Bristol City’s Twitter – The GIFs that keeps on giving

When it comes to Twitter goal updates, Championship club Bristol City are top of the shots.

To non-football fans, it may be slightly puzzling as to why goal updates are attracting some much attention from so many on Twitter – but it’s City’s originality that is setting them apart from the rest.

At the start of the 2017/18 season, The Robins’ media officer got the players to give a wacky celebration in front of a green screen and used them for their goal updates. Aden Flint’s celebration below attracted over 10,000 retweets.

Brilliant.

Winger Jamie Paterson said to the BBC that’s it showing footballers in a different light and taking the seriousness out the game. And after seeing what he came up with, we have to say we agree.

Incredibly, half a million people saw the tweets on September 16th prompting the club to film a new set of celebrations.

They even went a little bit further by getting the club’s younger fans involved. See below:

As well as these GIFs making news in The BBC, they have also featured in FourFourTwo magazine, The Belfast Telegraph and The Independent. And with interest and retweets rising with every game, it just goes to show that sometimes the simplest and the stupidest ideas are often the best!

The Class of 140 Characters: How Cathy Wood’s workshops are preparing budding footballers

From the Premier League to the National League, Cathy Wood’s social media workshops are showing future footballing stars how to be the best they can be online.

A former triathlete and journalist at the Daily Mail, Cathy started social media workshops in 2008 and has since offered club’s younger players advice at over 100 clubs – including Newcastle United, Aston Villa and Premier League newboys Huddersfield and Brighton. Her background as an athlete and as a reporter helps to create social media workshops for young people and athletes to understand the ways they communicate online.

Cathy’s career as a triathlete ended after a bicycle accident which left her lucky not to be paralysed. Cathy says that this led her to re-think her life and then she decided that she wanted to combine the passion she has for sport with something of value to young athletes.

“Close down any old accounts you no longer use or set up when you were younger. Delete these, don’t deactivate them.”

On setting up her social media workshops, she said: “I wanted to show them how powerful social media can be, when used well, and how damaging it can be when used poorly.

“I suppose I didn’t want a young person to lose the opportunity of competing at a high level because of something stupid they had done online. I don’t think I realised it at the time but, looking back, I think that’s what propelled me.”

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Working with clubs throughout the Football League, she says “We don’t judge people, we help them be the best they can be online. It’s a core value of the company. That and employing other elite athletes to work with me.”

When it comes to social media advice, Cathy listed out a few tips that she gives to young players:

a. Take responsibility for anything and everything you’ve put online. This may mean doing your own social media audit . It will be one of the best things you ever do as you will understand, and see, what others see about you online.
b. Close down any old accounts you no longer use or set up when you were younger. Delete these, don’t deactivate them.
c. Know how social media sites operate. Who are you sharing your information with? Who are your online ‘friends’? Are they really friends?
d. Don’t be afraid to ask for help. If a young player came to us – even if we hadn’t worked with them – we would try and help them or, at least, point them in the right direction.
e. Don’t be too cool for school. Social media is the best free marketing tool you will ever have. If you want to use it then use it well.
f. Young talented athletes/footballers can’t use social media the way their friends can. Accept this difference and embrace it.
g. Social media will only get bigger in the future, not smaller.

And as for how the biggest issue with social media? Cathy says, “The biggest issue I come across is a lack of awareness. The safest player is an educated player and I think we, the adult population, need to do everything we can to help address this issue.”

Thanks to Cathy for discussing her work for us, and for more information you can visit her website at: cathywood.co.uk  or if you wish to email her for any advice:  info@cathywood.co.uk

Football Club Video Campaigns: Lights, camera, reaction!

Whether it be a new shirt or a season ticket deal, clubs need to get their message out to there to the masses.

A press release to the local media is an ideal option and is one which clubs take. However, with clubs often having more social media followers than the local newspapers have daily readers (showing both the growth in social media and the decline of the print media industry), it provides a huge scope for releasing news.

