Arsenal’s social media reaction to drawing Atletico Madrid was perfect

The Champions League draw might have been the big one, but the Europa League draw is just as important for the teams involved.

One of those sides is Arsenal, who drew Atletico Madrid at the semi final stage.

In many people’s eyes, this was the worst draw the Gunners could have had. Atletico are arguably the best team left in the competition. On the other hand, Arsenal probably had to beat them at some point in order to win the tournament, and perhaps Arsene Wenger’s side have more chance of winning over two legs than they do in a one-off game like the final – especially against a side with such European final experience.

Unlike the other clubs in the European draw this time, though, Arsenal didn’t ‘announce’ their draw.

Instead of tweeting a graphic with the Atletico Madrid badge and ‘revealing’ the team they were drawn against, the Gunners social media team did it a different way.

That was a good decision.

There is no suspense that a club can draw on here. UEFA have a monopoly on that. When the piece of paper comes out of the ball, the suspense is broken.

But Arsenal aren’t cut out of proceedings entirely. Instead of trying to own the moment by ‘breaking’ the news that everyone knew already (apart from a minority of fans who are looking for the news from the official account) they decided to use their platform to engage with fans in a different way. Indeed, those who were waiting for the official account to break the news were still given the information they needed.

By posting a poll to ‘break the news’, as well as an off-the-cuff quiz, they’re reacting to the moment rather than trying to control it. In the end, that’s what their fans are doing, too. By doing it this way, the club is gave a platform for its fans to vent about whether they were happy or anxious about the draw, whilst creating a Twitter poll and a quiz allowed them to capitalise on the interest to generate a bit of extra engagement for those all-important stats.

Interestingly for a draw, there appears to have been a fair amount of preparation put into the reaction. Those behind Arsenal’s account found the time to find images of the last time they played Atletico Madrid and get the details about who scored the winning goal.

With only three options possible in a semi final draw, there’s time to do a bit of research on every outcome, and so what if a quarter of an hour’s work preparing to draw Marseille is wasted?

By doing it this way, Arsenal actually added something to the moment rather than just marking it with a nice graphic, giving value for fans beyond letting them know who their next opponent is.

About author

Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 656 posts

Chris is a sports journalist and editor of Digital Sport - follow him on Twitter @CJMcMullan_

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