A football product price comparison start-up is targeting ‘cord-cutters’ after launching a digital content division in Manchester’s Sharp Project.
FOOTY.COM is headquartered in Durham and is looking to capitalise on World Cup fever with a new Club Footy show on its YouTube channel.
The show’s presenters include professional football freestyler Oliver Hayes, the football shirt-obsessed Phil Delves and Steven McInerney, who set up his own Manchester City fan channel – Esteemed Kompany – which boasts 20,000 subscribers.
They will discuss hot topics at the tournament, which begins today, with guests, while also discussing the shirts, boots and other equipment on display in Russia.
“The way to reach the next generations is through YouTube,” head of digital Ayshea Elliott told BusinessCloud. “It’s amazing the number of people who sit and watch these videos. Kids aren’t watching TV any more, they’re watching YouTube – so you’ve got to embrace new media in order to reach them.”
The first show aired this week – you can watch it below.
We reported recently how the BBC is to screen 33 World Cup matches in virtual reality.
Elliott joined FOOTY.COM, which was founded in 2014, in January. She is leading the drive to attract audiences to its website through video, photographic, written and social content.
Drawing a comparison with cult 90s football show Fantasy Football League – hosted by David Baddiel and Frank Skinner – Elliott, 40, said: “If Fantasy Football League was set up today it’d be on YouTube without a doubt. It’s a totally different world to the one I grew up in.
“It’s exciting because you can reach out of talk to the next generations in their language. Steven’s fans talk to him as if they know him – you can really get to know the presenters personally.”
The business started as football-obsessed director Chris Nixon spotted a gap in the market for a price-comparison service specifically designed for football products.
The site scours around 50 retailers to find the best prices on football merchandise and other products such as trainers – its best-seller – and football video games.
“The company was built with a crack team of developers who’ve created an intelligent back-end which compares prices in a way others can’t,” Elliott explained.
“We need to start raising brand awareness of FOOTY.COM and getting it out there to the general public because people don’t know we exist.
“We’re also just starting to do some paid social media advertising this month so we’re investing in that area too.”
The new show will air three or four times a week during the World Cup then be produced on a weekly basis during the next football season.
Elliott said the move to Manchester was based on the city offering both the talent and the facilities for the business to expand and develop.
“We felt strongly that Manchester was a city bursting with digital marketing talent and the city’s long and illustrious footballing heritage and passion meant it was the perfect base for our digital team,” she said.
“The Sharp Project just felt right from the moment we walked in, we loved the community vibe here and the opportunities to capture great images and video within cool surroundings.”