BEST DIGITAL / SOCIAL MEDIA TEAM
o Brighton & Hove Albion Football Club
Our challenge is to grow our brand and retain the same values that made the club such a central part of the city; its vibrancy, inclusivity and renowned sense of creativity. We are all passionate about the club and our fans, so our approach has been not to use our social media channels to just broadcast our message from our Premier League high tower, but to do fundamentally what these channels were created for; to engage and connect. We use what is available to us and in this instance, what is entirely free, conversing. Building an online, engaged community who regularly interact with us, listen to the fans, their sentiment and appreciating their support, altering our tone of voice, being human and relatable, replying to fans has increased our growth rates significantly. In launching our newest channel TikTok we have listened and welcomed constructive feedback, responding to almost every comment for the first few hours after posting. We have built a community and wider following of football fans not just Albion fans.
o Leeds United Football Club
With one of the smallest team sizes in the EPL – The Leeds United social and digital team continues to overperform, engage, educate and inspire the most passionate fan base in soccer. Delivering a huge range of content to fans, partners and sponsors.
The team has evolved to create more on-demand and appointment to view on digital content than ever before – including the acclaimed podcast hosted by ex-player Jermaine Beckford, Harry Potter star Matt Lewis and TV personality Emma Jones. The newly launched ‘WarmUp’ show with ex-player Dominic Matteo and a host of sequential episodes of LUFC Spotlight, All The Angles and Leeds Uncut.
Taking a full omnichannel approach, both on and offline, featuring brand and transactional content. A “street style” brand guidelines for club social media graphics was deployed at the start of the 21/22 season, and the production of original long and short-form content and partnership activations with the likes of global brands JD & EA Sports, all help the club to appeal to a younger audience.
The user base of the club’s owned media channel, LUTV, has grown from 7,000 subscribers to 22,000 during the 2021/22 season, generating 7-figure revenue.
o Motherwell Football Club
After success in the Best Digital/Social Media Team category at the 2021 Football Business Awards, Motherwell Football Club has continued to go from strength to strength.
With fans returning after a year-long absence due to Covid-19, the digital team at the club were tasked with devising the strategies and campaigns that would ensure the club would be in an even stronger position than the one it was when fans were removed from the stadium in March 2020.
The challenges remained the same. Motherwell Football Club has an average annual turnover of £4m, it lies in the regional shadow of Celtic and Rangers, based 12 and 15 miles away respectively.
The club has leaned heavily into communicating its mission statement – To improve people’s lives – through strong emotional storytelling of our values. In having a bigger purpose other than winning matches, and being a champion of our community, we stand out as a club with an authentic and differentiated identity.
The success of the campaigns led to another remarkable year of growth for the club, posting a club record for season ticket sales, and an industry-leading 64% growth in social media followers, compared to a 14% growth the year prior.
o Southampton Football Club
Southampton FC’s Football Content department achieved club-record impressions and engagements on their social media channels during the 2020/21 season, continuing their reputation for producing innovative and clever content that appeals to Southampton fans, while also reaching far beyond the club’s own supporter base. The highlight of their season was the viral “STOP THE COUNT” Twitter post that achieved in excess of 500,000 engagements, in response to the Men’s First Team fleetingly going top of the Premier League amid the fallout from the US presidential election, making it the most engaged tweet of any club in the division in 2020/21.
With fans having been absent from games for an extended period due to the pandemic, the Football Content team also sought to ensure they continued to feel both valued by, and connected to, the club and the players who represent it. As well as spending significant time engaging directly with supporters on social media, the Football Content team also implemented a number of changes to improve the accessibility of its output and remove barriers that some fans may experience when attempting to consume content across social channels.
o The FA WSL X Little Dot Sport
Combined with personnel from The FA, and specialist content agency Little Dot Sport, The FA WSL team is a perfect example of a collaborative partnership within the world of social media.
Their work across Instagram, Twitter and Facebook has allowed the league to reach fantastic follower growth, incredible levels of engagement, and impressive video watch time. In 2021, the channels’ success helped The FA WSL to land their biggest ever broadcast deal with Sky Sports and the BBC, with live matches, highlights and interviews being hosted on these channels. This is an incredible milestone for women’s football, and a step in the right direction for increasing gender diversity within the sport.
The team is one full of digital and content experts, who have an unmatched understanding of how each platform operates, knowledge of what good content looks like, and a true passion for football.
o Wolverhampton Wanderers Football Club
Wolves have broken new ground across football social media and digital in 2021, launching a variety of progressive, innovative, and entrepreneurial digital projects.
Headlines include the club-produced documentary Raul Jimenez: Code Red, which was acquired by the BBC and premiered on BBC iPlayer in November 2021. It then aired globally via Premier League rightsholders as a special episode of Premier League World, before landing on the club’s own channels and amassing a massive 2.2m views.
To feed football fans’ insatiable appetite for audio content, the club also launched its own 24-hour radio station, Wolves Radio. With the goal to avoid the resource drain that a traditional station demands, the club created an ‘always-on’ radio stream within the Wolves App, pulling together the best audio content the club produces, including regular dedicated shows and live events.
Wolves also brought fan engagement into the digital age by launching Ask Wolves, where supporters could submit questions to be answered by the club’s hierarchy. Released as fully accessible videos on YouTube, Facebook and Twitter, as well as a full transcript and podcast series, Ask Wolves videos were watched 150,000 times and gave fans unparalleled access to the decision-makers of a Premier League football club.