It’s only nine days until the start of the English Premier League. Other European leagues and tournaments are starting all through August. These are exciting times for any soccer fan. But where is FOX Soccer in all this?
They are busy putting their efforts into rebranding (yet again) another product / service instead of communicating with their fans — i.e. paying customers — on how they are going to provide value to their community.
Our audience comes to FOX Soccer for one thing: to interact with the game they love. They are smart, they want new technologies, they want the best coverage. The re-branding symbolizes our continued commitment to push the limits and evolve with the game in this country.
– David Nathanson, Fox Soccer’s General Manager
The name change means that the iPhone app, iPad app and now web service all feature the same consistent name.
(Source: EPLTalk.com, FOX Renames FOXSoccer.tv to FOX Soccer 2Go)
Just in time for the 2012-13 Premier League season, FOX Soccer will re-launch FOX Soccer Report on August 17, 2012 as FOX Soccer News, the new nightly soccer news round-up show beginning at 10pm ET.
(Source: EPLTalk.com, FOX Soccer Report to Re-Launch As FOX Soccer News On August 17 [Video])
Ok, so they’ve been busy picking new names, new personalities, and I’m sure a bunch of positive stuff that we fans don’t get to see.
But how is this adding value to us as fans? Us paying customers? How are we supposed to be evangelists of FOX Soccer when there is no communication or updates?
Back in June, I asked aloud about their mobile device strategy. I even reached out to David Nathanson and his team for some feedback. While I didn’t speak to Mr. Nathanson (he’s not available for individual bloggers), I spoke with a member of FOX Soccer’s PR & Communication team and he was kind enough to suggest sending him questions that he’d pass along to the team for a response.
On July 10, I sent a list of questions from myself and a handful of readers. The questions were strictly based on FOX Soccer’s mobile strategy.
Since I hadn’t received a response, I followed up on July 18 to see if there was anything I might help with.
On July 19, I received a response that he was traveling:
Let me follow-up to see where we are on this.
It’s August 8. I’ve heard nothing back from FOX Soccer.
And this seems typical.
Do you follow FOX Soccer 2Go’s Twitter account? If so, you’re likely massively disappointed in the amount of communication it provides. As of 7:00AM ET today, here’s the most recent tweet:
— FOX Soccer 2Go (@foxsoccer2go) March 6, 2012
Yes, from March 6 — five months ago!
Perhaps you are a paying customer of FOX Soccer’s iPhone / iPad applications. As of 7:00AM ET yesterday, here’s where we stand with those apps:
FOX Soccer 2Go for iPad
Most recent update? December 10, 2011.
(Think I’m alone in my frustration? Click on either of the images above to read the reviews of like-minded paying customers.)
As soccer fans, our relationship with FOX Soccer is akin to being a contestant on Bachelor Pad (or any other reality TV show): There’s a huge prize at the end, but you’ll have to deal with a lot of fluff and broken promises before getting anywhere near the prize.
So, what should FOX Soccer do?
1. Learn to communicate: Enough with the big press releases and rebrands. Communicate with your fans, your customers, YOUR COMMUNITY. You have a tremendous amount of goodwill that you are burning through tremendously fast. Stop the burning. Start the communicating.
2. Start delivering: Seriously, December 2011 was the last update to your mobile strategy? Nearly 9 months! You can’t put a crap product to market, charge for it, then ignore your paying customers. Start focusing on your customer’s needs and start delivering a product we can use.
I’d love to see this turned around but if the past year is any indication, I’m guessing there isn’t much promise for the future.
Here’s what I’d really like to see.
Apple adding a deal with Ligue 1, adding it as a channel (much like the NBA, Netflix, etc. channels), refining it, then moving into other leagues.
This wouldn’t be good for Android or other mobile platforms. But maybe FOX Soccer could then focus on the non-Apple market in hopes of delivering a product worth using?
Editor’s note: Meanwhile, we’re still waiting to hear about the Android app, which is long overdue, as well as the addition of the FOX Soccer 2Go app on other devices such as Roku, XBOX 360 and PS3, to name just a few.