How digital media allowed West Ham to own the content around their new signing

Yesterday’s World Cup rest day was a chance for football clubs to take back some of the social media limelight.

We wrote that both West Ham and Newcastle had taken the opportunity to announce some big news on social media.

But the Hammers’ announcement of new signing Jack Wilshere shows that these occasions have also become a chance for clubs to do much more than just post a creative video.

What West Ham came up with was a festival of content for social media and their own website allowing fans to spend their football-free evening getting excited about their club team ahead of the new season.

Alongside the initial video came images specifically created for social media, video interviews with the player which could be put on other sites like YouTube, and written content for their own website.

The transfer video itself even included an easter egg for the more eagle-eyed (or older…) Hammers fans, as the cab driver taking Wilshere from Arsenal to West Ham was former Irons player – and current taxi driver – Alan Dickens.

The ‘reveal’ of that piece of information gave the club’s digital team yet another chance to create content for the site – this time producing their own ‘Twitter reacts’ article, a tongue-in-cheek nod to the current content trend amongst football sites.

As football clubs become more and more like media producers in their own right, it’s interesting how they not only create content based on what happens on the pitch or behind the scenes, but how they plan strategies like this to make the most out of an event such as a new signing. Importantly, too, this allowed West Ham to own the story itself.

It would clearly be going much too far to attribute England’s success so far at the World Cup to the mood created by the team’s approach to digital media, but it’s true that it’s had an effect on how likeable the players are. And that’s certainly come across in how the fans have taken to the team.

Club teams have been doing something very similar for quite a while now, ensuring that the biggest events are covered across every medium and in a raft of different ways. As more and more of the top teams start to do digital content very well, expect to see more than just a one-off transfer video for a new signing and instead look out for images, quizzes and feature articles too.

About author

Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 836 posts

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

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