Tag Archives: real madrid

Real Madrid – Champions of Europe…and YouTube

Our friends at Real Madrid, who I have to say I’ve been a fan of since the days of Zinedine Zidane, are not only celebrating ‘La Decima’ but can hold up the trophy for being the kings of YouTube as well.

This info comes from OpenSlate, a YouTube analytics firm that bases its ranking on the number of views creators generate on YouTube, how consistently they deliver an audience, how often people share and comment on these videos. The company rolls all that data up into a “SlateScore” while also ranking each channel on a scale of one to 10 for Engagement, Consistency and Influence.

Real Madrid enjoy almost double the amount of monthly views of their videos than nearest rival, both in footballing and digital terms, FC Barcelona. What makes that interesting is the FC Barcelona has marginally more subscribers but a lot less views. Some work to do on the quality of their content? or just an unsuccessful year by their own high standards maybe. Just below these two footballing giants are two YouTube funded channels.

Copa90 is number 4, a channel I had the pleasure of working for at the start of 2013. They have gone from 30,000 subscribers to almost 700,000 in the last 18 months and work with the likes of Hyundai UK around the upcoming World Cup.  Kick TV is the MLS run channel that has a similar feel to Copa90 but also shows live USA international games and has access to more ‘stars’ than its European counterpart.

According to the Wall Street Journal article this chart first appeared in, just outside the Top 6 that are shown below are Nike Football and adidas Football, both of whom will be looking to do better with massive World Cup campaigns now well under way. Being a brand, it’s still hard for either to be viewed by fans as a true source of football entertainment as a mix of boot/kit launch video and TV ads make up the majority of the content.

Check out the full ranking here:

Screen Shot 2014-05-29 at 15.04.03

Real Madrid Launch Facebook Quiz App

As one of the teams that is continuously pushing the boundaries when it comes to engaging their fan base and trying new things, especially on Facebook, Real Madrid are at it again.

This is actually an idea I have had at the back of my mind for a while now but not had the opportunity to try out (someone was going to do it sooner or later).  What the club have done is launch a quiz app on their page that allows fans to indulge in that favourite football fan pastime of proving their footballing knowledge.

This app has a few different quizes available and there is a leaderboard for each one, each with its own prize at the end of it.  One nice feature is the countdown clock to show you how long the leaderboard is open for and how long you have to get to the top and win the prize.

You can prove your knowledge on a few different topics including; World Cups, Real Madrid, Zidane, La Liga and Pot Luck.  There are also ones for Ronaldo and Sergio Ramos, though you have to have enough Facebook coins to play these ones.

This is one element I am less sure about. You can purchase coins to bypass having to win one of the quizzes and play the ones that require you to pay first.  This is a revenue driver for the club, but how much of one is to be seen.  I imagine this is a revenue share between Real Madrid and the company who made the game Supporter Arena.

Supporter Arena claims to be “a supporter interactive social media platform and the umbrella term for a suite of simple participation tools that encourage fan interaction on Facebook.  These tools help clubs, governing bodies and companies interact and engage with sports through social media, enabling them to grow, mobilise and ultimately monetise their communities.”

One downside with the game for me is that you can re-take the quiz as many times as you like and you get the same questions.  Thus anyone with half a memory can score 10/10, it then just comes down to who can be the quickest with their answers.

As an app it has the advantages that it pushes messages into your own ticker news feed saying;

Data collection will also be possible as you have authorised them to do so in using the app and you can invite friends easily through it as well.  Fan engagement is becoming more sophisticated on Facebook now and companies and clubs alike are trying new things.  A quiz is an easy and great way to find your top fans whilst giving them something entertaining and a reason top come back to the page again and again.


Real Madrid & Social Gaming

Founded in 1902, with 31 Spanish Liga titles and 9 UEFA Champion League victories, Real Madrid are the most successful football club of all time. The club is currently managed by the enigmatic Jose Mourinho and the Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is home to some of the worlds best players.

