Tag Archive | "twitter"

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

#HammerTimeDuring 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 coverageSharing 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



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Great use of Storify by FC Barcelona to mark Messi milestone

Storify has been a round for a while now but is still underused by many.  It’s a great way of bringing Twitter conversations around an event or involving several people into one easy-to-read place.

After Barcelona’s 7-0 thumping of Osasuna in La Liga yesterday (Sunday 16th), in which Leo Messi made history became the highest scoring FC Barcelona player of all time with 371 goals. The club put together a Storify on their website that showed the players congratulating each other on Twitter to mark Leo’s landmark and also the massive win.

It’s a simple way in which to give fans extra content that they will enjoy viewing.  Other clubs have used the platform on a regular basis and it has been a key tool around Twitter chats and events for some time.  It will be interesting to see if it begins to become more regularly used or remain a sporadic platform used on a when-needed basis for a quick story or to celebrate an occasion such as this.

Do you or your team use Storify? Let us know in the comments box at the bottom of this page about how/when you use it…


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Welcoming @NUFC to the World of Social Media

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

“Get your official club gnome, here”. “SALE on new home shirt ”. “Gaffer admits that he was wrong”. “Dress like Whyaye Man”.

The last couple of years of being a Newcastle United fan and following your club on Twitter has been painful.

In many ways it has mirrored the club.  It’s been a one-way sales account that alienates and angers fans with a sheer lack of emotion or apathy. There has been a complete absence of a communications strategy, with the official account refusing to interact with fans, provide a club voice or produce tailored, worthwhile behind-the-scenes content and insight. @NUFCOfficial has languished behind its Premier League rivals in its approach to social media.

However, this all seems about to change. After enlisting the help of Twitter’s ‘Head of Sport’, Alex Trickett, Newcastle United have been making moves to be different – and today, a new personality emerged.

Switching from @NUFCOfficial to @NUFC (with crisper, cleaner imagery), inside a morning, @NUFC had interacted more with fans on Twitter than the previous few months combined. A statement on the clubs website read:

Newcastle United’s official Twitter account has been relaunched – to bring supporters a much-improved service. Starting with a new, simpler name of @NUFC, the account will be used to make you feel as close to the Magpies as possible, both on and off the pitch.

We have unrivalled access to all areas of the Club, from the first team, through to the under-21s and Academy, and not forgetting the work of our official charity, the Newcastle United Foundation. And it is only fair that we share that with you, in as much detail as possible.

Behind the scenes videos and images, exclusive Twitter competitions and a personality are just some of the features that our revamped account will provide.

They have opened a new digital era with a one of the items promised above – a giveaway of an NUFC shirt in a retweet and follow competition. Not groundbreaking, no. However, the shirt is signed by all NUFC players on Twitter. Again, not groundbreaking, but this is an unprecedented level of detail for Newcastle United on Twitter, and it’s a welcome one. They’ve also clearly encouraged players to support the rebrand, with Yoan Gouffran and Paul Dummett amongst the players to Tweet out their support.


It shows signs of a strategy behind an idea and it also shows platform-specific thinking. A step in the right direction.

The rebrand of Newcastle United on Twitter is a big deal. For a club that has banned local journalists, and coldly shunned club transparency; any communication and interaction on social media is vital for the fans. Whether it will be allowed to become a fan-centric platform that encourages open conversation, is an entirely different case. It appears that the appetite from internal lower levels is there, but will they be supported from the higher echelons?

Up until now, Mike Ashley’s profit-focused mindset has dictated much of the goings on at NUFC. Margins, not fan morale, have been at the heart of decisions and this seems to have resulted in suffocating resource for digital channels and content. A continuation of that mind-set will see the channel resort to the faceless, commercial entity it has been for a while.

However, attention and a willingness to change could allow the account to become a key tool for the club in diluting fan disillusionment. It won’t happen overnight, but the enthusiasm for change is important to see.

