Wake up football….
Booming revenues from TV rights, overseas commercial partnerships and obscene ticket prices mean that clubs feel they no longer need to listen. Fans are increasingly seen as a source of revenue, not a valuable asset and the life blood of the sport.
More and more, fans’ voices are noticed by their clubs less and less.
That’s a mistake. Football clubs command a kind of loyalty that no other brand is able to. Fans travel all over the world to see their teams play. They pay for season tickets. They live and breathe their club.
But some go even further. They write and blog, they create videos and podcasts, they engage on social media. They’re content creators, but first and foremost they’re fans. Most importantly, they aren’t celebrated nearly enough.
Aside from the time and effort these people give up for their clubs as fans, they go even further than that to provide their fellow supporters with content. During the 90 minutes and beyond they are tapping into what we, as fans ourselves, want to see – and when we want to see it. They are trusted by their fellow fans because of their insights, their quality content and their engaging personalities.
They provide us with entertainment, opinion and commitment often for little or no cash in return.
But the results they reap are huge. The level of engagement they garner is something that football clubs and mainstream media outlets all crave. Clubs measure the engagement their fans give them in the form of likes and shares on social media only to sell that number to potential sponsors in order to generate more income. They are either too arrogant or too set in their ways to embrace fan-led media, despite the engagement it brings and the quality of content it produces. Some get it, but they are the exception rather than the rule!
At Snack Media, we have championed fan and personality-led media for years, helping creators monetise their efforts. The Snack Media network is at the coalface of fan-led media, supporting creators and facilitating their work.
With the explosion of this type of consumption, we have long felt these creators, keyboard warriors and superfans need a form of recognition in the football world. Mainstream media and pundits have failed. We at Snack Media, with other like-minded companies (COPA 90, Ball Street, G.O.A.T to name a few) have celebrated, amplified and worked with these creators.
This isn’t just about one style of content creation, either. Arsenal Fan TV, 442oons, Spencer FC and countless other YouTubers and Instagrammers create video content, written opinion and audio around football, gaming and fan culture. Bloggers and writers give their opinions in written words and influence opinion. Others do it in the form of podcasts. There are social media influencers, illustrators… anyone with an opinion and a means of expressing it.
Enter “The Football Blogging Awards”, this is one practical way Snack Media intend to support and reward these blossoming independent fan creators. Founded by Anthony Cooper in 2012, the FBAs is a platform for creators to be recognised by their peers. It is a recognition of what they achieve throughout the season and beyond.
It is a celebration of fan creators.
Who are increasingly important in giving fans a voice.
Especially in a world where growing revenues from media rights, ticket prices and overseas sponsorships mean the voices of fans are struggling to cut through the noise more than ever.
We can all see the growing scale of fan-led media, but this SHOULD go much further with long lasting, deep relationships with brands and content producers equally important for both.
Fans themselves have been voting with their browsers for years.
The alumni of FBA winners since the inaugural awards in 2012 reach nearly 57m fans on social media alone: that is, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and YouTube. This is a huge number, and only takes in the winners of the awards themselves. It doesn’t even factor in nominees or the fans of the creators who don’t follow on social but consume online. These fans still enjoy their work on a weekly basis, we would estimate this reach to be well over 10 fold of the followers across each Premier League season.
Independent, online creators are trusted, respected and speak for their fellow fans.
So, I hear you all ask, who is the 7th biggest “club” on social media?
If the past winners of the FBAs were a football club, they’d be the seventh biggest in the world: with more social media fans than Liverpool, Juventus or Paris Saint-Germain, and just behind Bayern Munich and Arsenal. Only Barcelona, Real Madrid, Man United and Chelsea beat their reach in the digital marketplace.
It’s time we celebrated that properly.
Snack Media are working with the founders of the FBAs to celebrate and reward the best football content creators in the world. To find out more, please contact Niall Coen directly or the Snack Media team – Snack-media.com or visit https://www.footballbloggingawards.co.uk/ for more information.