After speaking to Oscar Ugaz, Online Marketing & Digital Business Manager, and Pedro Duarte, Mobile Business Manager back it March, it was easy to understand how the Real’s on pitch success had translated into the online world.

Over the past few years Real Madrid has built up a substantial social media following which currently stands at around 4.7 million users and their official Facebook page gets 30,000 new fans every day. The Spanish giants have also managed to build up a large mobile audience, with over 160,000 downloads of their MyMadrid mobile app in its first year. And what’s equally, if not even more impressive, is the fact they have built up an audience that is willing to pay for content – the club’s mobile subscription offering has 35,000+ registered users.

The club has now taken their digital offerings to the next level by becoming first football club in the world to launch an authentic social game for all its fans and followers. The game, Real Madrid Fantasy Manager 2011, is already available on Facebook and IPhone, and gives all football fans the opportunity to step into Jose Mourinho’s shoes and become manager of Real Madrid.

The essence of social gaming mechanics is the feeling that you’ve accomplished something, and Real have captured perfectly. Game users are able to interact with other players, compare their results with those of their friends’ and prove that they are the ideal candidate to manage Real Madrid. In order to prove they are the best, they will need to create a virtual team of players, train them and prepare them both physically and mentally for each week’s match. They will also be able to experiment with the club’s management including signing up players, dealing with the facilities, ticket sales and much more. Participants will move ahead in the game by purchasing and using a variety of virtual assets and products that will enable them to improve the team’s performance. There’s also some great prizes for the winners including the chance to meet the Real Madrid players in person.

By using the Facebook and iPhone platforms, the game will benefit from the advantages of social distribution, immediacy and convenience. The game is designed to enable users to play on both platforms from a single account. Therefore, are able to start playing on their mobiles and continue on their desktop computers when they arrive home.

Social gaming is a booming industry at the moment, and with games like Mafia Wars and Farmville boasting tens of millions of users it’s hard to see the momentum slowing down. The vast majority (95%) of social gamers play multiple times per week; nearly two-thirds (64%) play at least once a day. Slightly more than half (53%) of social gamers say they’ve earned and/or spent virtual currency in a social game and 28% have purchased virtual currency with real-world money highlighting the monetization potential these games hold.

“Facebook is one of the biggest and fastest growing social platforms around, and also reaches an international audience. We have been working with them for over three years now in what has proved to be a very fruitful association. The club has been experimenting with several communication, marketing and business strategies and we feel that the time has come to fully immerse ourselves into the social gaming field. On the other hand, our experience with MyMadrid and the distribution and sale of mobile content worldwide have enabled us to create a sustainable and proven business model that will be available also for this new project” commented Pedro Duarte, Mobile Business Manager and Oscar Ugaz, Online Marketing & Digital Business Manager from Real Madrid.

What do you think the future holds for sports and social gaming?

The “Buzz” about Madrid

Since my social media interview with Real Madrid the club have made further moves into social media, and I recently had another chance to catch up with Oscar Ugaz, Online Marketing & Digital Business Manager at Real Madrid, to chat about Google Buzz.

For those of you who may not know, Google Buzz is a social networking and messaging tool from Google, designed to integrate into the company’s web-based email program, Gmail. Users can share links, photos, videos, status messages and comments organized in “conversations.” Buzz also enables users to choose to share publicly with the world or privately to a group of friends each time they post.

Real Madrid has recently started to utilise Google Buzz as a new way to stay in touch with fans, the club constantly updates Buzz with the latest club news, player interviews, press conference updates and live commentary during matches.

Like any other Google Buzz channel, any user who wants to can join Real Madrid as a follower and receive all updates sent by the club and even comment on it live.

“Real Madrid have decided to create a channel on Buzz because it seems a good tool to maintain contact with our fans in a fast and simple way that adequately complements the actions already carried out on other social networks,” explains Oscar. “We have been on Buzz for just over a week and already have over 1000 followers who post their comments during the game and leave their opinion on the content published.”

This is another great example of how Real Madrid is looking to connect with fans online, and it’s great to see a team getting involved in an emerging social platform.

What do you think of Google Buzz?

