Why sport social media? The answer is simple; a larger and a quantifiable monetization stream. The most widely adopted business model for any sports entity is built on increasing the number of engaging fans, and make money out of it. The more fans they have, the more lucrative the sponsorship deals are. Therefore, when social media mania hit us, it was no surprise that Football clubs started to use social media to quantify their fans, and monetize.
Early this year, we’ve pin-pointed a gap & an opportunity for Chelsea FC in the Middle East market and especially after the transfer of the Egyptian player Mohamed Salah. Chelsea FC were quick to react and capitalize on the opportunity that was presented to them after the bombardment of its Social Media assets by comments of enthusiastic Egyptian fans eager to see their starlet to feature with such a prestigious club in Europe.
We have been following Chelsea FC building their case study in Middle East, attempting to identify their how they are building their fan base that later would become a very lucrative revenue stream. Chelsea started simply by introducing a Facebook page for their Arab Speaking community that was around 1.5 Million at the time presented by Mohamed Salah himself in a Video for the Arabic speaking fans. They shared Localized global digital content, in what we’d like to call ‘glocalization’, simply by translating their existing content they already shared on their global page, gaining more affinity amongst their new fans.
1- Launch of the Arabic Chelsea Facebook Page
The second stage was building digital content only for their Arab fans, it started by a unique celebration of Mohamed Salah, the only available Arab player in Chelsea FC, by sending out their greetings and complied some of these greetings in a visual post that ended out with one of highest interactions. More than 20,000 likes with 473 shares of the post.
2- Seasonal Greetings
After its proven success Chelsea FC made sure not to miss one single relevant occasion without a proper greeting. It started with the Holy month of Ramadan, Fitr & Adha Feast, as well as Hijri New Year, generating huge buzz, and creating outstanding rapport between the club and the community. Many news portals shared Chelsea FC’s greetings adding to that buzz.
3- Blues Info-graphics
Following that, it was important for Chelsea FC to make this page about Chelsea FC rather than Mohamed Salah, so they decided to introduce the club history, achievements and statistics in an interactive and engaging infographics.
HYG, The Full Chelsea FC Social Media Case Study in the Middle East
Chelsea Wins Egypt
Numbers for the Arab fans on Chelsea Page more than doubled since the introduction of Chelsea FC’s Arab Facebook page last February reaching around 3.5 Million fans. About 2.5 millions of them are Egyptians, this encouraged the Egyptian telecom giant ‘Mobinil’ to sign a partnership deal with the blues to become its official mobile service provider in Egypt.
Chelsea improved their ranking in Egypt from 3rd to 1st (Jan – Dec) 2014 Egypt ranking has been improved from 7th to 2nd (Jan – Dec) 2014
Chelsea FC showed us exactly how to do it right, how to build, nurture, engage and monetize a community using social media. We believe that our market will witness more competition in that area, and we will be in for more interesting cases to follow.
Update 20th of Jan, 2015
Chelsea & Mobinil’s First Commercial Activity
Capitalizing on their recent partnership, now any mobinil customer can get a chance to attend Chelsea VS PSG in the UEFA Champions League, just send “9” in SMS to “1111”.
Screenshot from mobinil Facebook page