Man City & Social Media: Management, Moderation & Innovation

Last month I had the opportunity to see, via a livestream rather than in person, a very interesting event put on by the BBC on ‘Sport, Social Media and ROI with Audiences’.  It was part of their #SocialMediaWhatsTrending series and brought together a top line up of speakers.

The panel session was led by the BBC’s Ben Gallop (BBC Sport, Head of Interactive) and included another BBC employee, the Football Focus presenter Dan Walker, the EMEA VP of, Scott Davies and Manchester City’s Social Media Exec, Chris Nield.

For the purpose of this article I wanted to concentrate on the contribution to the session made by Chris and the presentation element he made during it.  He ran through some of what he has been doing at the club since joining in 2009, which for a football club shows how early they were onto the social media scene, and their plans for the future (very topline).

We’ve known Chris since 2010 and an interview we did with him was one of the first articles ever published on the site (there are over 500 now!).  Together with firstly Richard Ayers, and now Russell Stopford, he has helped push the club to the forefront of the digital sport industry.

In the presentation below you can see where social media sits within the club.  Some of the main points include;

  • His role with players in verifying accounts and dealing with fake ones
  • Setting the clubs tone as being friendly and authentic
  • How they have recently launched 10 new language specific accounts (only English before)
  • And showed their Harlem Shake, which included all the first team players and has been viewed some 8.7m times!


The future for social media in the club is an interesting one.  Just as we approach the time of year where we look ahead to 2014 (quick event plug for 9th Dec), the club are also looking at what’s next for them.  Areas such as; stadium wifi (hot topic at the moment), expanding onto new networks, mobile integration, website integration with Facebook Connect and more targeted posts to fans are all in the pipeline.

It’s an exciting time for the club on and off the pitch, but the competition for fans time and attention is getting hotter.  All clubs are involved at some level and with greater emphasis on ROI and the reported onset of social media fatigue.  This means new challenges will arise that will also bring about new innovations.  I’m sure Man City will be continue to lead on many of them.

As well as the presentation on its own, you can hear Chris present it in the video below.  If you skip onto around 22min 30sec you will hear Chris taking you through his presentation (volume level is not great so may need to listen closely).

The overall panel session is just under 1 hour in length and offers some interesting insights from people with very different perspectives; the TV presenter who is looking at new ways to engage with fans during programmes and building his own profile at the same time, the technology expert who works within the live TV/social media space and sees what they are doing as just the start, and the football club social media exec who is always looking for new ways to engage with fans and build the brand.


About author

Daniel McLaren
Daniel McLaren 688 posts

Dan McLaren launched Digital Sport (formerly UK Sports Network) back in January 2010 and has worked in the digisport industry with adidas, We Are Social, Copa90 and Pulse amongst others. He's now a freelance social media guy living in the East Midlands and podcast host with the Digital Sport podcast on Audioboom, iTunes and Stitcher Radio.

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