Man United use heavyweight Chelsea clash to promote YouTube partnership

Manchester United chose a good time to launch their YouTube channel.

It’s a good time of the season to be a United fan: before Christmas, as the club fell behind Manchester City in the title race, things weren’t quite as optimistic as they are now – with a Champions League and FA Cup double still possible. In many ways, the real season has only just begun.

At such a time of the season, and just ahead of what would turn out to be a victory over Chelsea at Old Trafford, United were able to tie in a heavyweight Premier League clash with their new partnership with YouTube.

This week, you’ll have noticed that United now finally have a YouTube account, and have amassed well over 350k subscribers in just a couple of days – the power of both brands is clearly massive. And even if those numbers certainly don’t translate into engagement, it does make for an impressive headline.

But the club’s ability to promote their new partnership is clearly impressive, too.

If you were at the game at Old Trafford on Sunday afternoon, you might have spotted an impressive push plastered over the side of the ground, under the iconic Manchester United lettering at the top, too.

If you weren’t, in Manchester but watching on TV, you might well have caught a glimpse of the promotion, too. On the advertising hoardings around the pitch, United were pushing their new channel there, too, with the YouTube logo visible moving around the pitch – reminiscent of last year’s Paul Pogba tie-in with Twitter, though this time one player didn’t have the pressure of outperforming his own emoji.

It’s clear that this is a mutually beneficial partnership, though. Manchester United get more digital engagement, something that is crucial in the world of modern sport. YouTube, on the other hand, get the boost of another behemoth joining their ranks.

“We are really happy that Manchester United has brought such an amazing wealth of content to YouTube for their fans around the world to enjoy. So far this season there has been an incredible 843 million views on videos related to Manchester United,” said Tomos Grace, Head of Sport, EMEA at YouTube. “The club’s exclusive access to behind-the-scenes footage, interviews and more will further drive fan interest and excitement.”

The timing of the United announcement, just before such a big Premier League game with a global audience, was important for the promotion of the new channel. And you also wonder if the timing – a decade or so after many other Premier League clubs launched their YouTube accounts – is important, too. United may be late to the party, but that’s the bit that gets everyone talking.

About author

Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 831 posts

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

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