They’ll just be hoping that Alan Pardew decides to stop head-butting people…


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#Sochi2014 on Social Media: Hot Numbers. Cool Conversations. All Yours

Last week the IOC released figures from around the Winter Olympics held in Russia to give a picture as to what was happening in the world of social media.

The IOC tracked activity on the Olympic Athlete’s Hub, their social media platform that combines feeds from more than 6,000 Olympians across Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Russian speaking platform VKontakte (UK).

More than 2 million new fans joined the Olympic Facebook page during the Games and their Twitter grew by an extra 168k followers.  The official Instagram account was almost as high with 150k new followers.

Some of the other interesting highlights they picked out include;

  • The US was the most active team with 22,598 new posts logged during the Games!  That’s seriously some going!  Canada (15,716) and Team GB (9,867) were the next closest, some distance behind.
  • The busiest days were 7Th Feb, the Opening Ceremony, and 8th Feb when the figure skating and women’s free style skiing moguls were taking place.  This is interesting especially considering the interest in ice hockey especially in all the biggest countries (US, Canada, Russia).
  • After on year on VK, the official Olympic account amassed 2.8m fans to become the most popular official community on the platform.  There were more than 54m mentions of the Olympics on VK , an average of 1.5m per day. 10m came in the Opening Ceremony and 25m on the Closing Ceremony.

“Russia has had its first social media Olympics, and for the IOC it is important to engage and connect with the home team. The Games have come to an end, but the social legacy lives on as we want to keep connecting with our millions of new Russian fans, telling them about the Youth Olympic Games and of course Rio 2016 – the host city of the next Summer Olympics.” - IOC Director of Communications Mark Adams

Below is the infographic produced by the IOC to celebrate the end of the Games and give us an insight into what was happening on social media in that time.





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Deal allows La Liga highlights to be shown on Twitter

In a new deal, similar to one Twitter struck with the NFL last year, the platform yesterday announced a deal with Mediapro Agency and Liga de Fútbol Profesional.

This will, with immediate affect, allow highlights from La Liga games to be shown on the platform.  Giving the game in the country access to a much larger audience across the globe.  Not only will there be game highlights but also pre and post game interviews and content.

This will all take place through the @LaLiga account, which was formerly @LFPNews, and will be utilising Twitter Amplify which allows videos to be attached to tweets in real-time.

As insidespanishfootball.com states, “This will make the highlights of every game available to users around the world almost simultaneously as they occur. Starting today, @Laliga becomes the first football competition in Europe to benefit from these tools which will put as the most advanced in terms of online communication. @Laliga with Amplify, is at the level of the great American leagues (NBA, NFL, MLB).”

It’s certainly a deal that takes Spanish football into the realms previously occupied only by the big US sports.  One of the big problems for rights holders has been the use of Vine and YouTube to show goals and content, rights that have been sold to broadcast companies.  This bypasses that  issue and gives fans what they want, when they want it.

“The agreement will allow us to more effectively achieve one of the priorities that we have set for La Liga: the globalization of the Liga BBVA. Now the best league in the world will be on the best social network in the world.”  -  Javier Tebas, LFP President

The CEO of Twitter, Dick Costolo, stated that this is “a fantastic deal” and that they will continue “working to provide users with the content they are looking for while maintaining the global spirit that has come to define Twitter”.

Could this be the first of many sports federations/rights holders to go down this route?  And it will be interesting to see how it works out financially for LFP through advertising within it and how this compares to previous models they have used for their video rights.  In the UK we can only get delayed goal highlights through Sun+ Goals (paywalled), then highlights at even later stages on TV and official websites.  Hard to see it changing anytime soon with these recent deals in place.


In a separate announcement, 123on, the mobile video platform for the world’s most widely and passionately shared interests will be delivering the highlights straight to fans’ mobile devices in a partnership with MediaPro. 

The 123on platform enables Android phone users to view and share their favorite La Liga BBVA plays simply by downloading the 123on application from Google Play (bit.ly/Nx95hv). Incoming calls, alerts and other prompts then come with a quick video highlight right from the pitch.  Fans can even create their own user-generated mobile content – and share it all with family, friends and other dedicated football lovers.

