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The Champions League & Social Media – A ‘Match’ Made in Heaven

The UEFA Champions League is the biggest domestic football tournament in the world. 32 of the best teams across Europe’s top leagues battle it out to win the most coveted prize in club football. In the 2017/18 season, there are just two teams remaining left in the tournament; Real Madrid and Liverpool.

Of course, there is a financial benefit to winning the tournament. Last year’s winners, Real Madrid, pocketed a whopping €89.5 million, as well as the historic Champions League trophy. However, that winners fee pales in comparison to what football fans across Europe regard as the real prize… the honour of screaming “Champions of Europe, we know what we are” at the top of their voices for the duration of next season.

But there is far more than just football involved in the Champions League. The tournament has been masterfully marketed to its audience across an array of different platforms through the use of social media.

The tournament is now a huge social media experience as high quality live video features have added a personal level of fan interaction and reaction to the events, something that has never been seen before in world football.

Last years final was regarded as one of the most socially broadcast sporting events in history, with television providers BT Sport partnering up with YouTube and Snapchat Live Story to stream the event around the World, free of charge. Facebook was able to post a live series of interactive coverage and interviews prior, during and after the match itself. Twitter was also in on the act as they shared immediate action footage and exclusive videos throughout the duration of the event with over 20 active hashtags allowing fans to join in the conversation. The official UEFA Champions League Twitter page has a following of 21.5 million and the BT Sport Twitter page has over 500,000 followers.

The concept of social live streaming of football matches has started a whole new conversation, with football fans across the world now having the ability to interact with one another on social platforms whilst watching the event in real time. The opportunity then enables brands to ‘piggyback’ on the conversation to promote offers and increase engagement.

Paddy Power are a great example of this as they create humorous, witty posts based on the event itself and subsequently expose themselves to a vast audience to build the brand awareness.

The mass exposure of the Champions League across social media platforms has reached a whole new younger generation who are now able to view the prestigious event more easily than ever before. BT Sport have also managed to retain its slightly older audience who continue to view the game on the traditional television format.

John Petter, chief executive of BT Consumer has said that he would like to make BT the “most social sports broadcaster ever” and there is no better way to fulfil that ambition than to use the biggest club football tournament in the world.

The ability for users to get exclusive, free content through social media has made the UEFA Champions League arguably the most socially interactive sporting event in the world. This is likely to be reinforced this Saturday when Liverpool take on holders Real Madrid in the final. Coverage from the NSC Olimpiyskiy stadium in Kyiv begins at 18:00 for what is sure to be a modern-day classic.

You can view the final live on YouTube free of charge by visiting BT Sports page here