In a world ruled by social media, clubs are slowly realising that they need to interact with their fans on a regular basis to keep them loyal and increase brand awareness and revenue. Many clubs are now limiting their players abilities to interact with Facebook and Twitter and instead are controlling what messages are sent out themselves. If done correctly, it can bridge the gap between the club and the fans and create a social buzz that can draw in new followers. Liverpool has recently made the headlines after its Director of Communications Jen Chang was exposed by a British newspaper, accused of allegedly harassing a fan who had created a spoof Liverpool Twitter group. Liverpool were left red-faced by the incident and since then managing director Ian Ayre has had to publicly come out and apologize to the fan on Liverpool’s behalf.
One club that does interact with its fans well is Juventus. The Serie A champions, who have also made the headlines for the wrong reasons recently following the suspension of their manager Antonio Conte for 10 months due to match fixing, have embraced social media to its fullest. With close to 4.5million likes on Facebook and 300,000 followers on Twitter, The Old Lady (Juventus nickname) is certainly not showing her age. Celebrating 115 years of the club next year, Juventus recently interacted with its fans on Halloween posting a series of amusing pictures. The pictures contained their players dressed up as their favourite villain or evil movie character. Goalkeeper and club legend Gigi Buffon starred as Freddy Krueger, Italian midfielder Andrea Pirlo was the Joker, and Chilean midfielder Arturo Vidal played Hannibal Lecter.
One character that is sure to send shivers down Alex Ferguson’s spine is that of Darth Maul. The Star Wars villain was recreated by former Manchester United trouble maker Paul Pogba. The French youngster left Old Trafford this summer after refusing to sign a contract extension, enraging Ferguson in the process. Ferguson, not known for his patience, ran out of it early on with Pogba and after his transfer was complete to Juventus stated:
“It’s a bit disappointing because I don’t think he showed us any respect at all. To be honest, if they carry on that way, I’m quite happy that he’s away, from me, anyway.”
Juventus are pleased with their capture and saw glimpses of what he can do as Pogba destroyed Bologna in a 20 minute spell on Wednesday night. Ferguson is hoping that Pogba doesn’t eventually come back to haunt him in the years ahead as Pogba stamps his authority on the Juventus midfield.