Part 1: How businesses take advantage of the spotlight
Just four years ago, many soccer clubs weren’t on either twitter or facebook. Today, most of them if not all of them, have an active account and they are getting followers by the minute. Finally, every football club that wants to connect to their fans now have the chance by doing it with social networks channels.
A few years ago, Facebook executives urged managers of Cristiano Ronaldo to make a profile or fan page in the social network. We were told that the Zuckerberg team told the manager “Look, he has to get one, “Cristiano has the potential to get 10 million followers.”
Luis Correia, director of Polaris Sports, which manages the image rights of the player, remembers his response: “We don’t believe you. That figure is the population of Portugal. ”
Still, in 2009, Ronaldo opened an account on Facebook. The following year, he used the social network to announce the birth of a son he had with an unidentified woman. In October, he became the first athlete in the world to exceed 100 million followers on Facebook.
Facebook, YouTube, Twitter, Instagram and Chinese Weibo, among other platforms, are allowing clubs and players to build not only a database of fans but to connect, interact and socialize with them by posting their latest news and events. But you might we wondering why they did this? Well the answer is simple, fans will do anything for their teams, it’s call passion. Soccer teams realized this and now they are turning that love into money. It is the new goal of the football industry.
Professional football is not a huge business and this is something that goes against the general idea. However, emotionally, it’s huge. The players are celebrities and big clubs are becoming global brands. But the activity, always struggled with what economists call suitability: clubs can not make money (can not appropriate) more than a minor part of the love of football fans.
Just imagine a fan of Barcelona that lives in India. He never traveled to Europe, he hadn’t been at the Camp Nou, he never presence the majestic moment of seen Messi do his magic. Nonetheless, wearing a Barcelona shirt from Messi, talking with their friends about him, watching the games on TV, commenting on forums, visiting the Barcelona’s club magazines on the internet like sport.es and mundodeportivo.com, make it possible to him to he to share his love for Barca. Still, the club never earned anything from that fan and didn’t know that he existed. Until now.
Of the 1.3 billion people who are on Facebook, 500 million are soccer fans. This piece of information was communicated in October 2014 by Glenn Miller; a Facebook executive in charge of Sports and Entertainment; during a conference at the International Football Arena (IFA) in Berlin referring to football and social media.
The global interest in football is bigger than in other sports. The 2014 World Cup held at Brazil was confirmed as the biggest media event in the history of sports, measured in standard TV ratings and clicks on the Internet. For Google, the World Cup generated more searches than the Tour de France, the 2012 Olympics and the Super Bowl of American football in the United States, combined all together. Undoubtedly there’s a huge amount of football lovers around the world.
Moreover, the interest in football it’s just massively growing everyday. This is confirmed by the fact that European clubs are expanding his passion through China, India, the United States and Indonesia, countries which together represent these days 45 percent of the human population and before haven’t being considered by the football business as they are now. And all of this is happening thanks to social networks.
It was a long learning curve for Football Clubs on how to reach to their fans all over the world and adapt the business to this new platform, in order to expand their potential and make profits from them. A club that understands how valuable are social networks will profit more from their sponsors. It’s not a coincidence that in 2012, after Manchester United joined social networks, they got an annual contract with Chevrolet (General Motors) for 47 million pounds to include their logo on their shirt. FC Barcelona has invested heavily in its presence in social networks and the numbers show that they expanding a lot. In Facebook for example, FC Barcelona has more than 84 million fans by only 18 million for Juventus. The difference between Barcelona and Juventus, then, is huge in social networks.
This is something that big businesses and small businesses from all over the world are doing it. There’s many ways to get revenues from the football business and all start by knowing this. Any football event, a simple local game or a finale of any big tournament has the potential to accumulate immense amount of traffic in every digital portal of the web. So, what are you waiting for, get on the the train and start taking advantage of this big opportunity.
We are about to be witnesses of one of the most exciting and important football event of the history. Yes, we are talking about the UEFA Champions League, the most important tournament in Europe that put together two of the biggest clubs of the moment to match their potential to the very last. In one side of the field, The Barça’s club, with the “The Messiah” on the head, looking for the treble by lifting this saturday the Champions League Cup. In the other side, Juventus Club, with Tevez at the head, to complete the the treble after winning the Italian League and the Copa de Italia and evading to become the team with most final losses, with so far five.
But, let’s dig a little bit more so we can understand the impact, that this fascinating tournament and their main stars playing the final, generate over the internet.
The UEFA Champions League is the pinnacle of club soccer, with teams battling to become the kings of Europe. Thirty-two of the world’s best-known soccer clubs, including Barcelona, Real Madrid, AC Milan, Bayern Munich and Chelsea, participated in this year’s tournament edition, that started on September 17 of the past year and that is reaching to its grand finale this Saturday.
