Picture taken from Jon Rogers Tumblr
Let’s get one thing straight, as a fan the only return on investment we are entitled to from supporting a football club, is an emotional one. Football owes us nothing more than the reciprocation of emotion. We as fans put our money where the heart lies, support that’s inherited through family or support that’s earned from advocation for a new team. A connection we pay for with no promise of a positive outcome. The only thing the beautiful game owes us is the recognition that we exist. And football like other events requires fan participation to make the occasion real.
The recent England V’s Italy world cup game saw 219,637 tweets registered after Daniel Sturridge’s 37th minute equaliser (Porter T, IBT, 2014 online) with an estimated 7.2 million tweets registered globally on Twitter during the game (Watt A, Cambridge News, 2014) #England and #Gerrard hastags being favoured to identify association with the game (Digimind) The emotion’s real and through digital and social platforms the connections real (time) as well.
June 18th saw the football fixtures for England’s domestic leagues being released, my beloved Manchester City have a tough start Several premier league clubs have seen the value a digital strategy can bring as a way to not only engage with the fans and give them an extended experience with the game, through own, affiliated, and fan generated content but build a longer term relationship for the brand with fan and his or her family and friends.
Some great insight can be found on how the likes of Manchester City, Real Madrid, Roma, and Derby County have all been incorporating digital technology into their fan engagement strategies here:
Q&A: Manchester City’s approach to digital marketing
Real Madrid’s head of mobile talks about the club’s mobile strategy
How football clubs engage fans on Instagram
Portsmouth FC digital strategy
Has the beautiful game dropped the ball?
The new season also brings much optimism for some of the clubs lower down the league(s) wanting to make their mark on and off the pitch. It will be very interesting to see how many of them will turn to digital as a way of providing the fans a greater emotive connection with their club by way of the game of football. All too often what happens on the pitch dictates business matters off it. The key will be in how to manage that customer experience gap.
(come on England)