Dortmund is exactly what a football club should be about. It belongs to its fans by being a club and not a business. I remember the statement from Jürgen Klopp in his last message to the fans: “Every single person who works for BVB is also a fan of the club. I don’t know if that’s the case everywhere but it is here. They do everything wholeheartedly and they’re the best at what they do”.
Starting to follow the Bundesliga, I have noticed the same. Passion coming from Dortmund is enormous. Passion like that is one of the things that makes football so great.
It was a hard and heart breaking season. During winter, BVB was in the relegation zone, Klopp left the club, but the “yellow wall” support was even stronger, like never before. With an average of 80,424 spectators, BVB has the highest average attendance in Europe.
For me, BVB is a social media leader in Germany. Their accounts are more associated with fans than any others. Seems like there is no plan and only one rule: “tweet passion”.
As Peter Flore, man behind the twitter account said: “Our live coverage starts around two hours before the game. With no script, there is no real plan, just before or during the game, but that’s the best way to show emotions,” Peter explains. “You can’t script a football game, so why try to script your coverage of it?”
Responsible for this social media success is David Görges, the Head of New Media with his team. We asked him a few questions about their work. Enjoy!
Is BVB happy with the efficiency of conversion marketing, converting fans (who are really fanatic and loyal) into customers?
Borussia Dortmund’s overarching objective is to reach as many people as possible in the most individual and intensive way. In this endeavour we have written an unparalleled success story in our club history – Four finals, including the Champions League final in Wembley, in the past four years, have led to a great reach and incredible growth on all our digital channels. Furthermore, we continue to see our fans as fans and not just customers, even when they buy club merchandise. We must say that we are more than satisfied with the numbers over the recent years. Nevertheless, we still see areas that need improvement in the future.
I have noticed that BVB has only one Twitter account, writing both in German and English. Is having one Twitter account (without the account in Japanese for example) a spontaneous decision or targeted marketing strategy?
When we started with Twitter back in 2011, it was initially just for our German followers. Then, as we saw how our international fanbase was growing, we posted our content in both English and German. With the strong focus on the Asian market, we’ve also started to post Japanese content. Therefore the decision wasn’t spontaneous, but has grown organically. We are currently thinking about different channels, but the best solution would be that Twitter allows the clubs to post targeted content on one channel.
People going crazy after public training today 😜🇯🇵 // Unglaubliche Szenen nach dem öffentlichen Training #asiatour pic.twitter.com/kAdVifxE8S
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) July 6, 2015
Marco Reus has finished training for today 😜 🇯🇵 #asiatour https://t.co/fQCIJTQBYA — Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) July 6, 2015
Does BVB have plans to act globally or act on some specific markets like North America? Do Bundesliga clubs have power to reach “exotic” football markets like Premier League clubs?
We do believe that our story is worth being told – even in “exotic” football markets. We see a strong interest for Borussia Dortmund in the Asian region, which we have defined as one of our target markets. It is no coincidence that we are travelling to Asia from the 5th to the 11th of July with the entire team. We will have two matches there. First match is in Tokyo, on the 7th of July against Kawasaki Frontale and the second match is in Johor, Bahru, on the 9th of July against the Johor Southern Tigers. We will give our fans vivid and authentic insights throughout the tour on all our digital channels: our website (English, Japanese and German), our App, Twitter and Facebook. The official hashtag will be #asiatour.
Is there someone reading all your Twitter “mentions” and tweets, because we have noticed that BVB is really active in retweeting their fans and communicating with them. We are sure that there is more than 10 000 mentions every day, and there will be for sure more.
I don’t think it is possible to read every single tweet especially when we talk about international match days. With Peter Flore (New Media editor at Borussia Dortmund) we have someone who is really at home in the digital world and gives you the feeling that we never miss anything important on our digital platforms. There is a lot of fans giving us positive feedback, as they feel that our approach of sharing and interacting on the social platforms is quite unique, in this form, compared to other clubs.
@kinah_ishak They truly are 😉
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) July 6, 2015
@bvb2014hk No, unfortunately in that respect, we don’t train on match days. — Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) July 6, 2015
@BVB_ROM Happy Birthday!
— Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) July 6, 2015
@uosmevoyez Yes, please check: http://t.co/pRxEgwtHKK — Borussia Dortmund (@BVB) July 6, 2015
Do players have some guidelines for communication on Social Media. Is players personal communication with fans important for you, and do you also handle it?
First of all it is important for us to have authentic players with authentic content on social media platforms as this fits our core competences. Therefore, we don’t give too many rules. We have strong personal contact and relationship with our players and their agencies when difficulties do occur. At the end, all communication channels are private channels of our players.
Is digital activity of BVB an important factor for German sponsors? Does it influence their decision to sign a sponsorship deal with BVB?
The digital channels are very important for our sponsors as they have the possibility to bring their content into a highly emotional environment and reach much more people than on their own channels. We have several partners who have a strong focus on our digital activities and for whom these channels are the key factor in becoming our sponsors.
As an app developer and loyal user, I am delighted with the new BVB-App. Are you satisfied with the success until now? Which factor distinguishes the BVB-App from thousands of other fan apps?
So far we have had 1.5 million downloads and we are really satisfied with its development. Apart from the special mode during the Asian tour, we will first start to provide English content by the end of this year. It means we still have a lot of potential in this area. The unique thing about our app is the “matchday mode” which we launched together with our stadium WiFi. It gives our fans an opportunity to choose how they want to experience the match day: “on TV or listening to the radio”, “at the stadium” or “on the road”. They can get all the information they need, from morning until evening.
What is the next big thing or next step in football and sports marketing?
This is a broad field. In terms of digital, I think one thing will become even more important in the future: The Internet of things. People already have their devices and they are capable of a lot of things which haven’t been used yet. The task for football clubs will be to offer an infrastructure which will grant their fans with the best possible experience. We started with a huge and complex WiFi infrastructure together with our partners HUAWEI and Unitymedia. This is the first step which helps us develop even better services.
At the end something off-topic! You are also following dietary trends, I have seen a veggie stand in Signal Iduna Park last time I was there. Can you comment more about this theme?
This is not my area of expertise, but as in the digital world the overarching objective is to reach people as more individually as possible. Therefore we also have a veggie stand at our stadium.