Follow Real Madrid on Buzz.

Follow Ash Read on Buzz

Real Madrid and Mobile Marketing

As I said in my last article, Real Madrid is one of the most recognisable brands in sport, and no club better embodies our times, when sports, business and technology are in constant flux. This is in no small part due to their social media and mobile strategies.

I recently had the opportunity to speak with Pedro Duarte, Mobile Marketing Manager at Real Madrid CF, about the clubs use of mobile technology.

Real have been working with mobile technologies for around two years and aim to implement mobile as a key tool in the clubs marketing strategy. For that purpose they have created the brand “Real Madrid Mobile” which involves all of their mobile activities.

Real’s mobile strategy can be broken down into two key aims:

  1. Generating extra revenue for Real Madrid through the distribution of their mobile content portfolio and creation of new mobile services and products
  2. Building a mobile community for Real Madrid fans, and the integration of mobile into the clubs communications with the fans.

Pedro summed up the clubs strategies well when he said, “our mobile strategy aims to utilise mobile as a way not only to extend the reach of our traditional services and products, but, also to implement mobile as a useful communication tool between Real Madrid and our fans.”

Real Madrid is one of the leaders in terms of mobile technology and sports here in Europe, explains Pedro, “one of the main things that separates us from other sports organisations in terms of mobile success is that we have a department dedicated to our mobile platforms and mobile marketing – that is the main difference between Real Madrid and many other companies, some of them have digital teams, but we specialise in mobile marketing and building a mobile community for Real Madrid.”

Building a mobile community of fans is something that Real are very keen to do, as they have found that fans are very responsive to mobile communication, “mobile generates in some cases a much better response that other forms of communication, such as email and traditional letters, “We get a great response to the content we put our via our mobile channels, for example; when we win a trophy we can send out video calls to all of our mobile subscribers and once the fans respond to the call they will see a video of one of our players saying “Madridista we have won La Liga thanks very much for your support!”

“We believe this type of communication is much more personal as well, for a Real Madrid fan if you receive a call from a star playing saying thank you for your support then this is great engagement and a great way to reach out to fans.”

In September 2009 Real launched their The MyMadrid platform – a multi platform and multi language community for fans – which has already reached an impressive 150,000 downloads. “We want MyMadrid to be the single point of contact of all of our madridistas that want to enjoy the “madridista” experience through their mobile device. So far the response we have had from the fans has been great and we are very proud of the amount of downloads which the app has had.”

MyMadrid offers fans real time news, access to the clubs official Youtube channel, minute by minute game updates, real time 3D goals from matches, access to ticketing, chat and MSN services and additional mini games services.

Real also have big plans for the future of this platform.  “We are now working on integrating merchandise sales into MyMadrid and implementing the Real Madrid membership content into the mobile platform as well as Real Madrid Mobile Television into it. We are also working on more premium services for fans.”

“One of these premium services is Follow Me, a real time service which allows fans to see what our players are doing. For example if you subscribe to Kaka’s follow me you will receive real time updates of what he is doing including images.”

“We are also developing some more interactive features and games which will allow fans within MyMadrid to interact with other fans, one example of this is a Penalty Kick game which we are developing – this allows MyMadrid users to connect with one another and play as either a keeper or striker during a penalty shoot out.  We want MyMadrid to not only be a mobile community but we also want it to create and spark interaction amongst the users and fans.”

“We also use our mobile platform to communicate exclusive special offers and ticket availability to MyMadrid users, so if for one game we have some tickets left we can let all of our mobile fans know and offer them the opportunity to buy tickets to a game.”

 “Real Madrid has also created the first Subscription Content Club Service, which allows the fans to download the latest content from the club (mobile games, photographs of the matches…) paying a weekly rate card. More than 100,000 users have subscribed to this service, showing that our supporters are keen to pay if the Club offer exclusive and premium content in real time”.

Real Madrids mobile marketing activities have also opened up new opportunities for club partners and sponsors. ”Our mobile services have built up a permission marketing database which is being used by some of the main sponsors of the Club to promote their activities. In this way, Real Madrid has created a new marketing vehicle that allows the sponsors to get in contact with their customers in a more direct way.”

