Three key questions ahead of the new Premier League season

It’s the shortest break since 1966, but less than a month since Hugo Lloris lifted the World Cup trophy aloft in Moscow, he and all other Premier League players are back in the saddle as a new season starts this weekend.

There’s really very little need to hype up the start of a new season, but it doesn’t feel as though there has been much respite this summer.

That being said, new seasons bring new approaches, and plenty of organisations who are involved in sport will have been planning for this for quite some time. We’ll see fresh takes, innovations and the continuation of old favourites over the course of the year. But what should we be looking out for?

Here at Digital Sport, we’ve picked out three things to watch ahead of the imminent Premier League season.

How will clubs continue to engage with their fans?

Last summer’s transfer window felt like a fever dream as clubs spiralled out of control to try their hand at creating the most off-the-wall transfer videos. By the end we were left gasping for the window to end.

But it did show us one thing: that many clubs are now willing to take social media seriously as a place to engage with their fans, but at the same time not too seriously that it becomes a dull place for the promotion of press releases or other club business.

This summer, most Premier League clubs seem to have hit more of a sweet spot, creating engaging content but in an understated way. Let’s see how that develops throughout the season, now that the transfer window is already done and dusted.

How will the broadcasters rise to the threat of live-streaming platforms?

Next year, Amazon will enter into the fold, and this summer we’ve seen Eleven Sports snap up a portfolio of rights. Over the last year or so we’ve also how dynamic social media video can be a game changer when it comes to how fans consume sport.

So how do broadcasters react? Sky and BT Sport have been living through a period of change, and the transition now between linear TV channels and over-the-top distribution methods appears to be taking place. The big broadcasters will need to be part of that change, rather than fight against it. This year – before Amazon gets its hands on some of the games – might tell us a lot about their approach.

How will brands get involved?

At the start of this summer’s World Cup, brands seemed to be giving the tournament a light touch. Perhaps spooked by the political climate or misgivings about FIFA as an organisation, there appeared to be fewer big activations than usual.

By the end that looked like a missed opportunity as the world embraced the competition and in England in particular tens of millions dropped what they were doing to watch.

Will brands get caught short in the same way during this Premier League season? Or will we see some trying to make up for lost time?

About author

Chris McMullan
Chris McMullan 731 posts

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

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