Is Manchester City’s pain Etihad’s gain?

It is no surprise that football clubs get increased social media engagement as they become more successful on the pitch, amongst both supporting and opposing fans. What can be surprising to clubs is the extent to which opposing fans can contribute to their online engagement. SnapRapid understands that successful clubs get valuable engagement from the passion of opposing fans, and this increases the more successful they are, which is why we track pixels rather than tags used by supporters. The recent shock victory of Liverpool over Manchester City at the Etihad Stadium was certainly no exception.

Liverpool’s thrashing of Manchester City at their home stadium not only lead to Liverpool fans’ boasting about the team’s improved performance under Jurgen Klopp, but social media conversations included plenty of derision aimed at the Premier League title favourites. Raheem Sterling in particular was the focus from many fans of his former club, as well as other fans delighting in the result. An image of Sterling looking deflated was highly shared on social media and inspired many Photoshopped memes regarding the victory of his former club.

Whilst Manchester City and Sterling might have been smarting, club sponsor Etihad could celebrate the increased engagement it received amongst fans delighting in City’s loss. Posts featuring Sterling accounted for 25 per cent of potential impressions for Etihad after the match. Whilst brands sponsor successful clubs largely to be associated with victories on the pitch, there is a real potential value in the engagement from opposing fans that traditional social media tracking misses. SnapRapid’s visual technology, on the other hand, is able to capture this value and demonstrate its importance.

As clubs become more successful, it might seem more lonely at the top, as Manchester City and Raheem Sterling might be feeling. However, sponsors must understand the value added from engagement amongst opposing fans by incorporating this passion into their brand exposure tracking.

EtihadLiverpoolManchester CityRaheem Sterlingsocial media

Russell Glenister • 27th November 2015

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