“In addition to this, over these past two years the club has reached agreements with the main media partners in Spain, in which Real Madrid launches monthly  SMS contests in TV and  newspapers giving the fans the opportunity to win special and exclusive prizes. As an example, in 2009 Real Madrid launched a super contest that gave the fans the opportunity to win the official AUDI cars of the players, those that had been used by the stars of the squad. Entries were via SMS, and 180,000 madridistas participated in the campaign, which made it a huge success in Spain. This is one of the drivers Real Madrid uses to show the “madridista experience” to the fans, whilst also giving the Club the opportunity to generate a permission marketing data base.”

Outside of Spain the Real Madrid mobile platform is ran on a licensing /franchise model which sees Real control all content centrally with local based partners acquiring a license to distribute the clubs content. This business model has allowed the clubs mobile business to spread worldwide in a short space of time.

“In terms of mobile content we are now selling worldwide, we close exclusive agreements with local partners and they acquire our mobile license for their territory, this way of working is the best to achieve our goals and maintain contact with all our fans. Due to this business model we are now distributing content to the US, Japan, Middle East, Latin America, UK, Portugal, Israel we have just signed an agreement for South Africa.”

“So we are now reaching a worldwide fan base and giving them the latest Real Madrid content direct to their mobile. Our mobile platform also offers further exposure to our sponsors and partners, and has opened up new advertising and marketing opportunities for brands looking to reach Real Madrid fans.”

I’d like to thanks Pedro Duarte for this interview and for sharing some great insight into Real Madrid’s mobile marketing strategies. 

Pedro is also speaking at the following events throughout 2010:




Real Madrid and Social Media

Real Madrid is one of the most recognisable brands in sport, and no club better embodies our times, when sports, business and technology are in constant flux. With some of the worlds great players on the field Real need to make shrewd businesses moves off it and are very keen to embrace new technologies and communication to increase their profitability.

To find out more about how the Spanish Club is approaching social media I recently spoke with Oscar Ugaz, Real Madrid Online Marketing & Digital Business Manager about social media and Real´s digital strategies.

While many UK clubs are just starting to ride the social media wave Real Madrid have been utilising it for a while now explained Oscar, “two years ago we changed all of our digital strategies, starting by re-designing RealMadrid.com with the aims of providing fans with more features and services. When discussing the new website one thing that that arose was the importance of interactions and the importance to have the capacity to interact with our fans online.”

“At first we talked about RealMadrid.com offering comments on articles but we we’re a little worried as we didn’t know how people would react with these comments inside our official website – so we thought about how we could test this and as a result we started our Facebook page in which we could find out how our fans behaved, if they were confrontational towards the Real Madrid brand and also how they like to express themselves.”

Since its launch the clubs Facebook page has been a massive success and built up a huge following with over 1.2 million fans and an average of around 3000 new fans joining every day. The page may have been started as a way for Real to test fan interaction, but, it has also developed into a powerful tool to direct traffic to RealMadrid.com.

“The important thing about the traffic from Facebook is that it is traffic that we can control, we decide where we want our users to be and where they go on RealMadrid.com. If we have news that we want people to see that maybe isn’t on the homepage of our website we use Facebook to drive traffic to those specific pages, and, we want to be very honest, in these sections we drive traffic to there may be advertising or other services that we can sell. We use Facebook as a way to drive people to news and pages on the website that they may otherwise not see.”

Madrid’s strategy focuses on more than just Facebook. “The strategy of the club is to go where the traffic is; we know not all the fans come directly to RealMadrid.com and although we get a huge amount of traffic we know there is a lot more out there. We distribute Real Madrid content and build the Real Madrid brand through the media that the people are using.”

“We want to be where the traffic is and in that sense we follow the trends – if people are using Facebook, we use Facebook, the people start using twitter, and we create a twitter page. We are always looking for the next trends, whilst at the moment Twitter and Facebook are at the top when they start losing traffic we want to be riding the next wave and making the most of new opportunities – for example what Google is doing with Buzz. However, we don’t just jump in, before we start doing anything we make an analysis and see how each platform can help us.”