Barcelona’s main star Lionel “D10S” Messi is hungry to win the trophy. The genius of football had a stellar season scoring 58 goals and he is the top scorer and assistant in this year’s edition at the Champions. “La Pulga”, “D10S” or “The Messiah” between other nicknames, had a slow start after losing the world cup against Germany. Cristiano Ronaldo won his third Ballon D’Or on January and he publicly stated that he was going after Messi. This, made Messi realized that he needed to be once again called the indisputably best player in the world and if not in the history of the sport. But he wasn’t alone for this task. Besides the support of his teammates and his family he found balance thanks to his nutritionist. Italian doctor and nutritionist Giuliano Poser has helped shape Messi’s diet this season, with the results noticeable on the pitch as the Argentine has lead Barça’s assault on three fronts. He won the spanish La Liga and the Copa del Rey trophies but he wants to complete the treble by lifting this saturday the Champions League.
But it won’t be easy. On the other side of the field stands Juventus main star Carlos “Apache” Tevez. The argentine had another stellar season with Juve and wants to also complete the treble after winning the Italian League and the Copa de Italia. Tevez and his teammates will be the underdog on this final but as Tevez said the other week the team is stronger than ever.
Now you get the picture. The 2015 Champions League Finale will be bigger than any other finale in the history of the cup, and you can take advantage of this. It’s all about getting traffic and build a database for your next marketing moves. The niches that can get more benefits from this kind of events are:
- Football and Sport Website and Blogs that sells ads and affiliate products.
- Small businesses (that don’t own a website) selling on Etsy.com
- E-Commerce businesses that have a website related to: Cloth, music, art and food between others.
Let’s see a few examples of how this niches generate a flow of income.
- In football blogs people can sell affiliate products related to the teams and also get money from the ads that they place on their blog. On the following example we can see a Barca blog that placed their ads on the right side of the screen but you can also place them on the top at the header or even at the left side too.
- Don’t have a website, no problem! Here is a solution for you. You can also make money from football with the eCommerce platform Etsy. Here, vendors and buyers meet to get one of a kind handmade products. If you are an artisan, designer or just want to sell products that you think are unique but you don’t have enough money yet to spend on website or hosting, no worries. Just place your products on Etsy. The website has an estimate of 70 million visits per month. Most of the people come from the USA, UK and Canada. And what’s more interesting is that they get a lot of traffic from social networks specially from Pinterest.
Here are a few ideas for you to sell on etsy. On the following picture we can see that the search “Messi” got 563 results ranging from different categories such as art & collectibles, clothing and more.
On the pictures below you can see some ideas for products to sell that can be: A Wall Art Sticker Picture Decal, an Art Print Illustration or an Inspirational Manifesto between others.
- In a clothing eCommerce business offering a special discount or running a promotion related to the teams using different channels to advertise. For example you can run a Teespring promotion of several shirts with a slogan or motivational phrase related to the match and promote it on Facebook boosting your post with Facebook Ads targeting special Barcelona Fans.
You can see more details in how to run successful Facebook Ads in our Traffic Course where we analyze all the aspects for you to get the most of it.
Besides running a Facebook Ad Campaign to increase the sales on your promotion you can publish it on several social channels. One of the channels that get the most sells is Pinterest. Here people love to browse about their favorite items and it’s a great place to get eCommerce sales. Look at the picture below to see how the shit was post it on Pinterest and it can be found through #hashtags as well as from the organic searches.
- Youtubers make a lot of money through compilation of videos from their favorite teams, players, football skills, etc. You only need to design a well crafted plan on how are you going to take action to then follow thru and see the results. In our course The Ultimate Traffic Guide, we tell you the best secrets and tips to optimize your videos and get on the top of YouTube searches.
In the following pic, we can see that I search for the phrase “Barcelona Messi” and a fan that posted videos outranks the official FC Barcelona YouTube page. How? Answer is simple keywords in title and description as well as tags and backlinks are the key to generate more views, gain more subscribers and position at the top of searches.
Some Youtubers make a lot of money. In the picture you can see that the first video has 572K views. But again the key to rank better is to have a well design plan with Keywords and also optimize the overall content of your channel as well as posting regularly. This will organically increase your views and subscribers.
We can see that the Messi fan generates not only makes money on his channel by the donations that viewers made but also from the ads that were placed on his videos. In the following picture you can see the amount of videos, subscribers and views that he has but moreover we see that he is making around 19K to 303K yearly by just posting videos.
