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Manchester City set Premier League first with Twitter initiative

Fri 3rd Feb 2012 | IT & Technology

Manchester City has agreed a partnership with American company Mass Relevance that will see it become the first Barclays Premier League club to harness Twitter to enhance fans’ matchday experience.

The agreement with the Austin-based social curation technology firm will see the introduction of new social initiatives for City fans attending and watching matches during the remainder of this season. Following successful trial integrations during matches against Newcastle United and Norwich City in 2011, the club plans to expand these initiatives throughout the year.  

City’s social enhancements include the use of Twitter to engage and entertain fans who tune into the TV broadcasts at City Square, a dedicated fan area near the club’s shop. The club also integrates real-time fan Tweets on Etihad Stadium’s video boards, big screens and other stadium distribution channels. The initiatives are powered by Mass Relevance’s social engagement platform that allows the club to instantly aggregate, curate and deliver the best fan content into stadium displays, TV broadcasts and its official website, mcfc.co.uk.

“At City we have always believed that home games at the Etihad Stadium are not just exclusive to the 47,000 fans in the stands,” said Richard Ayers, digital playmaker for Manchester City. “They are an opportunity for City supporters from around the world to connect with one another and feel part of the match day experience. Mass Relevance enables us to empower our fans and add a new dimension to our pre-match build up by being able to broadcast their Tweets in real time around the stadium big screens. This partnership continues our strategy of innovating with digital media in order to give fans more access to the club – to increase engagement and improve their experience.”

December’s match against Norwich saw the club utilise Mass Relevance to deliver social content on match day screens throughout the stadium and create dialogue with and between fans, pundits and announcers before and after the game, utilising the hashtag #blueview. The strategy resulted in more than 1,500 #blueview Tweets in just six hours from more than 965 unique Twitter authors, providing the club with message and brand reach of nearly 400,000 Twitter users and nearly 2.5 million impressions.

Mass Relevance CEO, Sam Decker, added: “Football fans are some of the most dedicated – and vocal – fans on the planet and real-time social content continues to play a key role in enhancing the experience whether you are at the match, watching on TV or following on your mobile device. We’re very excited to work with Manchester City to kick off a new era of fan engagement and momentum moving into the 2012 season.”

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