Social media has also opened up many new opportunities for Madrid to test content, gain feedback and also understand things from their fans perspective. “When we post content or news articles people immediately comment saying this is cool or this is not cool, we like this video or this video is boring. This feedback is very interesting because we can relay it back to our communications department and show them what the people like, what they don’t like and also what content our fans are most pro-active to.”

A great example of how this feedback can benefit the club is when Madrid started to include links to the club’s online shop on their Facebook page, “it took fans a while to realise that this was our official online store. This made us think maybe the things which we think are obvious are maybe not so obvious to all the fans – maybe we need to include on posts that this is the official Real Madrid online store. We can also relay this information back to the people in other departments and say maybe we are missing are sales in other places because the fans are misunderstanding our messages.”

From speaking to Oscar one thing that really stood out to me was that Real clearly understand the importance of engagement and providing fans with great content, they also understand how this can be turned into revenue for the club. For one of the player´s birthdays the club produced special video content dedicated to the player itself and alongside this they ran a 24 hour jersey sale.

“We know you can’t make a direct sale on Facebook, you have to engage the fans in conversation and once you have the people interested you can then direct them onto a product or service. The key to the success of this promotion was great content which created conversation amongst our fans, we didn’t just say here is the players shirt you can buy it here – we created engagement and interest, via the content, which then sent traffic back to the online store and created conversions and shirt sales.”

They also use social media to encourage fans to join club membership programmes, by putting out content via social media they can encourage fans to join their eMadristas membership to access even more great content. “What we are doing is pushing people from Facebook to this membership, we are saying – you are a Facebook fan and that’s great you can get good content here, but you can do more with our eMadristas membership. So, we are moving people from Facebook to club affiliated membership programmes which in turn generates revenue via permission marketing and we also offer paid membership programmes so we are able to build a large database of fans affiliated to the club.”

Social media also opens up additional ways for sponsors and club partners to activate their partnerships with Real Madrid because now they have the opportunity not only to be in the stadium, on the shirts and on RealMadrid.com they can also get their message across via social media and provide engaging content for the fans – for example every week Bwin hosts an interview with the team talking about the next game.

Some partners even value mentions and space on the clubs Facebook and Twitter pages above advertising and banners on RealMadrid.com. “A lot of people are coming to us and making products with us who are saying no more that they want the coverage on Realmadrid.com they want to be on our Facebook and Twitter pages because they understand the reach of these platformss. An example of this is a company who came to us and wanted to make a toolbar for Real Madrid and another company who made a digital calendar. We were expecting for them to want a banner on RealMadrid.com but this is changing and they now ask us to send out a message to all of our fans on Facebook so we have created a whole new media not just for Real Madrid but for our club partners too.”

Real’s views on players utilising social media are very relaxed, and a sharp contrast to some Premier League clubs. “We don´t have a specific policy regarding players using social media to communicate with fans,” said Oscar, the players are free to use social media however they want. It comes down to common sense – obviously we don’t want players to be discussing business such as transfers and contracts as this not good for the club, but, it’s also no good for the players.”

“We understand that some clubs may have a stricter policy of saying that players can’t get involved with social media and that is a respectful decision. But there are a lot of opportunities in social media not only for clubs, but for players too. Instead of blocking social media which is an easy thing to do, maybe it’s better to use common sense and tell players not to say online what they won’t say in public.”

Social media plays a very important part in keeping Real’s global fanbase up to date with the club and allows them to make fans feel more connected. “We post in English and Spanish – but we are still missing a lot of people, whilst English and Spanish are very universal languages we have many fans who speak Arabic or Turkish for example, and we are working on sharing content in more languages – these fans may understand English but they will be more comfortable and feel closer to the club if we communicate to them in their language.”

