Not too long ago, AS Roma had only a brochureware flash site, meaning they didn’t even have an official club website. Roma have won Seria A three times, first in 1941-42 then in 1982-83 and again in 2000-01, as well as winning nine Coppa Italia titles and two Supercopa Italiana titles and are one of the top clubs in Italy, and to think that they did not have an effective social media presence is astounding.
However, after Shergul Arshad arrived in 2011 as their new Director of Digital Business, Roma quickly became pioneers in social media. Roma immediately rewamped their online presence starting with their brand new interactive website.
With their home games currently played at the Stadiao Olympicao, a venue with a capacity of over 72,000, it is the second largest of its kind in Italy, and to serve an audience of such size, the club needed to adapt to new age digital media solutions for effective connection with its fans.
Not a lot of clubs had realised the real worth of using social media in order to engage with their fans, but Roma decided to tap into its potential. Within six months of Arshad’s arrival, the club had set up its official website, an e-commerce site, and had joined various social networking sits such as Facebook, Twitter, Tumblr and the likes.
Integrating Sports and Music
Roma decided that it was important for them to use social media networks that would generally not make sense at all for a club to join, When Dani Osvaldo, who is very passionate about his music, was at the club, they decided to roll out their player-created iTunes playlists. Osvaldo, of course, was the first to make a playlist. If you visit their website right now, you can find playlists created by people like Alessandro Florenzi, Francesco Totti, CEO Mark Pannes, and Arshad himself.
Roma was the first club to start using Pinterest. The club’s boards on the site contain important photographs from their history, images of all club players, official club videos, and covers from their official club program. Not only this, but they have also dedicated boards for fan photographs and videos in order to make the fans feel important.
Corporate Branding on LinkedIn
Roma was also the first European club to use LinkedIn. They are perhaps using LinkedIn as a way to market their more corporate products – for instance, premium seats, corporate hospitality packages and even attracting new sponsors. LinkedIn is the fourth most popular social network in Italy, and Roma understandably are making the most of it.
Arshad may not be with the club anymore, but he was definitely responsible for making AS Roma a revolutionary in football social media.
They may not be the most popular football club in the world, but a lot of clubs have taken them as an example to follow. Just by analysing their Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Instagram, Pinterest, LinkedIn, Tumblr accounts you will understand that AS ROMA truly is a club with cross platform social media presence.