Manchester City’s touching title celebrations show the good side of social media

Manchester City are Premier League champions.

We’ve had plenty of time to digest that news as it’s been coming for months, but even so the celebrations were sweet for those of a Blue persuasion – especially coming after two weeks of horror, losing to Liverpool in the Champions League and Manchester United in the league.

It was also something of a let-down to some City fans that their club couldn’t win the title by winning in front of their own fans: rivals United succumbed to defeat at home to West Bromwich Albion, leaving Pep Guardiola’s team too far ahead for anyone to catch.

If it was a disappointment, however, it was only very slight: this title was coming for a while, and the club was able to prepare for it. And so they celebrated in style. Again.

Our Time. Our City. . Premier League Champions 17/18 ???? . #mancity

A post shared by Manchester City (@mancity) on

When a team wins the title because their rivals slip up in a game they simply must win (or draw) to keep the race going, there’s usually a camera or two strategically placed at a party where some of the members of the squad are present to watch their ultimate victory.

This time, it was just captain Vincent Kompany who City were able to film – as he said later in the evening, most of the squad was scattered around the world, taking their few days off to recuperate with family. They were expecting United to win, and the celebrations to happen in front of their own fans at the Etihad Stadium on Sunday afternoon, when City face Swansea.

There are still five games remaining for City, of course. They are now the joint-earliest victors in the history of the league, tied with Manchester United, who also won the league with five games remaining, though they did it one calendar day earlier in 2001 – it was a quirk of the TV schedules that meant United played on Sunday this year. And there’s still quite a bit to play for: City can become the record goalscorers in a Premier League season if they score 11 more, and can become the first team to break the 100-point barrier with four out of five more victories – and a draw. Expect another social media celebration if that happens on the final day of the season.

Our Home | Etihad Stadium

Our Time. Our City. Our Home. ????

Posted by Manchester City on Sunday, 15 April 2018

But City weren’t the only ones celebrating, nor was it just their fans either.

Social media allows everyone to get in on the celebrations, and that meant City’s official partners were able to get in on the fun, too. The club itself compiled them all together in a Twitter moment by way of saying thanks for the support, which was a nice gesture.

For new partners as well as older ones. Some made more of a storm than others, and certainly not all could be considered classic efforts….

The most human side of the club, however, is always its players. Players are assets for clubs, but they are also the most relatable part of these massive organisations who are now further removed from their fans as they have ever been. When the opportunity presents itself to put the players front and centre then it should be taken. City did this with a bespoke highlights video for each player, celebrating their contributions as well as giving them a piece of unique content to put out on social media, and then retweeted by the club’s account.

The most touching part of the whole celebration, however, wasn’t anything that could have been planned for. David Silva, who missed a couple of games this season when his son Mateo was born prematurely in December. Since then, it’s been a difficult time for the Spanish international, but he was able to proclaim his third league title as his most special one yet, thanks in part to the support of the club.

Above all else, that puts a title victory into perspective. It might be overstating it a little, but being able to bring fans, players and the club together in celebration, through good times and hard, is a reminder that social media can still be a force for good in the world. But in an off-the-cuff celebration on a day when City surely did not expect to be able to proclaim themselves champions, the Blues were able both entertain and touch their fans on a day of true celebration.

About author

Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 709 posts

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

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