Twitter La Liga

(From left to right: Javier Tebas, Dick Costolo, Adam Bain and Jaume Roures)



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Using Twitter to mix Business with Pleasure

Guest Post:  Matt Pascoe is a designer at rawnet and passionate about Peterborough United. You can find out more about him at mattpascoedraws.co.uk or get in touch at @mattpascoedraws.

Being part of a 24/7 world of connectivity seems to be making the idea of geography in social and business situations defunct. It would appear you can find people, assess them and even meet them without leaving your chair.

My journey of digital enlightenment began on a dreary Tuesday at the end of February in 2001, where I was being treated as guest of honour at Peterborough United, after winning a competition to design their kit for the next season. I had been one of four finalists and the designs had been subject to a weeklong online vote that I had won.

That week I had been on a mission to keep my friends voting for my kit, doing all of my rallying through instant messenger. I realise now this was the first time I’d seen the power of communication through the internet working for me.

Fast forward 13 years, and a lot has changed in my life. But the fundamental reasons for entering that competition have stayed the same. I am a passionate designer at a Digital Agency in Berkshire called Rawnet and I still (much to the despair of my wife) avidly follow the fluctuating fortunes of Peterborough United. The only big difference is that I now live a good two hour drive from Peterborough, making it a long distance relationship.

It is however not 2001 anymore and with the internet now entrenched in our daily lives I feel somehow better connected to the club than I was as a 17 year old season ticket holder. It would appear I have a better chance of bumping into our star player on Twitter as I do on the streets of Peterborough.

After the club’s momentous cup win on Monday Feb 17th that saw us book a place in the Johnstone’s Paint Trophy Final at Wembley I decided to send out a celebratory tweet. I tweeted an illustration I had done of the game’s goal hero and included his twitter handle in the tweet. The player gave me a positive response almost instantly and with that a short flurry of likes and new followers came my way.


One of those followers was the club’s marketing manager Neil Gilby, who was able to not only assess my character and interests through my tweets but also link away to my online portfolio and most importantly, he could say hi. With his “love of old fashioned posters, from the likes of the Who, Rolling Stones and Led Zeppelin” he was really keen for me to produce a series of illustrated posters for the club that “will connect with the fans” and “be a great keep sake”.


The first poster, a Wembley special, will be appearing around the city in the next few days and I am extremely proud to once again be playing a part in the club’s history. I know for a fact that this wouldn’t have happened without three vital components.

  1. Me having a social media presence that is always measured and sensible, always think before you tweet as the old saying goes.
  2. Making sure my message is connecting with the right people, my online platform is self constructed, if I want someone to hear me I need to talk to them.
  3. And the final component is making sure I am proud of what people can see of me. Neil found, assessed and hired his “new favourite artist” before even speaking to me.

Which makes me realise, that in a digitally connected world without traditional boundaries, first impressions now count more than ever.


wembley poster



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Are Football teams giving up on Twitter for player Q&A’s?

There have been many incidents where Twitter Q&A’s have been hijacked by opposing fans and trolls.  The most recent case was when Michael Carrick was placed in front of the computer screen by the Manchester United digital team.  What didn’t go right was that United had a poor weekend, with Carrick having an off day, and the Q&A took place on the Monday after.

What happened next was thousands of fans using the #AskCarrick hashtag to have a dig, take the piss and generally abuse him as much as possible (though some were very witty).  It also happened to Newcastle with their #AskTayls Q&A around the same time. So why do they do it?

It’s done because it is cheap, easy to run and you have access to everyone.  The downside is that you lose control of the message and it can be quickly picked up by the national press, thus blowing the situation up even more.  The Man Utd one was reported in the Mirror, Metro, Bleacher Report and many more.

I think what we are seeing now is teams, federations and brands looking to minimise the risk.  Everton this week hosted a Google+ hangout, this gives the club more control as they select those who are to take and the rest watch.  It still generates fan engagement but allows for more control.

