With the massive expansion in interest of the platform of the moment, Pinterest, it has been a matter of time until football clubs (and sports in general) start to jump on board.
For those who may not be familiar with the platform, it describes itself as a virtual pinboard which allows you to create boards of things you find anywhere on the internet. You can also browse boards created by other people, discover new things and get inspired by others.
Just over a year ago Pinterest had only 10,000 users. With massive coverage in tech and lifestyle blogs that number surged to 11.7m by January this year.
The first football club to see the opportunities being offered was Italian club AS Roma. They have added a range of boards covering historic iconic photography, official club videos, merchandise and every cover from their official club programme (which is pretty cool).
Liverpool and Man City have shown over the last couple of years that they are the ones that like to be the first onto a new tech. We have seen much from Man City recently with the great work of their digital team coming to life (and have now launched their own Pinterest page).
Liverpool has come back into the game with their recent Tumblr page, The Reds Gallery. Another great venture showcasing some of the most iconic photographs from the club’s history, enabling those pics to then be bought via links to commerce.
18th March saw Liverpool launch their foray onto Pinterest with an official account (pinterest.com/officiallfc). They have started up 14 boards covering:
• LFC Flags & Banners
• Retro LFC Merchandise
• LFC Videos
• His Name is Saurez
• LFC Cakes
• Liverpool Legends
• LFC: The Greatest Fans in…
• LFC Kits
• LFC Programme Covers
• Dream Team: LFC’s Best…
• Ladies LFC Fashion
• Famous Celebrity LFC fans
• LFC Fan Art
• LFC Babywear and Accessories
As you can see, there are some similarities between Liverpool’s boards and those of AS Roma. But both know that there is certain content they have which is highly pinnable. The club said about the move;
“With Pinterest we’re again focusing on fantastic images to share with fans but unlike The Reds Gallery on Tumblr, which is a much more traditional and linear photo blog, we’re using Pinterest in the way it was originally designed – as an online scrapbook and pinboard where we share photos of the people, places and items that either inspire us, make us proud or make us laugh.
We’re also using our different themed LFC Boards on Pinterest to bring some of the club’s history and passion to a new audience for the 21st century. With so much choice on the internet, we recognise that today’s young and new fans may not have time to read reams and reams of text about Liverpool’s glorious past, present and future and that’s why we’re always looking for new ways to interact with supporters online. Whether you’ve been attending matches for years, live in a far, foreign land or are just beginning your love affair with Liverpool, we aim to have something that captures your imagination.”
For some of the boards it will be interesting to see if the club manage to drive revenue. With areas such as Ladies Fashion, Babywear and Retro Merchandise there are distinct possibilities to be exploited. Businesses have reported more traffic being driven through to commerce by Pinterest than the likes of Twitter and Facebook deliver.
But does this just create another platform that needs to be managed and drive people away after spending so much time building up fans on Facebook? Well not necessarily.
Making the experience seamless is possible by adding a Pinterest tab, enabling fans to pin content without ever having to leave the Facebook platform. It has been said that this link again can lead to an increase of revenue through to commerce, as many of the pins are of products from the main website.
you either are the sole and exclusive owner of all Member Content that you make available through the Site, Application and Services or you have all rights, licenses, consents and releases that are necessary to grant to Cold Brew Labs the rights in such Member Content…
and perhaps more worryingly for clubs, brands, media owners and governing bodies is potentially what is being given away in terms of rights;
By making available any Member Content through the Site, Application or Services, you hereby grant to Cold Brew Labs a worldwide, irrevocable, perpetual, non-exclusive, transferable, royalty-free license, with the right to sublicense, to use, copy, adapt, modify, distribute, license, sell, transfer, publicly display, publicly perform, transmit, stream, broadcast, access, view, and otherwise exploit such Member Content…
There have not been any cases so far of this being done but it will certainly be enough for many legal teams to push back on marketing departments with concerns. And this seems to bear out in the number of clubs/brands who have taken up using the platform. Many are still wary and waiting to see how others do first.
Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Tumblr, LinkedIn, Pinterest … when does it become too much and when will we see a more strategic approach as to what platforms to use, for what and when?
In the meantime, we will all be watching Pinterest with interest!
Dan (@danielmclaren) has over 10 years of experience in the UK sports industry. He joined the leading social media agency We Are Social in September 2011 where he is Senior Account Manager on the adidas global account. He previously worked at media agency Carat as the adidas UK Social Media Lead and was responsible for launching the @adidasUK twitter account. Dan is a frequent writer and commentator on Social Media and Digital Technology within the sports industry through his blog The UK Sports Network
The views of our regular columnists are independent, and as such do not represent those of Leaders in Digital Sport.
THIS MONTH’S ARTICLES:
PHIL LINES (LAGARDERE UNLIMITED): FIFA TV – FAR FETCHED OR FAST FORWARD?
RICHARD AYERS (MANCHESTER CITY FC): TOWARDS DATATAINMENT
JULIAN GOODE (ECB): DON’T PANIC IN DIGITAL SPACE
JOSH ROBINSON (SPORTS REVOLUTION): SOCIALLY-SUPERCHARGING THE CONNECTED STADIUM