Tag Archives: premier league

Why Vine is becoming a nightmare for the Premier League

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

It arrived with quite a media force, “Premier League set to clamp down on unofficial Vine videos of goals as they get tough on copyright laws” announced the Independent, who were amongst a number of leading publications to debate the issue. We knew it was coming. It had to. Rights holders weren’t just going to sit-by and let it happen.

Continue reading Why Vine is becoming a nightmare for the Premier League

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


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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



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).




#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




#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

#HammerTime – During 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 coverage – Sharing the very best images from in and around the Boleyn Ground all matchday, including action photos, in a gallery on their official Facebook page.




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



Premier League launches new ‘Carlsberg Live Match Centre’

The Barclays Premier League today announced the launch of the Carlsberg Live Match Centre, a pioneering, multi-platform website that brings together all the stats and facts from Barclays Premier League match days.  deltatre was brought in by the Premier League because of its expertise capturing live sporting events for fans and has developed this unique live match day product for the world’s most watched and supported football league.

The fully responsive match day portal, available at live.premierleague.com, creates for the first time a digital destination for the Premier League’s global fan base. The site aggregates live informational and editorial content from across the League as well as personalised elements unique to individual users.  Among the components working together in real-time to generate this fan experience include:

  • Live scores and statistics plus as it stands/live league tables
  • Live blog, text commentary and social media content
  • Individual user Fantasy Premier League scores
  • Pre and post match manager interviews and other non-match video content
  • Information for all 2013/14 matches
  • Exclusive live photos

Complemented by Opta’s official Premier League data feed and LiveWire Sport’s editorial services, the Live Match Centre’s responsive and scalable architecture ensures that the highest quality content reaches audiences everywhere, on every device within seconds of a major match event.  Additionally, the application offers a supplementary platform through which the Premier League provides value to corporate partners and maximises brand association with the league.

live match centre

Martin Axford, Head of Digital Operations at the Premier League, said,

deltatre’s reputation for delivering complex, integrated digital solutions around live sports was a key factor in our decision to partner with them on this project. We believe the Carlsberg Live Match Centre will raise the bar on what fans expect from multi-platform coverage and change the way audiences follow the Barclays Premier League.

With a packed fixture list ahead as we head into one of the most exciting title and relegation battles we have seen for a long time.  Will it Man City, Chelsea or Arsenal for the title?  Who will grab that 4th place and head in the Champions League next season?  And which of the bottom 10 teams can drag themselves away from the final dog fight?

Exciting times ahead.


The Man City 2013 Advent Calendar

It’s the start of the festive season so it’s about time someone started to open the doors on their advent calendar.  Fortunately for all Man City fans out there the club have started to do so.

The club are always looking for new ways in which to engage with fans and have some fun, something that is always high up on their agenda.  Many YouTube users put up boring content that may work as a TV ad but are not going to get much joy when it comes to the more social platforms.

City now have over 215,000 subscribers on their channel, an important stat when it comes to building up your audience on Google’s video platform.  Many will go for the quick win when it comes to views but without the subscriber base there is no continuation or long term value.

We are now at the second day of December (one I have to remember as it’s my mum’s birthday!) and to celebrate they have started a daily upload of advent calendar goodness.  Celebrating Christmas that is, not my mum’s birthday.

From speaking to the club, there are plans afoot to entertain fans in the count down to the big day.  So City fans can look forward to the Under 18’s taking part in a Christmas assault course (!), some face swaps/mashups for the players to get their heads round and cracker pulling with the traditional s**t jokes.

There will also be the Under 21’s doing some festive target practice, first-team members wrapping/unwrapping presents and much, much more.  Sounds like fun yes?!

You can see the first of the video’s below where Yaya Toure plays Secret Santa.  And below that is Joe Hart spotting which of his teammates are disguised as Christmas characters.  Enjoy…

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The Squawka Football app launches on iTunes

London-based media owner Squawka (www.Squawka.com), the creators of the world’s most in-depth football website, have announced the launch of their iPhone app – The Squawka Football App.

The 16-person startup has spent 18 months testing their free web-based second screen for football fans which visualises real-time data from games alongside social media and photos from around the grounds. The results have been impressive, over 2 million football fans from 209 countries have used the service to understand more about the game they love. The team also boast that the average dwell time during live English Premier League games is 39 minutes.

The new Squawka Football App not only provides an incredible second screen experience powered by over 500 million data points, it also provides touch points throughout the day to fuel football conversations with an incredible ranking engine for both teams and players. Squawka license data from leading sports provider Opta, official data suppliers of the English Premier League, Brazilian National Team, Dutch Eredivisie and German Bundesliga. The App also covers Italian Serie A, Spanish La Liga, French League One, Mexican Liga MX, Brazilian Serie A, US Major League Soccer, UEFA Champions League, UEFA Europa League and will announce more leagues soon.

Co-founder and CEO Sanjit Atwal explains the move to mobile:

“We are in a unique position in that we have amassed a year and a half’s worth of data to understand what football fans are looking for from a second-screen. Our in-game experiences have proven hugely popular and fans have taken to visualised data in a massive way but we also understand that supporting your team is a 24/7 passion – it doesn’t end when the match ends. The experience has to be holistic and it has to be with the fan front of mind”.

Atwal goes on to mention the approach the team are now taking,

“The Squawka Football App has a ground-breaking rankings engine that allows fans to rank over 300k different permutations for teams and players to either start or finish everyday football discussions. Thanks to this innovation we can aim to become a multiple-daily touch point for football fans across the globe.”

Aside from second-screen capabilities and the rankings engine, The Squawka Football App also pulls in social, editorial (from the 60-person strong freelance Squawka content team), live images from photographers around the grounds, videos, news aggregation, stats, live blogging, push notifications plus coverage from 12 of the world’s top football competitions.

The team have also announced a sponsorship with leading betting company Betfair. Andrew Malloy, Senior Digital Brand Marketing Manager at Betfair commented on the partnership,

“We’re extremely pleased to be partnering with Squawka, whose new application gives Betfair the perfect vehicle to communicate our new Sportsbook offering to Football customers alongside our unique betting exchange.  Betfair’s football product has so many exciting features, including In Play betting, Price Boost, Cash Out Multiples, and we feel Squawka’s app is the ideal platform in football to deliver the thrill of betting with Betfair.”

The App is out now in the Apple App Store with Android versions to come in the new year.

Get the Squawka Football App here: http://tiny.cc/edcy6w

Premier League teams on Facebook: the season so far [Infographic]

The guys at Locowise, a social media analytics platform, have put together a really interesting infographic reviewing the season so far from a Facebook perspective.

It not only looks at the growth in numbers at different clubs but also at where these fans are coming from, how the newest clubs to the English football elite have fared, engagement levels and the number of posts each club are publishing.

It makes for interesting reading and produces some very tweetable stats, such as…

  • 36% of all Premier League club fans on Facebook are Manchester United fans
  • The smallest Facebook fan base belongs to Crystal Palace (35k)
  • 20% of Fulham fans are from Costa Rica (home to striker Bryan Ruiz)
  • Aston Villa average 11 posts per day, but are bottom of the table in terms of engagement
  • Stoke City don’t even average 1 post per day
  • Southampton have the highest page engagement rate (22.1%)

These and many other interesting snippets of information are available.  As a club, it will be interesting to see what they do and don’t do so well and use some of those insights into using the platform better.

How has your club performed so far?