The digital evolution for Top European Football clubs has been amazing. During the past seven years the growth has been steady and on an ongoing basis. Facebook has taken a center stage on this, being the “go to platform” all along – many competitive platforms tried to challenge this position, but never really succeeded. Obviously there are several reasons for that!
It was a win-win for a very long time. Facebook continuously developed functionalities which benefitted the major football clubs, especially with video, live and much more in the past couple of years.
While Google (with Google+ & YouTube) was not very inventive and Twitter (Periscope & Twitter) still struggling for commercial success, it was Facebook who drove innovations.
But during the past couple of months there is a shift and it threatens all major sport organisations. Because Facebook puts the “throttle” on!
Major European Football clubs cannot achieve organic growth anymore and their reach & engagement has significantly dropped during recent months.
As soon as you invest a (small) media budget, your growth, reach and interaction is back to normal or performs even better than normal. Currently clubs see this as an isolated incident, but we at RESULT Sports do not see this isolated.
It is the beginning of a strategic fight for superiority.
Sports Organisations have become quite dependent on Facebook and it seems that Facebook now takes action to commercial benefit further on this situation! We see media budgets being created across most major European clubs.
What to do?
Instagram seems to be the current alternative – the growth of the platform is parallel to the tremendous growth Facebook experienced in 2014. We see a lot of similarities. Which means, in a couple of years, club might face the same challenge again.
An alternative option could be for all strategic and digital leaders of major European Sports Organisations to come together and jointly discuss the digital future. I would be very happy to host such an initiative!