At the end of last year Chelsea held a live video Q&A with Cesar Azqiliceuta, Juan Mata and Fernando Torres on their Facebook page.  It was the first instance of a club using Facebook in this way and hosting a live video feed in a Facebook timeline.  It managed to duck under the radar somewhat as it was held in the days running up to Christmas but attracted a total of 2m views, with 300k watching it live.

Chelsea do still hold monthly Q&A’s on Twitter with various players, the latest being with Brazilian midfielder Oscar.  The interesting note here is that since they changed the hashtag from being #AskOscar (for example) to a more generic club one, #cfcqa, they have seen much better questions coming in.

chelsea facebook Q&A

Another way in which a player can be seen as being closer to the fans through club accounts is on Instagram.  Wayne Rooney last week took over the Official account for the club and posted 5 of his favourite photo’s from his 10 years at the club.  I know this doesn’t give us direct access to one of football’s biggest stars but it allows for them to share some of their experiences with the fans.

So where does this leave the Twitter Q&A?  There are so many examples of them being hijacked (just ask Santi Corzola and Tottenham Hotspur) that I don’t think we shall see many more for the time being.  The platform is too open and football is a passionate sport to say the least amongst the fans.

For other sports there is no reason why to not run them.  In my time I have run ones with tennis stars such as Ana Ivanovic and Fernando Verdasco, as well as during the ICC Champions Trophy last year with ‘Bumble’ and Shane Warne.  These went really well and fans were very positive.  It would be a shame for them to disappear completely but I think in Premier League football we are seeing the end to clubs flirtation with the concept.

If there becomes a way in which Twitter can enable more control to be had over the trolling, which many sports stars are pushing for after high profile cases this year alone with Stan Collymore, Ellie Christie and Clare Balding.  Then we may see a return to a method that many love but some abuse.


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The Digital Super Bowl

Guest Post: Aaron Jaffrey (@aaronjaffery) is Managing Director of Digital Sport Consultancy NineteenEightyFour.

On Sunday 2nd February, arguably the biggest game in the American sporting calendar was played in New Jersey. Super Bowl XLVIII proved to be a one-sided display of dominance – finishing 43-8 in favour of the Seahawks. However, the successful digital strategies of both teams on the run up to, and during, the Super Bowl cannot be so easily separated.

NFC Champions the Seattle Seahawks came into Super Bowl XLVIII with a 13-3 record in the regular season, a joint best in the franchise history, and reached New Jersey as the Number 1 ranked seed going in the playoffs.

From the AFC, the Denver Broncos also boasted a 13-3 record and were officially named the best offensive team in the league by becoming the highest-scoring team in NFL history, with quarterback and offensive leader Peyton Manning earning his fifth MVP award for the season.

And whilst taking very different approaches to their digital communications, the online performance of the Seahawks and the Broncos is on a par with their on-the-field performances during the regular season.


The Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks strategy seems to be about building anticipation before the game, and in the week leading up to Super Bowl XLVIII after their NFC Championship game, the Seattle Seahawks rolled out an impressive volley of digital content.

Although lacking in any specific fan engagement campaigns or competitions – somewhat surprisingly, considering their renowned ‘12th Man’ fan base that commandeer an entire section of the homepage – the official site was regularly updated with the latest news stories, exclusive video footage, and preparatory stats comparisons and round-ups. The majority of these features, were shared across their social media channels, wherein lies the most engaging of the Seahawks’ online activity.

While Facebook and Twitter were used concurrently in the Seahawk’s digital campaign on the run up to the Super Bowl, Seattle did not simply repeat the same content on both channels.

Facebook, boasts the larger of the two social media fan bases with 1,597,754 fans, and was utilised to generate a sense of anticipation before the game. Much more of the official website content was shared on the newsfeed than its Twitter equivalent, all focussed on driving engagement and fan the passion of fans for the forthcoming game; for example video content such as ‘How to Stop Peyton Manning’; a meme-based daily countdown; and their ‘#SB48 Preview’ series that looks specifically at the performance stats of comparable Wide Receivers, Cornerbacks, Tight Ends, etc. from both teams.


