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Volume 6 No. 211
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President Of Dugout Believes Social Media Platform Is Beginning To Take Off

When it launched last November, Dugout "turned heads," with "high-profile clubs" such as Man City, Liverpool, Paris St. Germain, Barcelona and AC Milan among its initial investors, according to Thomas Hobbs of MARKETING WEEK. The idea behind Dugout "is to bring fans access to the world of football beyond the matches." Its founder clubs "are also shareholders in the business," with Dugout having an in-house production team that works directly at places such as the Camp Nou and Etihad Stadium to "produce a regular stream of original content." Dugout President Matthew Baxter said that the platform "has gained 69.2 million users since launch and achieved 151.5 million page views." He believes the brand "is finally starting to take off." He said, "Obviously we don't have the rights to show the matches, but it isn't our aim to challenge Sky Sports or Jeff Stelling. Dugout is for everything outside of a match, it's a behind-the-scenes look at players in their houses, at the training grounds, talking nutrition." Dugout "has already worked with brands such as Hilton Hotels on a web page takeover" and video series called "City Files," where players from clubs such as PSG and Barcelona talk viewers "through the best places to visit in their respective cities." It "also makes money through offering extensive programmatic advertising" -- it owns its own "programmatic stack" -- and direct sales. Baxter said that people "support, on average, 4.6 football clubs" and he believes Dugout can stand out among advertisers as it "provides a distraction-less experience for football fans looking to interact with multiple clubs." It is "fair to say" that Dugout's women's football content does not "quite match the level of the men's." Baxter admitted the company is "talking to more women's leagues -- there are currently only two women's teams on the platform." He claims women's football will be "front and center" of the growth agenda in '18 (MARKETING WEEK, 12/14).