Football Aiming To Increase Engagement Via Online And Mobile Gaming
Football and gaming. Gaming and football. The two go hand in hand these days, as we thunder headlong into an era increasingly dominated by digital engagement. The sports industry has been keen to embrace modern technology, although being innovative in the digital space is actually nothing new for clubs or even the beautiful game itself.
Back in the 1990’s and particularly once the Premier League was launched, various clubs lent their branding to developers who produced official video games. When the iconic Football Manager series was beginning life as Championship Manager, and the FIFA games were still in their infancy, we already had the official Manchester United video game series, along with others featuring the branding of Liverpool and Leeds United.
Branding has always been important in the football business, as clubs and competitions aim to leverage the commercial power of their names. In recent years, that has only increased and will undoubtedly continue to do so during the coming decades, especially as we break through new technological frontiers, bringing new and exciting ways to engage that were never previously thought possible.
Celtic Football Club
As things currently stand, it appears that Celtic Football Club are the only team with their very own video slot game, bearing the same name and released by Blueprint Gaming in 2019. The game itself remains faithful to the most common format for slot games, featuring five reels and a familiar layout, along with multiple bonus options and features to unlock.
What instantly catches the eye about this particular slot is the imagery, including usage of the official club crest, home and away shirts, along with photos of iconic players and historic dates that every Celtic fan will instantly recognise. But considering some of the negative reaction surrounding football ties to gambling in recent years, it’s perhaps quite surprising to that such a famous club has embraced this form of engagement.
Nevertheless, this is why VegasSlotsOnline is a valuable source of reliable information for punters. Their focus is on providing honest and in-depth online casino reviews for UK players, giving readers access to unbiased and unfiltered feedback. All reviewed sites are thoroughly researched, ensuring they are licensed by the UK Gambling Commission (UKGC), fully audited for safety and security, plus the fairness of games is also tested and certified.
Indeed, given there are actually hundreds of themed football slots available, the bigger surprise is perhaps that more clubs haven’t followed the same path as Celtic. Other slots have secured the image rights of certain players, stadium venues, and even league or cup competitions, while themed slot games have also proven to be amongst the most popular.
If one league has pushed hard to leverage its brand recognition, it’s LaLiga in Spain. Already the home to giants of the game including Real Madrid and FC Barcelona, the biggest challenge for LaLiga has inevitably been competing with the English Premier League, which currently boasts the most profitable revenue streams of any domestic league in the world.
However, over the last several years LaLiga has often promoted itself by taking a more pioneering approach, putting itself squarely at the forefront of some of the latest technology. This includes a successful partnership with Microsoft, along with numerous other digital content providers under the banner of LaLiga Tech, ensuring the LaLiga brand remains front and centre at all times.
Fan engagement has become one of the most important activities for LaLiga, as it seeks to keep its brand name familiar with fans and followers all around the world, and in multiple languages. Alongside the customary LaLiga app for mobile devices, there’s LaLiga Sports TV to promote their backing of other sports and athletes, LaLiga Fantasy in partnership with Marca, plus the Head Football game featuring cartoon images of the most famous players.
But one of the most innovative and engaging launches was The Beat Challenge, which is LaLiga’s own unique augmented reality (AR) game, produced in collaboration with PortAventura World and Kosmos. This immersive interactive experience was the first of its kind, as gamers become the protagonists, creating their own avatars and then pitting their skills against legendary players from LaLiga itself.
The Digital Conclusion
Already deeply embedded into the daily lives of billions, the high-speed age of digital engagement and instant access to information is here to stay. While initially viewed with some scepticism and trepidation by many football organisations, those who quickly embraced the new technologies have swiftly reaped the many benefits.
Being able to speak to fans in their own language requires a uniquely different perspective these days, while the importance of being able to connect and communicate with fans cannot be understated. Beyond being adoring fans of our football clubs, they are customers, clients, and consumers, which means they also drive the lifeblood of revenue which keeps the game going.
As times and technologies continue to evolve, football must also keep up with new developments and ideas, always willing to explore innovative new ideas. What has increasingly become the norm for football fans, also needs to be adopted by clubs in order to maintain relevant in the 21st century.
Main Image: JESHOOTS.COM on Unsplash