Manchester City offers the best digital experience for football fans in Europe, across all online channels according to new research released by digital research consultancy, Lumivo. The benchmark new study compared 11 European club websites and apps from big names including Barcelona, Real Madrid and Juventus.
Manchester City not only scored top for their overall fan experience via digital channels, but also excelled in rewarding fan loyalty.
Lumivo set out to evaluate the impact of the digital experience on fan engagement to determine the commercial effectiveness of clubs via digital channels. The study considered factors such as the user experience, ease of purchasing, and technical performance. In total, over 2100 football fans participated in the study, and gave their feedback on the online experience they’ve received when interacting with their club’s website or mobile app.
An average of 179 fans shared their experiences of Arsenal, Chelsea, Liverpool, Manchester United, Manchester City, Tottenham, Paris St Germain, Juventus, Bayern Munich, Barcelona, and Real Madrid to build a European-wide league.
As part of the research Lumivo focused on five core criteria: fan engagement, likelihood to purchase membership/tickets, likelihood to visit digital channels, brand appeal, and content appeal.
While Manchester City were found to offer the best all-round experience, Real Madrid was considered to publish the most engaging content, while Tottenham Hotspur’s matchday centre was found to deliver one of the highest rated match day experiences thanks to the use of in-game statistics displayed through the club’s app.
Jack Billinge, Lumivo Research Consultant, said, “Traditionally, being a football fan has been a highly face-to-face activity. But as the world becomes more digital, and as fans are increasingly turning to the web to enhance their in-person experience, it’s becoming crucial that clubs can deliver consistency across every channel.
“As researchers, we were very interested to uncover whether or not that was the case. Our findings show that there are significant differences in how clubs are embracing digitalisation, and the impact their digital adoption is having on their fans”.
Interestingly, the research by Lumivo uncovered a notable discrepancy between the expectations of European fans and American audiences, suggesting that sports clubs in the United States are leaving teams across the pond lagging. Having obtained feedback from an additional sample of US-based fans, Lumivo concludes that American audiences are disappointed with certain aspects of the online experience offered by European clubs, particularly in relation to the availability of in depth sporting statistics.
A common feature of US sports sites for the NFL, NBA, and MLB is the addition of diverse game statistics. This is something notably lacking on European football club websites, and a key driver of the unsatisfactory online experience for American soccer fans.
“Sports teams across the UK and Europe must be willing to adapt, embrace digitalisation, and focus on creating better, more powerful online experiences for their fans,” Jack Billinge added. “With fewer than half of participants stating that they’d be happy to share club content with their own followers through social media, more must be done to engage with football fans in the online space.”
To find out more about Lumivo’s research, visit www.Lumivo.com