AS Roma captain Francesco Totti celebrated his goal against Lazio in the derby by taking a selfie in front of the giallorossi fans. With this move, he started a hype on social media around the world, and people started to post comments on hashtag #TottiSelfie.
According to Sean Foley, who runs the club’s digital and social activities, Totti had come up with the idea for a special celebration should he score a goal in the city derby against local Serie A rival Lazio.
From there, the plan was simple: Plant an iPhone with goalkeepers coach Guido Nanni, who would be easy for Totti to find should he delivers a score.
WHY IS THIS GREAT MOVE?
Because of this, the whole world is talking about Francesco Totti and AS Roma. This raises high brand awareness for the club and the player; he will sell his current and new products (with ‘selfie’) to the people all around the world.
The goal was Totti’s 11th career goal in the city derby, bringing him one step closer to tying the record in Roma and Lazio’s heated rivalry.
ROMA DIGITAL REVOLUTION
Roma digital and marketing revolution started with new owner and president, James Pallotta.
Pallotta’s immediate priorities are: Making AS Roma more efficient and nimble in the world where soccer fans increasingly interact with and read about their favorite teams and players online.
“Unless you get into the 21st century in terms of a stadium, social media, branding, sponsorships, all that stuff, you’re never going to compete at those top levels. You’re just not,” Pallotta told Sports Illustrated in 2013.
They focused themselves more on content (unique for fans), new media, and closer integration of the club’s media operations with its players and coaches.
Totti’s selfie was not quite that unique. Last July, Dom Dwyerof of Sporting Kansas City (MLS) grabbed a phone from a nearby photographer and snapped a selfie of himself as well. Maybe Totti didn’t know about it, but it’s likely that he saw Dom and his selfie.
Why? Because the whole USA talked about it, and the president of AS Roma is from USA… and AS Roma made big efforts to become a modern club. Just connect the dots…
— Sporting Kansas City (@SportingKC) July 6, 2014
WHAT CAN BE EXPECTED NEXT?
Players and people surrounding sports must learn how important is to be on social media. AS Roma and Manchester City were the first to show this to us.
In my example, I saw great transformation of AS Roma. They are a ‘fan friendly’ club. They have great online presentation and digital communication, and they educate players and staff about and for online communication.
This selfie was club’s idea (I believe in that 99%). They knew that they will get great publicity all over the world, and this means new sponsorship deals and fans.
Now, we can expect other players and clubs to do something similar, but not the same. This is a good recipe for success and presence in mainstream and social media.
Another interesting thing will be social media training for players. It’s important, and this example shows you why. If you don’t do it, one mistake can cause a huge problem to the player and/or the club. Just look at what happened to Mario Balotelli…
If you want social media education or advice for your club or player, contact us here.
Photo: AS Roma (Facebook gallery)