How to optimize your content to have a better strategy
In our course The Ultimate Traffic Guide, we guide the students to get more traffic to their Blog, Website, YouTube Channel, How to show up on Google’s first page results and how to get the most out of the Social Media Channels. We tell them that the foundation for all this platforms is to craft a well designed Game Plan. First analyze the KEYWORDS involved. On this event you need to target the most searched keywords related to both clubs Juventus and Barcelona as well as their main stars Messi, Neymar, Tevez and Pirlo.
How to find the right Keywords
There are two great free tools for getting the statistics of any word-keyword you are thinking to use on your content block. First you have the Google Keyword Planner ( https://goo.gl/rA3G7Y ) where you can type any word or phrase and see exactly of how many times that keyword gets searched on google each month. If you think you need another reliable source to find the right keyword you can go to ( http://ubersuggest.org/ ) and do the same thing, type any word or phrase and you will find what your looking for. This is a very important step that should be taking care of with patience and detailed attention. The correct choice of keywords will mark the difference.
Here for example we can see with the Google Keyword Planner how many searches per month around the world has the Keyword: Messi.
If you have a website or blog, optimize the overall content of it with ON and OFF site optimization. You need this in order to break Google’s algorithm and rank better in the search results. For ON SITE optimization make sure that you have your MAIN KEYWORD around your website or post (if you are doing an article), place them on your Titles, Meta Tags, Image Alt Text and H1, H2 and H3 Headings. Correct use of them and placement will make the difference. Interlink your posts and place videos on your website so people spend more time on your site. For OFF SITE optimization we need to make use of BACKLINKS and SOCIAL SIGNALS. Google loves popularity so the more websites link back to yours and the more activity and engagement they see on your social media channels the better you will rank. Share your content in all your social media platforms this way you will get more traffic towards your website as well as gaining more followers.
For your social media efforts create great posts to catch the attention of people and make use of #hashtags. Here are some of the most searched hashtags for the Champions League Finale: #barcelona #juventus #neymar #barca #messi #fcbarcelona #fcb #mesqueunclub #UCLfinal #UCL
Join Facebook Groups, create a fan page, post regularly on twitter and make use also of Pinterest and Instagram.
Before you start looking for followers on every social account you create for your business remember to build a creative content plan for your public. Make your posts for the whole week thinking on what your audience will like. You should prepare the material for the whole week so you can be more organized. This automatization will bring you better results since you check the daily response from the users. A great tool that you can use to speed up your postings is hootsuite.com Here you can place make your post and schedule them in one day so you dont need to worry about posting manually each day.
Here is a small summary of the social media activity that you must know when you are designing your Social Media Game Plan.
FC Barcelona has already won their first battle of the Champions League final against Juventus. Is the battle in social networks, where, even though these are two historical and legendary clubs, FC Barcelona has taken advantage over their rival in the final of the Champions League in Berlin. FC Barcelona has invested heavily in its presence in social networks and the numbers show that they expanding a lot. In Facebook for example, FC Barcelona has more than 84 million fans by only 18 million for Juventus.
The difference between Barcelona and Juventus, then, is huge in social networks. Barcelona clearly dominates their Italian rival in both Facebook and Twitter accounts. Part of Barcelona’s success on their social networks is due to their Globalization in many foreign languages while Juventus only addresses their fans in five languages. Let’s see the in detail how many fans does both teams have on the internet.
Facebook: 84 million fans.
Twitter: 15.2 million followers.
Instagram: 11.7 million followers.
YouTube: 1.7 million subscribers.
Facebook: 18 million fans.
Twitter: 1.8 million followers.
Instagram: 1.3 million followers.
YouTube: 353K subscribers.
We can also see that the difference from the main two stars of Barcelona, Messi and Neymar are considerably huge in comparison to the main two start of Juventus, Tevez and Pirlo.
Lionel Messi (Barcelona):
Facebook: 77 million fans.
Weibo (Chinese Twitter): 20 million followers.
Instagram: 16.3 million followers.
Facebook: 52 million fans.
Twitter: 18.4 million followers.
Instagram: 23 million followers.
Carlos Tevez (Juventus):
Facebook: 104K fans.
Twitter: 1 million followers.
Instagram: 602K followers
Andrea Pirlo (Juventus):
Facebook: 6.7 million fans.
Twitter: 1.8 million followers.
Instagram: 803K followers
Whereas it’s a former club or fans that have a website/blog and want to make profit from the social networks with their teams, It’s all about getting traffic and building a database. For example, People that owns an eCommerce site selling shirts will have a better chance to profit more by getting more traffic and one of the keys here is social media.
Use the information of the Clubs and Main Stars of each club for your own advantage. Research and design a well crafted Game Plan for both your website and social media channels. And remember, in today’s world, people can profit from football with the help of search engines and social media. On Part 2 of our case study we will see how business profit during and after the game, so you can do it too!