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SBD Global/August 21, 2012/Media

Man City Digital Head Reveals How Club Has Achieved Digital Dominance

Man City Head of Digital Russell Stopford is "leading the charge" in a new campaign focused on using Twitter "as the primary vehicle for capitilising on its success on the pitch," according to John Reynolds of MARKETING MAGAZINE. Over the past year, Man City has used the micro-blogging platform to "host live chats with star players," such as Nigel de Jong. It has also "invited fans to suggest a team talk to club captain Vincent Kompany via Twitter -- an innovation that has, according to Stopford, been copied by other clubs." Stopford said that striker Sergio Aguero has "embraced all things digital." Aguero tweets to his 1.7 million followers in both English and Spanish. In another "pioneering move" late last year, Man City became the first Premier League club to sign a content deal with YouTube. This gave the club "control over its videos on the site and the power to manage the advertising around the content." It now creates more than 100 videos a month for the channel. Stopford said that the club racked up 1,600 FourSquare check-ins during one match last season. It has also teamed up with the sports social TV platform Fanatix, through which fans can have "live conversations with each other while watching a game." Stopford said, "Manchester City is now a digital-first brand. Social media fits with the brand values of the club: transparency and giving the fans something unique." This is "an attitude echoed across the sports marketing industry." Sports digital media blog Digital-Football.com Founder Sean Walsh said, "City's strategy of entertaining rather than marketing has been the crucial difference between the champions and every other Premier League club on social media." (MARKETINGMAGAZINE.co.uk, 8/16).
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