Liverpool, Manchester City and Roma show clubs are creating a wealth of their own content

Sports teams indulging in a drive to create more content certainly isn’t new.

More and more, teams are adding to their content teams and understanding just how much value they can get out of it. They have the sort of access to their players that would be coveted by every other media outlet in the country and they are also able to provide an environment where players feel comfortable to open up rather than guardedly say things to the media they hope won’t be misunderstood.

But once clubs found that their own content – be it in the form of videos, written articles, images or even podcasts – was being consumed en masse by their fans, they branched out into creating more and more. At the moment, few clubs are really using it to its full potential, but across the board social media has clearly become vital.

Other, more traditional media types are beginning to be taken into account, too.

Chris Bailey, Manchester City’s Editor in Chief, wrote a stunning long read comparing the 2018 title winning team to the 1968 team who won the league under Joe Mercer and Malcolm Allison – certainly not something you’d have expected to see coming from a club website just a few years ago.

AS Roma have taken to posting articles about them or their players from other websites in order to boost awareness and interest amongst their fans (a great way of giving a nod to media coverage of their club outside of their own online content). They have also done something similar to what Liverpool did to great effect this week.

Before new signing Fabinho arrives at Melwood to begin life as a Liverpool player, the club’s official website asked Jonathan Johnson, ESPN’s French football correspondent, about what to expect from the Brazilian.

A bit of background, his style of play and other interesting tidbits were included, making this a useful article for Reds fans wanting to learn a bit more about their new player.

Roma did something similar before their Champions League last 16 tie with Shakhtar Donetsk, when they asked Italian football journalist James Horncastle for his views on the game. Before that draw was even made – back in December – Roma also asked numerous fans of other clubs they could have faced for their opinions on the Italian giants.

It’s clear that content is becoming more of a driving force behind the thinking of football clubs, but perhaps we have to rethink just what clubs are. The biggest ones (arguably the savviest ones) see themselves as all-out media organisations. But their editorial decisions now span across all the media, whether that be social platforms or their own websites.

This is nothing new, but as more clubs now take stock of their seasons and look towards next year, you can be sure that even more content production will be on the cards very soon – and not just cringeworthy transfer videos!

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Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 772 posts

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

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