How Football Clubs are entering the world of TikTok

By Thomas Painter

The world of TikTok is quickly becoming one of the biggest opportunities for brands to advertise to a wider, younger audience around the globe. Over the past few years TikTok has seen record breaking growth as a platform, and currently has over one billion active users worldwide. Football clubs have very recently seen the huge opportunity that comes with promoting themselves on the platform.

The incentive for marketers to use TikTok is the freedom to display creative skills and collaborations amongst young audiences, and it allows organisations to create more enjoyable content to promote their products or services. TikTok is a huge opportunity for football clubs because it’s a fertile and unexplored land, as stated by Lazzi (2021). In addition, its management is very cost efficient, due to its endless potential of the social network. Smaller clubs can have the freedom of posting a wider variety of content styles to see what works, as the larger clubs have a higher reputation to keep, therefore the content they create should have more limitations to follow their brand image.

If you’re a football fan and a user of TikTok then you must have stumbled across an FC Zenit video that has blown up with the use of its comedic approach to creating content. This type of content means that they are able to engage with all football fans no matter which team they support, because their account is revolved around creating ‘memes’ about other clubs and players, which appeals to more than an account that only posts videos about their own club, as it limits their audience to fans of their club alone. Their 169 million likes put them above European giants such as Chelsea, Arsenal, Spurs & Bayern. The RPL leaders post humorous content that football fans that don’t support Zenit will still be engaged by, as they take digs at other clubs that rival fans will appreciate and engage with.

The most followed football account on TikTok is PSG who have over 36 million followers and more than 510 million likes, as they get to create content on arguably the best three footballers in the world in Mbappe, Neymar, and none other than Lionel Messi. After winning his first World Cup in December 2022, Messi is arguably the greatest football player of all time, although he hasn’t got his own TikTok account, so young fans get their daily dose by following the PSG page, which could explain how successful their page is.

Other large clubs such as Barcelona, Real Madrid and Manchester City have made large followings from posting training clips and game goals and highlights, which is limiting them to fans of the club and audiences that watch the league they participate in, although they’re holding a much more professional reputation that their own fans could appreciate more than to more comedic approach of some smaller clubs.

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