Best Digital / Social Media Team
Hibernian FC has had a record-breaking year across all digital and social media fronts and has continued the Club’s tradition of being Scottish football’s “Pioneers”.
A brand-new strategy was introduced to grow the Club’s digital footprint, to see greater engagement with the fanbase, and to be innovators in the Scottish game.
Headlines include a 100k growth in followers, which saw Hibs leapfrog two sides to become the third largest club in Scotland on social media. Our TikTok strategy was a huge success as we had over 20m views and 1.6m likes on that platform, from just over 100 posts.
Innovators, Hibs were the first men’s team to mic up a player during a game and have provided access to the First Team that Hibs supporters have never seen before whether that be in training or inside the dressing room.
A club-produced documentary, Nil Seven, and insightful, in-depth podcasts were also highlighted by national media outlets, whilst there was a 154% increase on website page views, again highlighting Hibs’ digital channels as the place to go for all supporters.
InCrowd x UEFA
InCrowd has been growing a complementary professional services division alongside its successful digital products suite offering consultancy, managed services and digital content delivery.
One of InCrowd’s primary partners in the digital content arm is UEFA, bearing responsibility for both UEFA’s web/app English language output and its official social media competition channels.
In terms of the social set-up, each of the major competitions have their own focussed team, who are primarily responsible for planning and posting, supported by two vertical editors and led by managers that oversee strategy, visual identity and branded content.
UEFA have seen huge success across their digital channels. In the last year, Champions League accounts hit two major social media milestones: 20 million TikTok followers (gained in just 10 months) and 100 million followers on Instagram. In addition, in the game-changing tournament that was Women’s EURO 2022, the numbers achieved by the social team across TikTok, Instagram, Facebook and Twitter smashed previous records, and delivered some of the most memorable and viral content of the competition.
LiveScore is a global sports media organisation founded in 1998 with millions of users across 200 territories. Over the past year, LiveScore has leveraged its Official Global Brand Ambassador, Cristiano Ronaldo, to reach new audiences and showcase the company as the leading online sports media business.
LiveScore’s social strategy has been a key ingredient in increasing its app user base and attracting investment from private equity and venture capitalist businesses, producing content which fostered large growth and elevated the brand to potential investors.
As such, the team devised a 12-month social strategy covering seven core content pillars including the Women’s European Championships, player transfers, Premier League, European Leagues, Cristiano Ronaldo, the FIFA World Cup, and the UEFA Champions League, which it broadcasts free-to-air to fans in Ireland via the app. The team’s consistent and innovative output over the past year has resulted in increased engagement and following, leading to a 40% growth in total social media audience, higher than LiveScore’s closest competitor. The social media team’s efforts have also resulted in a significant increase in app users and a £50 million investment from Swiss media group Ringier AG in 2022.
Plymouth Argyle FC
Charged will driving revenue generation across the business, the Argyle media department has overseen unprecedented levels of growth and has smashed targets.
The club has generated the highest number of season ticket holders on record, and, at the time of writing, has sold out for 11 of its 16 home league games in 22/23. Meanwhile, revenues in retail have also broken previous records.
The media department has also launched its own website, app, streaming and video on demand service, Argyle TV, advancing its content output substantially with daily features behind the scenes at Home Park. This strategy has paid dividends, with unprecedented subscription numbers allowing further investment in fan engagement activities at Home Park.
The media department embraces trending content and latest social media memes to secure amplified content opportunities, and its irreverent and fan-focused tone of voice has proven a hit with supporters, alongside its breadth and range of content.
Qatar Airways Sports Social Media team and Fifty Digital’s collaborative partnership has seen the delivery of ongoing premium social content across some of the worlds most sought after sports sponsorship properties, with a key emphasis on football in the build up to the FIFA World Cup 2022 Qatar.
Across the year the team collectively stepped up to the challenge of building global brand association with premium sports teams and events, driving anticipation and delivering content matched to the biggest tournament in sport. Whilst also achieving some ambitious growth and engagement targets.
The team demonstrated true partnership seamlessly merging brand and agency personnel to establish a new editorial direction, nuanced publishing approach, responsive creative development and production plus timely reactive event coverage.
The success of the 2022 Qatar Airways sports sponsorship activations across social media has resulted in new levels of follower growth for the brand and engagement rates in excess of platform and industry benchmarks, paving the way for ongoing collaborative sports partnership activations in 2023 and beyond.