While a simple social media update and a post on the club website will suffice, some clubs like to go one further through video campaigns.

This is because videos have the potential to be shared and talked about, however sometimes they are not always talked about for the best reasons.

Below are just some video campaigns from football clubs that Inside The Game will review the success – or lack of…

Woody’s Got A New Bird
Described by The Mirror as one of “the worst football advert[s] ever”, Middlesbrough’s advert for their upcoming season ticket deadline certainly got people talking.

Jonathan Woodgate, of scoring an own goal and getting sent off on his Real Madrid debut fame, is quizzed by his Boro teammates George Friend and Ben Gibson over his “new bird”. Woodgate then tells them of the Boro Early Bird deal where they can save money on buying a club season ticket early and is then presented his season ticket from his “new bird” – a hawk (see what they did there?) – before walking off into the distance with the message “Woody & Early Bird 4eva”.

The video was picked up by the Daily Mail who weren’t too complimentary describing the video as “bizarre”, before adding “All this to say you could save yourself £65 if you buy an early bird Middlesbrough season card. A simple poster would have done the same job.” Maybe so but a simple poster wouldn’t have got the coverage that Woody’s Got A New Bird did, so is the joke instead on the Daily Mail who unbeknowingly advertised Middlesbrough’s season ticket campaign for free? We’d say so.

The Evening Gazette, Middlesbrough’s local paper, also reported on the video which shows that the campaign did reach its target audience – but the fact that the video was deleted from Middlesbrough’s YouTube channel may tell you that the club weren’t too happy with the reaction…

You can view the video: here

Vote for Carolyn
Carolyn Radford, Mansfield Town’s CEO, has an impressive CV. She has a politics degree from Durham University, she’s also a qualified lawyer, the youngest chief executive in the Football League and one of only five women in an executive position among the 92 league clubs. So, why shouldn’t she apply for a seat on the FA Council?

Instead of releasing a statement listing her credentials, she produced a tongue-in-cheek video campaign. It was a song parodying JFK’s presidential campaign video that was only intended to be seen by representatives at 72 EFL clubs. The video was then leaked to the press and ended up going viral.

The BBC, SkySports, The Telegraph, The Daily Mail and many other media outlets reported on the video and were all left slightly nonplussed about the campaign. This led to Carolyn doing the right move PR-wise by contacting clubs and the media with her side of the story via a statement. She told The Guardian that the whole experience was “quite mean-spirited” and it was completely “tongue-in-cheek”, “intended to be funny”, as well as adding that “I just wanted to show how old and stuffy the process had got. The other candidates just sent a sheet of paper saying: ‘I trust I can count on you to reelect me’.”

While Carolyn thought outside the box and did everything correct publicity wise, she didn’t get voted onto the FA council. Perhaps next time just sending out a sheet of paper saying ‘I trust I can count on you to elect me’ will do…

If you wish to listen to Carolyn’s warbling below; well it’s up to you, it’s up to you, it’s strictly up to you:

Come To Pools
Have you heard the one about the monkey dancing around a pub pretending to the Go Compare man? No? Well, in that case, you can’t be a supporter of Hartlepool United.

Hartlepool were planning on selling season tickets for £100 – providing they sold 5,000 season tickets. There were adverts all over the town, the local paper and regular updates online but one got more media attention than the rest:

A low budget video had club mascot H’Angus singing about the season ticket offer to the tune of the Go Compare theme around a local pub. The video made headlines in the Daily Mirror, Talksport and the Hartlepool Mail.

The video attracted over 35,000 views and the club went onto sell over 5,300 season tickets – a club record. Although we can’t say for sure if all of them had the song stuck in their head for as along as we did, we can describe the video campaign as a success.

So, as shown from the examples above, a video campaign is a fantastic way to get your deal talked about providing you think outside of the box. However, if this is something you’re opting for, then please ensure you have thick skin…