The world belongs to millennials more and more each day, and that is fantastic news for social media sites and online advertisers, because millennials love to consume media and they are big online spenders.
But there’s even better news for online media companies such as Dugout – “the world’s first digital platform supported by the biggest football clubs and players”; “Generation Z”, that’s 0-16-year-olds, in case you were wondering, are even more mobile savvy, and mobile dependent, than millennials.
Last year’s Meeker report revealed that whilst millennials can communicate with text whilst also dealing with 2 visual screens at the same time, Generation X prefers to communicate visually at all times and can use up to 5 screens at once.
Nowhere is the trend towards visual services, and online advertising reflected more strongly than in the sports arena. Today’s sports stars and their agents have cottoned onto the fact that visibility sells, and for the modern athlete, it’s common to have a presence across all social media channels, from Facebook, to Snapchat, and, increasingly, across niche sites such as Dugout.
Since launching in February 2015, Dugout has seen more than 8 million users join its platform.
“Dugout was built for football fans across the world – delivering the ultimate place to explore and access the biggest clubs and players on the planet”, says President Elliot Richardson.
The site, which has seen 37 of the world’s biggest football clubs, including AC Milan, Arsenal F.C, Chelsea F.C, F.C Barcelona, F.C Bayern Munich, Real Madrid CF, Manchester City F.C and Juventus, create their own pages on its platform, alongside 100 of the world’s best known footballers, has driven more than 13 million page views since launch.
Identifying that 85% of their audience, who visit the site to view image galleries, vertical video shot by players on their own phones, as well as lifestyle and personal updates, original video series and exclusive content, are accessing the site via mobile, the site has moved quickly to launch its first ever app – “giving football fans unrivalled behind-the-scenes access and exclusive content straight to their mobile and tablet devices.”
The app, available from both the App Store and Google Play, introduces new personalised features, such as the ability for fans to follow particular players and clubs, and an exclusive iMessage Stickers pack which can be layered on top of photos in iMessage or sent via chat.
Dugout works with its partners, which includes football influencers and legends alongside the clubs and individual players, to create high-quality and exclusive content which cannot be viewed anywhere else except via the Dugout platform.
The app is now available in eight different languages, and capitalises on the firms’ research, polling 25 major football countries, which showed that it is not unusual for fans to follow 4.6 clubs on average, and that today’s fans “support” individual players as they move from club to club, growing the fan base and support of the different clubs they play for.
By tying up deals with the football clubs and players themselves to secure exclusive content, Dugout has successfully differentiated itself from football’s big money backers, such as BT Sport, Sky Sports, and sponsors such as Barclays and Etihad, which will doubtless appeal to fans and give the Shoreditch based startup a fighting chance of staying relevant in a highly competitive marketplace, with social media sites, video sharing apps, sports agencies and broadcasters and disruptive tech applications all battling to provide the most up-to-date and relevant content, and for the attention of the star players and clubs.
The site itself benefits from simple yet high quality UX and UI, and impressive rosters of players, such as Real Madrid’s Gareth Bale, FC Bayern’s Rafinha, Paris St Germain’s Edinson Cavani, and Chelsea legend John Terry.
It is not often you see access to exclusive footballer content democratised for the fans in this way.
“The app launch is a huge moment for us”, says Dugout President Richardson, “because we now know most of our users are accessing the platform using their mobile, meaning that we can now give them a bigger, better and more personalised experience – with unparalleled amounts of exclusive and original content, produced by the world’s biggest clubs and players working with Dugout and seen nowhere else, totally free.”