Manchester United launched a ground breaking partnership and marketing activation with Google+. The Red Devils will offer a select group of international fans the opportunity to participate in the first ever Google+ Hangout on the pitch-side boards at Old Trafford.
Clubs are always looking for meaningful ways to engage fans and keep them closer to the club or brand. Manchester United came up with a brilliant idea: Offer international fans stadium front row virtual seats at Old Trafford.
The “front row” campaign is a one-of-a-kind fan experience. Not only the Red Devils utilize Google cutting edge technology, but they interact with their millions of fans around the globe.
The “Front Row” campaign will launch with United’s match against Liverpool at Old Trafford on March 16th according to the team’s website:
United fans will have the opportunity to cheer on the team, appearing via live Google+ Hangout – the free, multi-person video call feature – on Old Trafford’s pioneering pitchside digital hoardings.
Throughout the match, Front Row supporters will be able to share in the magic of being at Old Trafford, joining 75,000 ticket holders and fellow Front Row participants the world over.
Fan experience during match days has considerably improved. It is hardly possible to name all fan experiences football clubs provide, but that of Manchester United is not only unique, but features a fundamental global experience.
Global clubs litterally interact with their international audience when they go on summer tours to the US, Middle East or Asia. Now, Manchester United brought their audience to Old Trafford, almost physically.
In an article on FC Business, Manchester United’s group director Richard Arnold was quoted saying:
Working with Google we are giving the chance for some of our 659 million followers around the globe to have a unique opportunity to be pitchside at one of the biggest games in world football.
Fans will appear on LED board in place of sponsors advertising. To be featured on the front row is a free of charge service, so it might sound odd that the Red Devils sit on advertising revenue, although we do not know the financial agreement between the club and Google+. It’s interesting though that fans engagement have overtaken revenue concerns.