With the Football Blogging Awards only one month away, we sat down with Founder, Anthony Cooper to talk about the event.
As founder of the FBAs, did you ever think that the event would be in its eighth year?
It’s incredible to think that in our 8th year we are still achieving record numbers and growing it to be widely recognised as the Oscars of the football content creation industry. When I first started it, my friends and family thought I was joking. I knew this industry would explode and the goals were to recognise and reward the best of the best from the thousands of content creators out there. We’ve had to adapt over the years. In 2012, there weren’t many video creators and the content was mainly written form. This year, more than half of our pool of finalists focus purely on video and their fans consume it for hours on end.
What do you think the success of this event says about creators and influencers today and the power they have in this industry?
I cannot speak on behalf of them, but I do know that there’s a lot of blood, sweat and tears that go into the content they’re producing. Some of the channels that are now synonymous with their fans and the clubs they follow, started their dream from nothing but a love and passion for football. The ones that have been lucky enough to make it a career, huge congrats to them. We hope that we have helped them on their journey, but without the creators and influencers producing content, the Football Blogging Awards would be nothing. We have already had 180M impressions since the finalists were announced with over 250k votes. I think that alone shows the influence, content creators have, but this has been built over years and months.
Can you tell us about how influencers can be recognised and the voting process itself?
When the Football Blogging Awards first started, we were the only awards that recognised fan media. We started out with a mission that it would be the fans who would decide. We still are, but now we also have a judges award so that creators can be recognised from a select panel of leading industry experts and influencers to avoid channels who are supported by the ‘big’ clubs sweeping the awards system. In terms of the recognition for these channels, I believe just to be nominated is a honour but to win an award, I’ve been told, has enabled the channels to catapult their growth and make it a business.
The charity partner is always an important part of the event. Can you explain to us the decision to go with the Bradley Lowry foundation?
Bradley’s story is one that touched the hearts and minds of football fans globally. The foundation was only set up after Bradley sadly passed away and we want to help them in anyway we can. The work they do for kids who don’t receive support needed from the NHS is remarkable and not everyone knows they are raising funds for other children across the country. As well as offering attendees the chance to donate with their tickets, we’ll be hosting a charity raffle for the foundation and passing a percentage of our profits from the whole event to help their cause.
What can participants look forward to this year?
History will be made! We’re hosting the event at the Etihad, the home of the Premier League champions and with the help of our partners, we’ll be putting on a night like no other. With more categories than ever before the room will be packed with 450 creators, who I’m sure will make it a night to remember!