In many aspects of the current digital transformation and fan engagement revolution, football clubs are leading the way (geez! I have already used 3 jargon buzzwords in the first sentence).
More and more the visual aspect of the experience is taking centre stage, and is becoming an essential element of the storytelling.
If we take a look at what football clubs are doing on social channels there are some interesting trends that I have seen emerging in the last months.
I have considered for this case only one social platform, Facebook, as at the moment is the one where they have more engagement and in terms of club I have put my attention on 4 big ones: Manchester United, FC Bayern Munich, FC Barcelona, Real Madrid.
More and more they are using crafted visuals to complement most if not all of their posts and there is obviously a reason for that: not only visuals provide a proven 2x sharing hood but also are much more notable and consumable by users.
The visual part of a post is the one that gets noticed whenever is shared on the same platform or even somewhere else, and also if saved locally.
QUICK TIP: It is important to include in your social photos all elements that matters even if they also appear in textual part of the post. The message, the brand, hashtags etc…
A visual style for social?
What is even more interesting is that both Man Utd and FC Bayern have created a strong visual identity (red for both) for those Facebook social posts in this way creating even a deeper association with their brand.
Man Utd even brag about it with a “Designed by…” footnote.
Let’s go in detail
Let’s analyse live match coverage (one of my favourite subjects in football), this is what the 4 clubs are doing during different moments of the game.
Man Utd is using an image, FC Bayern is using a video, FC Barcelona is using a video but also listing the players in text in 3 languages, Real Madrid is using a video.
Man Utd, Fc Bayern and FC Barcelona are using a special graphic image for all goals. FC Bayern includes the score and hashtag. FC Barcelona adds team logos and hashtag. Real Madrid does not seem to be posting for goals.
The final score is for sure a must have in this scenario and here the 4 clubs include all more or less the same content with the exception of FC Bayern who adds details of scorers and minutes of goals similar to what is shown on TV graphics.
FC Bayern also includes visuals for the table standings and another very special one because of the goals super streak of Lewandowski.
FC Bayern created a special campaign and visual treatment for the incredible moment that its striker Lewandowski is living offering 20% on his jersey to fans with a discount code “TOR” which means goal in German.
QUICK TIP: Create real-time marketing moments by leveraging sport stories and stats with campaigns that bring value and service to fans more than just promoting something again and again.
Even if this is a great example I would like to propose an alternative to FC Bayern, and instead of discounting the jersey of a player that does some amazing things you should create an exclusive limited edition of the Lewandowski jersey that has on the jersey the infographics of the record: “5 goals in 9 minutes” or “10 goals in 182 minutes” whatever the best.
It’s nice to see how clubs are interpreting the opportunity that social offers in the sport media business with so much dedication and deep understanding of how each social platform has its own voice and style.
My personal standings are:
1 Man Utd
2 FC Bayern
3 FC Barcelona
4 Real Madrid
1 FC Bayern
2 Man Utd
3 FC Barcelona
4 Real Madrid