The Seahawks’ Facebook account also elevates the visual above its Twitter counterpart: providing greater access to exclusive photo albums like ‘#SB48 Monday’s Media Session’ and the ‘Super Bowl Send-Off’, and making specialised Super Bowl wallpaper available for download.

With a greater advertising capacity for video links, Facebook is naturally the better option for the Seahawks to share the majority of their website content, as well as their official Super Bowl anthem ‘Seahawks State of Mind’, a parody of the famous Jay-Z and Alicia Keys song in honour of the game being held in New Jersey.

Maybe the Seahawks could have capitalised more on engagement opportunities – perhaps coining ‘competition Wednesdays’ as a prize-giveaway campaign as well as the globally-trending name given by Pete Carroll to his Wednesday training sessions, which are famously difficult as he pits the best offensive line against his best defensive line.

Twitter, on the other hand, seems to function for the Seahawks more as a digital medium for written promotional activity. Perhaps the most distinctive feature of the Twitter feed, in comparison to the Facebook homepage, is its more natural capacity for succinct live match commentary during the game itself: which, in part, seems to account for the rise of 49,785 followers on Super Bowl Sunday itself, taking the total number of followers up to 479,785 by February 3rd.

This is a method used by the majority of sports teams, however, and while the Seahawks seem to have done this successfully it does not exactly mark out their digital strategy from the crowd.

What is distinctive is that Seattle have created a separate Twitter account for all promotional activity, offers and competitions, under ‘@winSeahawks’. This has 208,000 followers in its own right, and provides supporters with access to offers from local partners – 50% off Papa John’s with a valid game ticket, free small slurpee and bag of jerky at Western Washington 7-elevens, etc. – as well as organising competitions for the chance to win more enticing prizes: the last campaign advertising a football signed by quarterback Russell Wilson for one winner who signed up to ‘Hawk Mail’ via the official website.

More than a separation of commercial activities from content, the @winSeahawks account is used to activate fan-engagement. The #TGIBFWinner hashtag capitalises on the trending #TGIBF across all the official Seahawks Twitter accounts, which stands for ‘Thank God It’s Blue Friday’ – the name given to every Friday before a Seahawks game throughout the regular season, which encourages fans to wear blue in support of their team.

The @winSeahawks account expands on this premise by calling its followers to upload pictures or videos of themselves showing this support for the Seahawks by wearing their blue NFL jerseys in interesting locations or accompanied by funny anecdotes, with the most eye-catching being re-tweeted on the official Twitter feed. They have translated the famous ‘12th Man’ presence from Seattle into the online environment using social media.

Rams Seahawks Football

Whilst not especially original or innovative, the use both their core social channels very effectively. The official @Seahawks Twitter page capitalises on its celebrity fan base by re-tweeting supportive messages from famous personalities such as Patrick Stewart, Macklemore, and Bill Gates – who organised the construction of a human blue #12 flag in the Redmond Stadium, in partnership with Microsoft, and took an aerial photograph for the Super Bowl advertisement campaign.

In addition to publicising their famous support base the Seahawks also worked with official kit sponsors Nike to create inspirational memes to convey a sense of personality, pride and anticipation before the Super Bowl game.

Furthermore, Seattle’s fans want their voices to be heard, and this is something that the Seahawks – attributing their defensive success in leading the NFL this season to the record-breaking vocal support of the ‘12th Man’ – understand. Seattle recognise that Twitter is the ideal medium for this.

The very fact that the Seahawks have designated a separate page to fan engagement demonstrates a savvy approach to keeping their promotional activity associated with the frequent news and updates available through the official account, yet sustains a degree of separation so that they do not dilute the content of the main Twitter feed with offers and competitions.



