World’s biggest football clubs partner with new social network ‘Dugout’

Ambitious digital platform with 50-50 advertising revenue model aims to reach 3.5 billion football fans around the world.

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Dugout

A new social media network aims to give some of the world’s biggest football clubs the platform to create exclusive content in return for a share of advertising revenue.

UK firm Dugout has signed up 27 clubs including Barcelona, Bayern Munich, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain, as well as recruiting a number of players and influencers.

Each club, player and influencer has a dedicated profile page on which they can upload content they have created, such as training ground clips and player interviews. Some of this content will be available exclusively on the platform 24 hours before other networks such as Facebook and Twitter.

Dugout surveyed 24,000 football fans worldwide and found that the average fan followed 4.6 clubs on social media. There was also a tendency, particularly in China, to support individual players. The new platform will give people the choice of which clubs, players or influencers they follow.

Elliot Richardson, co-founder of Dugout, said: “A combination of factors – from the explosion of international TV rights to the rise of social media – have provided Dugout with an unprecedented opportunity to reach the estimated 3.5 billion football fans across the world.”

Revenue model

According to Kate Burns, executive vice president of Dugout, the free-to-use site will generate revenue primarily through advertising, which will be split 50-50 with their partners.

“Dugout offers brands a cutting-edge approach to advertising – harnessing the latest innovations to deliver maximum impact and working with key partners like AOL and Rubicon Project to place programmatic technology at the core of our model,” said Burns.

“Dugout has been built to engage and attract millennials from across the globe and we know this is a critical audience for our advertisers to reach – it’s a great match. Dugout has already secured a number of media partners, including Allianz and Coca-Cola as part of a Mediacom partnership, and BetVictor, with more to follow.”

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