Sometimes we pick soccer teams. Sometimes soccer teams pick us. But no matter how you came to support your favorite Premier League club, consider this for a second: What if you were reborn and you had to pick a different team than the one you support now? Who would you switch your allegiances to and why?
As a child in Wales, the nearest professional team to me was Swansea City, which was 23 miles from my house. When a close friend of mine and his father took me to a game in 1979, it was love at first sight and I’ve supported the team ever since.
But if I was reborn and had to choose all over again, I would pick Manchester City. Not because of all of the money the club has and the players they’ve bought (and will buy this summer). But it’s because they play an attractive style of football, they understand marketing and, perhaps most importantly of all for me, they’re early adopters of technology (which is my second love, after soccer).
Take a look at Manchester City’s website and you’ll see how technologically advanced they are. Not only does the club have the best website in the Premier League, by far, but consider the following:
- they were one of the first Premier League clubs to set up an official Facebook page, which they actively update,
- They created a site called My First City Game, which encourages City supporters to share their stories of the first City game they ever attended,
- Their Be Part Of It website features an interactive map around the world where you can find your nearest City supporter, as well as add your name to the map,
- Manchester City has their own FourSquare page and encourages supporters to check in at games at the City of Manchester Stadium; In the past, they’ve even had promotions where if you check in using FourSquare during one of the games, you were eligible to receive a free T-shirt,
- MCFC has an active Twitter page, which they update daily,
- On their official Flickr page, Man City has more than 1,440 photos (again, this is updated quite often),
- Last but not least, Manchester City and Umbro have joined together to allow City supporters to pick the songs that are played on the PA before each game.
At the end of the day, City understands technology but, better yet, they understand how it can be used to attract new supporters, get them more involved in the club and keep them as loyal supporters. It’s got nothing to do with the football they play on the pitch. But it’s got everything to do with feeling like you’re part of a community.