Seattle’s Facebook campaign focused on conjuring a greater sense of anticipation in preparation for the Super Bowl game on February 2nd, whilst their use of Twitter displayed a greater preoccupation with fan engagement and promotional activity. Perhaps it was these slight differences in the Seahawks’ online approach that contributed to their successful digital turnover.

Indeed, the Seahawks boasted an impressive expansion of their digital outreach: with a 29% rise in their Facebook following during the monthly period between January 3rd and the day after the Super Bowl game; their Twitter followers also increasing by 37% during the same time. Although some may attribute the success of this growth in their online support to their complete supremacy during the Super Bowl game itself and their new status as champions, it is interesting to note that their fans on Facebook rose by 20%, and on Twitter by 23%, before February 2nd. The Seahawks’ use of social media was obviously attractive in its own right.


Denver Broncos

For the Denver Broncos, social media functions as a foundation on which to build the sense of an online community. Their impressive #OrangeHerd campaign, which was launched across both Facebook and Twitter on the day before the Super Bowl fixture, encouraging fans throughout the world to upload photos of themselves and their friends wearing the famous orange NFL jerseys and stating where they will be watching the Super Bowl from.

There was a particular push for fans from Massachusetts, Alabama and Florida to get involved, as part of the ‘Rock Your Jersey’ campaign on the Broncos’ official website: which attempts to digitally colonise as much of the map of the US with orange jerseys as possible before the Super Bowl.

For fans attending the Super Bowl itself, the Broncos’ channels also provided an occasion for personal interaction, by arranging a group photo of as many Denver supporters as were willing, next to the statue of the charging bull outside Mustang Sally’s in New York City on February 1st. Somewhat surprisingly, this photo was not utilised on its channels post-game.

This was arguably a missed opportunity for the Broncos to further promote this sense of community amongst their fans. If the group photo had been uploaded to Facebook, for instance, every fan included could have tagged themselves: meaning that they would not only feel a sense of inclusion in the Super Bowl experience, but also that the photo itself would be shared onto each individual newsfeed – achieving a far greater digital outreach.

However, Denver do seem to recognise the importance of online advocacy to the overall success of their strategy: something demonstrated by the simple, yet effective, encouragement of their fans on Facebook to make the official meme of the team’s trending hashtag #UnitedInOrange their profile picture, as well as sharing the meme onto their newsfeeds.

united in orange

Just as the MetLife stadium stands were filled with a community of orange-wearing fans during the Super Bowl game itself, the online support for the Broncos also marked their territory in the digital environment with the colour that somewhat defines their franchise. In their implementation of social media, Denver seemed most intent on conveying this sense of unity.

An in contrast to Seattle, Denver implemented an online Super Bowl-specific competition. The ‘Helmet Hunt’ was advertised across Facebook and Twitter, and challenged fans to identify a series of famous New York landmarks pictured with a visiting Denver Broncos helmet. Entrants participated via the Broncos’ official website for a chance to win an official jersey signed by cornerback Champ Bailey.

The competition was relatively simple and easily accessible and helped to create a sense of anticipation before the Super Bowl game by being based in New York City, as well as providing a real incentive for fans to get involved and digitally support their team.

And whilst similarly to Seattle, Denver used Twitter competently for extensive match commentary during the game itself, another clear difference was Denver’s use of Vines on Twitter.

The globally-trending seven-second videos were used to capture key moments leading up to the Super Bowl on the day itself: such as preparations in the locker room, warming up, and the #TimeToRide vine of the Broncos coming onto the field at the start of the game, which was retweeted 1,311 times and made favourite by 741 followers. Vine was something that the Seahawks did not explore in their own campaign, and allowed Denver to tap into a whole new network of online consumers.



Statistically, the amount of online support that Denver obtained during this period is on par with to Seattle. Facebook seemed the more appealing of the two social media channels for Broncos fans, increasing by 20% from January 3rd and attracting 2,408,829 by February 3rd – 811,075 more than the Seahawks. Denver also came out on top on Twitter after a rise of 16% in their following meant they had acquired 7,977 more fans than Seattle, taking their total to 487,762.

