Although at this stage, details remain scarce, Marketing.co.uk reports that the platform, which is currently being developed, is set to host exclusive multimedia content and sell advertising space for sponsors.
The aim is to drive social media engagement with fans and to tap into Asian markets where the team has a huge fan following. As well as streaming exclusive content through the team’s TV channel MUTV and sell exclusive club merchandise through an in-built ecommerce site.
Both Manchester United and the app developers, SapientNitro, have declined to comment about their plans, so it is not yet known how the app will generate revenue, and whether or not fans will have to pay for membership or if profits will be generated through sponsor deals and sales revenue.
Fans are sure to react with excitement and enthusiasm. Man U achieved 20 million Facebook ‘likes’ in just the first year and are only being beaten in rankings by likes of Jesus Christ, Justin Bieber and Real Madrid (not bad…) in published polls.
But, as you know, quantity isn’t a good measure of social media effectiveness. LEWIS PR have given the club low score for their interaction with fans and bloggers have criticised Man U of being broadcast heavy on their Facebook (they don’t have an official Twitter account).
The idea of a social media platform for a football club is far from new. Chelsea FC has a contract with Samsung which delivers exclusive news about players to fans and Liverpool FC already has its own social media platform: The Kop.
Despite their critics, the scale and devotion of Man U’s fan base puts the team in an optimum position for this platform to be successful. If the example set by their Facebook page is anything to go by, fans will likely sign up in droves. But, if the developers want to out do their rivals and become a global example of how to do social media the right way, they should heed the warnings and prioritise quality of output over quantity of users.Tags:Chelsea, Engagement, Facebook, Football, Liverpool, Manchester United, Samsung, Social Media Platform, The Kop, Twitter