“In terms of growing their fanbase through social media there are two markets which Real hope to focus on over the coming months. “The Arab and Asian markets are two growing markets that are very important to us as we have a lot of fans there and we want to become more approachable to these fans. Social media may give us ways to enter these markets and whilst Facebook is very popular in the US and Europe maybe in Asia it’s not as strong and doesn’t have as much reach, therefore we are looking into more local social networks that will have very good penetration in these markets.”

In conclusion Oscar says, “if you compare social media with our traditional business of television rights, sponsorship etc. social media still generates a very small part of the clubs turnover but it is also a good amount of money. The other revenues are tried and tested ways but we in the new media department we are always exploring what will be the future.”

I’d like to thank Oscar Ugaz and Real Madrid for this interview and for sharing some great information. Be sure to look out for my next article in which I will be speaking to Pedro Duarte, Real Madrid’s Mobile Marketing Manager.

Connecting Brands and Clubs

Last week Karl Lusbec wrote about the 20 Best Known European Football Brands. The article referenced a Sport+Markt 2009-2010 study of brand recognition among football fans in the top five markets (UK, Germany, Spain, France & Italy).  You can read the report yourself here.

I thought it might be interesting to look at this data and try to extrapolate from it which club brands were the most powerful.  Unscientific of course, but I wanted to see to what degree being aligned with a specific club (or clubs) is a factor, in addition to sponsoring tournaments like the FIFA World Cup, UEFA Champions League or UEFA European Championships.  So, let’s take a look.  Here’s the 2009 Delloitte & Touche Money League of clubs* along with the brands listed in the Sport+Markt survey (and the brands ranking in that survey) associated with them:

1. Real Madrid – adidas (1), Coca-Cola (5), Audi (8), bwin (9)

2. Manchester United – Nike (2), AIG (6), Audi (8),

3. FC Barcelona – Nike (2), Audi (8), Unicef (15)

4. Bayern Munich – adidas (1), Coca-Cola (5), Audi (8)

5. Chelsea – adidas (1), Samsung (10), Heineken (20)

6. Arsenal – Nike (2), Emirates (5)

7. Liverpool – adidas (1), Carlsberg (7)

8. AC Milan – adidas (1), bwin (9)

9. AS Roma –

10. Inter Milan – Nike (2)

11. Juventus – Nike (2)

12. Olympique Lyonnais – Umbro (16), Orange (18)

13. Schalke 04 – adidas (1)

14. Tottenham Hotspur – Puma (3), Carlsberg (7)

15. Hamburger SV – adidas (1), Emirates (5)

16. Olympique Marseille – adidas (1), Orange (18)

17. Newcastle United – adidas (1)

18. VfB Stuttgart – Puma (3), Coca-Cola (4)

19. Fenerbahce – adidas (1), Audi (8)

20. Manchester City – Umbro (16)

*I looked for the list of official club sponsors on official team websites as of February 2010.

Who from the Sport+Markt list weren’t represented by a club from the Delloitte & Touche Money League clubs?

11. Reebok

12. Opel (Read this Sport Business story from 2001 calling them the ‘most successful shirt sponsor’)

13. Vodafone

14. Ford – Champions League

17. MasterCard – Champions League

19. Sony – Champions League

So, the two odd men out appear to be Reebok and Vodafone.  Now, Vodafone is a massive sponsor of sport and had a run with Man Utd a while back from which they may still be seeing a halo effect.  Reebok sponsors Ryan Giggs (Man Utd), Thierry Henry (Barca) and formally kitted out Liverpool and Man City.  AS Roma are the only club in the top 20 not aligned with a big sponsor.

I think a big winner here may be Audi.  Not a name I immediately associated with big time European football, I was surprised to see them so high.  But they have a variety of partnerships with leading clubs, allowing them to also create the Audi Cup in July 2009, which featured ManU, Bayern Munich and AC Milan along with Boca Juniors of Argentina.  I don’t think they’ve spent the same type of money as some of the other top 10 brands, bet I suspect they are reaping rewards from their associations.  Look too for Umbro to move up the charts if the English National Team can make a run in the 2010 FIFA World Cup this summer.