When Football Teams Can't Play, They Can Still Play...
It’s an unprecedented series of events going on in the world right now and who would ever have expected to see sport all but cancelled for the foreseeable future?
Well that’s the reality at the moment but we’ve been truly uplifted to see some of the creative alternative matches that have been going on in the social media sphere.
Here’s a brief round-up of a few of the great examples of keeping positive and keeping engaged with fans that we’ve seen. There’s no reason why sports teams can’t continue to do more of this, even once the seasons are once again up and running.
Noughts & Crosses
As Southampton were scheduled to play Norwich at the weekend, they very playfully challenged their opponents to a game of Twitter noughts and crosses instead:
Hey, @NorwichCityFC! 👋
We might as well have a game of something! Your move… pic.twitter.com/QPTYqkSy3U
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) March 14, 2020
After a few attempts to entice a game, and no response, Manchester City jumped at the open spot and so the game began.
An intriguing tactical battle comes to an end.
After a few attempts to entice a game, and no response, Manchester City jumped at the open spot and so the game was on.
One point please, @premierleague… https://t.co/atgMlEwdii pic.twitter.com/EqsVLajTfE
— Southampton FC (@SouthamptonFC) March 14, 2020
After the game ended in a 0-0 draw, the visitors commented: “Decent point on the road in the circumstances. Always here if you fancy a rematch! Take care, guys!”
Rock, paper, scissors
Manchester City were at it again, and this time on the radio, with a City fan taking on a Burnley fan at rock, paper, scissors. It was a better result for them this time as City bagged a 2-0 win.
Football Manager was the video game of choice for a Watford vs Leicester tie, with the game ending in a 1-1 draw.
Leyton Orient also took on their opponents, Bradford City, providing full coverage of the match in a live blog, for which Football Manager congratulated them.
FIFA 20 Tournament (ongoing…)
After their success with the online battle at the weekend, Orient have set up an online FIFA 20 tournament, for which they sought 63 other teams to set up the knockout competition. The incredible response has meant the competition has been extended to 128 participants, with a host of teams from the English leagues signing up as well as teams from other European countries.
🚨 SAY HELLO TO YOUR CONTENDERS!
Here is the full list of 128 teams competing in the #UltimateQuaranTeam Cup!
🏴🏴🇮🇪🏴🇹🇷🇺🇸🇫🇷🇳🇱🇬🇷🇦🇺 🇦🇹🇵🇹🇪🇸🇮🇹 🇩🇰 🇧🇪
The draw will take place on *Wednesday* now – more info to follow.
Who’s do you make as the favourite then? 🤔
— Leyton Orient (@leytonorientfc) March 16, 2020
What started as something to fill a void has now turned into a real chance to help struggling clubs. The JustGiving page has been set up and is being promoted alongside the tournament to raise money for clubs that are going to feel the impact of the postponement of the game a little too much.
👏 It’s been amazing to see everyone’s involvement so far in the tournament!
This started small, but we have the chance to create a real difference for two great charities, and EFL clubs on the brink of survival.
Read more: https://t.co/ygoi3G8KAA
— Leyton Orient (@leytonorientfc) March 17, 2020
Hull and Bundesliga club Bayer Leverkusen took their head to head to a game of Connect Four on Twitter where Hull thrashed their German opponents 4-0. Bristol City also took on Willem II, a Dutch team playing in Eredivisie and also managed 4-0 win.
Again, we noticed this from Manchester City, but are sure others have done the same – under #CityGoalJukebox they encouraged followers to request their favourite goals and promised to dig out as many of them as they could.
Games, games, games
With spot the ball, spot the difference, quizzes and polls all being classic mainstays of sports magazines, there’s plenty of room for these to be taking over clubs’ digital channels.
Match Attax, the popular card trading game, is played in many a household and YouTube freestyle stars, Jezza and Billy of F2, are well-known for trying out their tekkers to hit giant, target versions of the cards to choose their team. They’ve enlisted Manchester United’s Jesse Lingard and Marcus Rashford before, so perhaps now it’s over to the clubs to show us what their players have really got…from their own back gardens of course!
Once again, we saw some great, simple examples from Manchester City including their colour-in and re-post the screen shot of Aguero that went down very well, especially with younger fans.
Clubs have usually got an extensive back catalogue of highlights and video greats that they can share. This could be the perfect time to encourage more subscriptions to get the best of this content while there is a real hole in many fans’ lives right now. Enabling voting to be involved adds that element of engagement that fans will enjoy all the more.
Football Magazine Mundial did this in their magazine-style by setting up #MundialNightFootball and posting an entire football match, this time it was a classic tie between Italy and France
0′ | 🇮🇹 Italy 0-0 France 🇫🇷
The game kicks off, and within 38 seconds Fabio Cannavaro has tried to remove Henry’s jaw from his face with a big, big off-the ball shoulder.
Commentator says it is a pure accident. It is not a pure accident.#ITAFRA#MUNDIALNightFootball
— MUNDIAL (@MundialMag) March 16, 2020
It’s unfortunate that it’s taken a situation as extreme as the postponing of worldwide football, but some of the ideas that have come out of it can carry on when the games restart.
We hope to see the FIFA Ultimate Quaranteam tournament be both entertaining and a source of much needed funds raised. Maybe there is scope for it to become a more regular thing? We hope so.
Well done to all the clubs that are staying positive and doing what they can to get their fans through this rather surreal period of time.