Beckham Inside
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Hey! Its @BeckhamInside again and we are going to make advices and sports research that will help to Beckham in future. Today i will tell you about social media and modern sport.

I intend to analyze the transfer of Iker Casillas to FC Porto and to show a practical benefit of this transfer for the club’s brand from the perspective of popularity in social media.

IKER CASILLAS DID NOT HELP PORTO TO WIN IN THE PORTUGUESE PRIMEIRA LIGA, BUT HE HELPED HIS NEW CLUB TO SUCCEED IN SOCIAL MEDIA AND INCREASE CLUB’S REVENUES.

The initial reasons for writing this article were to structure fans’ community and develop a common methodology of assessment of club’s target audience. But we could not analyze the problem fully, because we did not have full access to social media that belong to Iker Casillas, Real Madrid and Porto. So the only option for us was to analyze amateur fan groups in social media.

Before transfer:

A club has a certain number of fans, but may expect that the number of fans will increase thanks to the loyal fans of the player, fans of his former club where he became a star/idol, or fans of the national team that a player represents.

A player may count on growth of audience thanks to club’s and league’s fans. Nevertheless, there may be outflow of followers too.

HE IS A LEGEND, FOREVER A REAL MADRID PLAYER!!

Such hypotheses seem quite logical, but unfortunately their evaluation and confirmation by means of statistical methods is a very difficult task although we tried to find suitable alternatives. So, we did some research, but could not define in what proportion a club and a player get new followers.

Nevertheless, we found other interesting relationships.

Mainly because of a player, fans have subscribed to the page of the new club.

We have been lucky to work with the CIS segment, and the collected data was representative. There is only one group dedicated to Porto in social networks that is popular among the Russian-speaking internet users. The effect that this group experienced may be projected to official social pages of Porto, but at a different scale.

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Looking at the graph, one may see that Iker Casillas increased the number of followers by approximately 5,700–7,500 people. Note the spike of growth of followers after a sensational victory over Bayern Munich. Influence of Iker Casillas transfer was observed for 4 months from the moment of signing up to the month of November.

Comments made by fans support our hypotheses. One of the comments is as follows:

TAKE CARE OF OUR (REAL MADRID) LEGEND. ©

Based on the content analysis of comments that were written on Porto’s page in Vkontakte (popular russian social network), one may presume that among active Porto’s followers there are fans of Real Madrid and personal fans of Iker Casillas.

IT IS INTERESTING THAT A SENSATIONAL WIN OVER BAYERN MUNICH AND TRANSFER OF A TOP-PLAYER BRING MORE OR LESS SIMILAR EFFECT IN TERMS OF AUDIENCE REACH-OUT.

It is safe to say that Porto have not lost at least from the point of view of commerce and reputation having decided on inviting a Spanish veteran to play for their team. Another thing is that during the season Iker Casillas was unable to help his new club to win on the pitch.

The club nearly beat back the cost of Iker Casillas by means of sales of fan merchandise and extended club’s audience in social media.

IN THE FIRST DAYS AFTER ANNOUNCEMENT ABOUT THE TRANSFER OF IKER CASILLAS THE NUMBER OF LIKES IN PORTO’S COMMUNITY ON FACEBOOK INCREASED BY 60,000.

Loud transfer — sensational win.

Sensational win against a top-club in the Champion’s League has the same effect in terms of social interactions as signing up of an unanticipated transfer.

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When clubs focus on interaction and coverage of a large number of fans through social networks, it is important to consider consequences of the transfer campaign and which impact a new signing or sale of a player will have on the team’s performance and social activity in the media.

A similar approach was taken by Manchester United that signed Park Ji-sung from South Korea, but now we are talking about the veteran stars.

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Growth of the fan base directly affects increase in sales of fan merchandise and club attractiveness to sponsors and partners in a particular region. Social networks may be used as an indicative metrics in this case.

Thus, Toronto benefits from signing Giovinco. Giovinco’s transfer is ambitious, because it is supposed to help the club to compete at the highest level.

Finally, Barcelona will almost certainly lose because of the upcoming transfer of Dani Alves. The team will stay as strong as before, but the club will lose in terms of online presence, because Dani Alves is very active in social networks. So, absence of Dani Alves in the garnet shirt will be a significant loss for the club unless another socially active defender is found.

In conclusion, social media are not just a metric of club’s popularity. They are also important for taking strategic decisions at the time of a transfer campaign.

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Hey, guys. I am creator of @BeckhamInside media and i really love sports management and US sports. So i am going to make few advices for future Beckham football club and we started from article about the fans.

  Enjoy!

When they say “sell”, I immediately think of products or services as well as of ideas that can be sold to investors.

In term of football clubs (usually the ones that are leaders in the national tournaments), it is really appropriate to say “sell something to a fan”, because such clubs do not need to make any excuses if a season was unsuccessful. They are clubs that deserve their status and therefore they reap the fruits of their hard work by monetizing their popularity in many ways.

It is really hard to imagine to what extent faithful feelings some fans have concerning their favorite clubs. Some fans travel hundreds of kilometers in order to see a match, sometimes in bad weather. Additionally, when there is no any chance for the win, such fans will remain optimistic about their club’s future.

A club cannot guarantee a win in every match and consequent title win in the tournament. However, a club may look like a winner in the eyes of its fans (as it usually is before the start of the season) by showing commitment and thanking them for precious support.

For example, during the season a club may collect a large number of interesting and symbolic “lots” that will be sold to the loyal fans. A charity auction will not impact club’s revenues, but it will have a very positive influence on the relationship with fans especially if a season was not very successful.

So, every club should be attentive to details, perhaps even more than fans during the season.

An event can be arranged in a form of a charity event. It will present a club as a socially responsible entity. Such an event will definitely enhance the clubs image in the eyes of partners,sponsors, investors, and certainly in the eyes of fans.

Clubs may sell many very different things at auctions. In the case of clubs that have not fulfilled objectives for the season and have not met fans’ expectations it is worth talking about the possibility of “selling the idea” that the club truly appreciates every fan.

What can be sold at auctions?

Lets begin with simple things. Fans would be happy to buy a ball which was scored “first” and “last”in the season. For example, Olivier Giroud scored a fantastic goal in the opening match against Crystal Palace F.C. and it was only 16 th minute of the match. In turn, the last goal scored by Arsenal was actually an own goal scored by Mark Bunn from Aston Villa in 90+1 minute.

Besides, in the final match Olivier Giroud made a hat-trick. If there is a good photographer, the club would be able to sell exclusive photos with players signatures. Photos should be taken in the locker room or “behind the stage” depicting players’ and staff’s routines. These photos will remind spectators of a programme #HowIt’sMade, but of course they will have a static form, thereby helping everyone to look at their favorite club and players from the different perspective.

So, a club can sell pretty much everything to a fan starting from football boots that belong to the players and ending with the piece of a pitch on which Steven Gerard slipped.

No doubt, auctions should be organized at the end of the season. The mood may not be very optimistic, but everyone eventually understands that results cannot be changed. Auctions and other similar events show that clubs value their fans and play for them. So it should be a clubs wish to share something tangible with fans so that they remain committed to the club in the future.

Communication with fans may have a touching sentiment and consequently improve fans’ mood. If a club has not reached its objectives and was left without a title again or if there were not many thrilling matches, off-pitch events should offer fans compensation for their loyalty. For fans small things related to the club are of great importance.

Therefore, clubs need to be more attentive in their routines in order to build up a stronger relationship with fans.

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