help them.

In the US, I recently read about the use of Amy Jo Martin’s company Digital Royalty vetting the twitter updates of Joel Stein, the top man at the TIME Magazine.  Something they also do for Shaq O’Neill, Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson and Dana White from UFC.  What this does is enable some sense checking of what should go up and when, something that the king of advertising David Ogilvy said is one of the keys to writing when he said;

“Never send a letter or a memo on the day you write it. Read it aloud the next morning — and then edit it.” 

(taken from an internal memo by Ogilvy to his staff with 10 hints to learn to write well)

So if the sense checking is done by yourself or someone else, it doesnt matter as long as it happens.  With so much at stake for people at this ‘celebrity’ level, the merest slip up can be front page news.

This does not mean being draconian or the scrooge who wont let someone have any kind of personality on social media sites.  It means finding a happy medium that can really make a difference.

So how would it work?

How about something simple: the player hires a person or company to help him/her with their online sites (much as they would do with their website).  Then once they want to make an update they text/email/BB the message they want to add to this person, who then adds it to the relevant platform.

We still want some real time interaction of course and if these are set for certain times, as some athletes do already, where they answer questions directly.  There are still many opportunities for interaction and it not to come over as cold, bland or distant.

What this does do is make them think twice about what they are going to post and also enables them to sense check it past another person.  They may then come back and say ‘are you sure you want to say that?’

With so many platforms out there that could be jumped on (is pinterest going to be next?) there is going to be a time when they just cant look after all of them them by themselves. Certainly not if your Rio Ferdinand, Lewis Hamilton, Wayne Rooney, RvP or the like.

We still want them to voice their opinions of course and not have all of them turn into the next Michael Owen of Twitter (boring!).  We want to find out more about their personality, what else they do aside from sport, interact with them and get the latest news.

This isn’t new thinking, we have been doing for brands for quite a long time now.  Where it is appropriate there should be no reason why the same couldn’t happen more to the top sports stars (and other celebs). Of course we should still push for sensible, awareness training of young (and older) athletes to give them the confidence and insights to go onto these platforms with their eyes wide open.