With life slowly getting back to normal in England, Scotland and Wales, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to imagine life stuck indoors. Just weeks ago, many businesses were struggling and little to no money was coming into the economy. The same applies to football, with ‘away days’ being cancelled. Or so we thought.
With games being played behind closed doors since football restarted last June, football clubs, such as Lincoln City, have lost a substantial part of their match day revenue as a result of fans being forced to watch games from home. However, through the English Football League‘s (EFL) iFollow streaming service, social media platforms such as Twitter have drastically aided the financial recovery of clubs during the pandemic.
According to Lincoln City‘s media executive, Charlie Russell, social media is the main way clubs interact with their fans. “Every club probably uses social media as their main communication tool,” says Charlie.
“The days of email and a newsletter to your house are redundant now, they’re basically dead and gone. People want news instantly and everyone has a phone. Having a tool like social media makes content so much easier to get hold of.”
These benefits have also allowed football clubs to promote and communicate information to fans in an easier way than ever before. This is something that has become even more important to people in the last year, where Government restrictions have changed the way fans interact with the clubs they love.
This is where platforms such as iFollow come into play. iFollow is the official streaming service for the EFL – offering fans live video streaming of matches, audio match commentary and behind the scenes content. A platform like this allows fans to follow teams up and down the country from the comfort of their own home.
“We want to please our fans. We want to entertain our fans with content that they can’t get anywhere else,” says Charlie.
“Our media team cover things like press conferences before games and we have some behind-the-scenes stuff that we want to show our fans. The only place you can get it is through us. That’s the beauty of social media.”
“iFollow has been a great way for the club to receive income during the pandemic,” Charlie says.
“By subscribing to it, it helps clubs more than people think.”