Home Penny blacks What is football trying to sell us next?

What is football trying to sell us next?



One of these days I’ll figure out what exactly an NFT is and how to acquire one. It will be too late, of course. I’ll be Joe Kennedy’s shoe shine, putting every penny in Ethereum just as the chain hangs or whatever.

It is arguably already too late, now the crypto world has set its sights on the people traditionally most easily separated from their money: football fans.

Things appear to have escalated on this digital collectible front as the Premier League was away for a few days, taking stock.

Man City signed a mysterious deal, then put it on hold when they seemed struggling to figure out who they signed it with. And Paul Pogba, eager to convince Graeme Souness that he is focusing on a return to fitness, is touting something called crypto dragons. We look forward to Keano’s analysis in this market. Do me a favor!

There are plenty of other examples. So it’s probably fair to say that football is gearing up to give punters another ‘opportunity’ to show their support. Opted for another way to “drive engagement” with brands.

And it’s coming at the right time, for football, this new way of selling air, with a little more regulation probably one day on the betting industries where it has done quite well.

Some of us are still dealing with, as they say, the straightforward lesson in how football works recently given by Manchester United chief media officer Phil Lynch.

The interview, with the Diffusion time podcast, particularly drew attention to Phil’s revelation that United “shoot twice a day fan sentiment graphics for each of our players.”

He clarified, “We have certain thresholds that alert us when we see fan sentiment going one way. When that happens, we start working with the player and their team individually to try and counter that narrative a bit. “

We could imagine Harry Maguire, after another shock, becoming completely Kendall Roy from Succession to his personal “team”: “I might need you to take my cultural temperature. Stick the socio-political thermometer in the ass of the nation. Just give me the metadata.

And after counting the thumbs down and biting the hashtags, maybe Harry’s folks had the idea of ​​covering their ears after scoring against Albania.

I guess we knew, deep down, this was happening. But it was still a revelation, because it confirmed that there are algorithms, linking social networks, ready to sound an alarm when Fred misplaces one too many pass and punters get annoyed.

In a way, it could fill us all with a huge sense of empowerment, of being seen, as they say. And heard.

No wonder, in this environment where every voice counts, exiled thought leader Richard Keys can’t be sure he’s responsible for the Norwich dismissal. He certainly couldn’t rule it out, in a high profile blog this week, which also urged Marcus Rashford to “stop there” with the starving kids helping.

“Glad I tried a fortnight ago …” Keysy wrote. “I’m not saying I’m the reason they fired Danial (sic) Farke, but isn’t it funny how the sporting director and the owners panic when they’re under pressure?”

We’re all Keysys now. And football presumably monitors fan sentiment index 24/7/365, whether they hire Stevie G, bring back Dani Alves, or tell us ketchup is no longer on the canteen menu.

And yet, on another level, it would appear that there is a fundamental lack of respect for fan sentiment in the idea that these are just figs that can be reversed with a little massage of the narrative.

While we can all feel for Fred or Harry Maguire in these scenarios, I guess we assumed that the priority might be for them to try to stop straying passes or making blunders, if possible, rather than embark on a campaign to persuade punters their opinions are all wrong.

“In a lot of cases it’s just emotion,” Phil Lynch said, from a fan perspective. And emotion is something that professionals know how to handle. With “content”.

Sadly, people have now started to question the authenticity of some of this content, especially the constant stream of social media apologies from United after each new disaster. And that may not be ideal for Phil and his Premier League brethren, who specialize in ‘building reach through authentic storytelling’.

But there was a lot more interesting things about Phil, including one key detail that may have opened his eyes early in life to the true potential of changing people’s opinions.

“I grew up as an Arsenal fan, but in the mid-90s, like many people around the world, I became a Manchester United fan.”

He now says United’s gigantic fan base is divided, in the databases, into “seven cohorts” – from “die-hard fans to the occasional neutral fan who could support three or four other clubs”. No matter which cohort you belong to, the color of your money is the same. And emotion sometimes has its place.

“We have to warm up the public. You have to make the emotional connection with them. They have to understand the story. And then over time there will be sales opportunities. But it is not about that.

No, it’s not about that. And United are one of the few clubs not to “monetize” their social media accounts. But there is also a longer game to play.

“As we start to have that relationship, we get more and more data from it and we can start bringing you specific content that you like and it becomes this self-fulfilling loop. “

And so you feel like we could give more than we get from football, filling in the fan sentiment cues. We’re putting the thermometer in our own ass and no doubt our metadata will soon be put to good use in this new arena of digital collectibles.

Enemy of the state of rugby

One nation once again. Rugby Country is reborn. There was a feeling there, for a while, that we were in the final stages of the rugby era, between one thing and another. But he’s coming back from the brink. The All Blacks still beaten. Ireland full of friendly fire.

There is no doubt that new hashtags are being created as we speak.

We’re back at our best, inventing new and inventive ways to describe a boy dragged to the ground. It was moving to listen to Bernard Jackman on against the head, a man returned to the height of his powers: “Our kick escort was amazing and our ability to create a glove.”

Sadly, this proud way of life is forever threatened nowadays and of course a familiar foe of the state of rugby has resurfaced, making grave threats.

Eddie Jones threatens to field players in positions other than those indicated by the numbers on their backs.

Worse, he was entirely provocative towards the ThisIsNotSoccer squad by advocating the use of team numbers. Although he called it “the basketball system”, not to go overboard.

Yet this man must be considered as a danger to the values ​​of rugby as the one who first stopped putting the middle initials on the team sheets.

Heroes and Villains


Roger Lemerre: Do you remember Roger, blundering winner of Euro 2000 with France? And back in the hot seat at 80, in charge of the Tunisian side of Etoile Sahel.

Templederry Kenyons: Séamus Ó Riain Cup winners and suppliers – I hear reliable reports from Templederry NS – of the one type of cryptocurrency worth spending for a young hurling fan: a homework pass for a full week.


Rassie Erasmus: Could probably use up the little cooling time, as long as he didn’t spend it making videos.

No cricket: Azeem Rafiq painted a rather horrific picture of the discrimination he suffered during his career: “You had people who were blatantly racist and you had passers-by.”