It is interesting that Denver maintained this digital supremacy despite their defeat in the Super Bowl; for both Twitter and Facebook, the most dramatic increase of fans occurred in the 24-hour period during and just after game day.

In part, this may be attributed to the fact that the Broncos have been more successful than the Seahawks as a franchise: winning two consecutive Super Bowls during the 1998 and 1999 seasons. However, it may also be the result of the engaging online campaign from Denver.

While Seattle capitalised on the high-profile nature of the Super Bowl by focusing their digital campaign on boosting the feeling of anticipation surrounding the game, Denver concentrated on imparting a sense of fan community in their online environment.

And, whilst it is something of a shame that Denver were defeated so persuasively by the Seattle Seahawks on February 2nd 2014, as a result of their innovative campaigns and focus on driving fan interaction, it was perhaps the Broncos that were the true digital Super Bowl XLVIII champions.

thank you



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Nottingham Forest launch “Find Your Third Shirt” Treasure Hunt

You may have seen a few tweets going around today about an activation that Nottingham Forest, the promotion hunting Championship team, have been running.  Well here’s some information about it.

It all started yesterday when the club announced that they would be hiding three limited edition Reds third shirts in secret Nottingham city-centre locations and tweeting clues to help fans find them.  It’s a concept that has been used by the likes of the UFC and Tony Hawk in previous years but not really caught over here, until now.

The first set of clues were given today, starting with a YouTube video explaining what the competition was about.  Fans were to follow the team on the @Official_NFFC account.

Clues were then given throughout the day for one lucky fan to find them first, at the venue where they had given clues about, and claim the limited edition shirt for themselves.  Not only did they have to get there but also answer the question correctly when they got there.

Nottingham Forest

And within five minutes of reading the first clue Matt, who joined Twitter especially to be in with a chance of winning, arrived at the Royal Concert Hall and scooped the prize.  It’s a fun activation which is easy for the club to run, utilise the platforms they are on (Twitter, Vine and YouTube) and builds up buzz for the big launch of the new kit this Friday.

Ahead of Friday’s official launch, Forest will be hiding two further shirts on Wednesday and Thursday, so fans are advised to keep their eye on @Official_NFFC.  You can check out how the first prize giveaway unfolded in the video below.


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#LoveJu: the world’s first social choreography

Juventus, the current leaders of Serie A, devised a great way in which to engage with fans of the club around the world.  The #LoveJu initiative was the world’s first choreography conceived and voted for entirely on social networks, producing a magical spectacle as Juventus and Inter took the field for the Derby d’Italia.

A sea of coloured pieces of card raised proudly by supporters in the ground’s Tribuna Est brought to life the initial vision of Steven Kem, fellow Bianconeri fan and designer of the winning #LoveJu choreography.

Steven’s creation was chosen from the total of 3122 sent in via the dedicated Facebook app, which garnered 4,500 registered users, was viewed 290,000 times and inspired as many as 18,118 people to vote for their favourite design.

In practice, it took more than three hours of work by a 40-strong team to place the 12,700 pieces of coloured card necessary to carry out the choreography (8,000 square metres of it in total) on the seats.


As well as the in stadia work, #LoveJu was also the hashtag the supporters used to send in their motivational messages for the team on Twitter.  A selection of messages were then shown on the Juventus Stadium big screens to get the Bianconeri fired up for the Derby d’Italia.  More than 13,500 tweets arrived in total from all four corners of the globe.

Just after #LoveJu was realised at the Inter game, they then hit another milestone in passing 10m fans on Facebook.  To celebrate they have released a video including Carlos Tevez (the clubs number 10!) hitting a ‘Like’ sign from the top of a building at their training complex (fake or real??).

Juventus are making a big push on social media with their Head of Digital, Federico Palomba, leading the way.  Social media has become increasingly important to clubs in Italy with AC Milan and AAS Roma both extremely active on numerous platforms.


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