Digital Media Cafe Blog – Featuring Southampton FC, Manchester United, Gary Lineker, Vine and Liverpool FC – David Granger

September 24, 2014

Hello and welcome to this week’s Digital Café Blog. In this edition we’re going to take a look at the Twitter fall-out from a major Premier League upset, how the internet of everything is now coming to stadia and how soccer is dominating the six-second Vine experience.

Wearable Technology: Your Band

We begin with a Premier League club’s first foray into the internet of everything. The internet of everything? Well it’s when technology and hardware uses the internet to – in theory – make our lives easier. The most obvious recent example in has been wearables like the Google Glass or Apple watch. Well Southampton FC has taken this on board and partnered up with Barclaycard to produce the bPay band as a cash-less way for fans to pay for anything costing under £20 within St Mary’s stadium. Of course, the Southampton connection is just one outlet where these can be used, there are 300,000 terminals across the UK where these operate including Starbucks and McDonald’s. And while Southampton has always been one of the more progressive clubs in terms of digital innovation, the adoption of the bPay may arguably be more beneficial to the club in terms of generating headlines and marketing data than the fans themselves. Although, to be fair fans using the band will be able to use dedicated ‘contactless bPay lanes’ on match day to beat the hot dog queues inside the stadium.

Twitter Trouble: Not So United

Manchester United’s defeat at the hands of Leicester City at the weekend had a lot of fall-out both for United’s new manager and on social media as well. It seems the Foxes faithful weren’t the only ones to enjoy the 5-3 victory. BBC commentator Gary Lineker and former Manchester City striker Mario Ballotelli both took to Twitter to express their surprise (Lineker) and their pleasure (Ballotelli) at the result. Both found themselves in the news, Lineker because he used language not safe for work, which annoyed several UK newspaper journalists (it really isn’t becoming of a man from the BBC) and Ballotelli became the target of racist abuse. The latter is unforgiveable, and is now a criminal matter. The Lineker saga was swiftly resolved, and, as the former Leicester City player said if he can’t swear when Leicester come from two goals down to beat Man United 5-3, then he never can.

Vine Countdown: Liverpool’s Loops


One marketing website has been charting the Vines of the week and six of the top ten have been sports-related. The Drum’s Brand Vine Chart highlights which Vines create by global brands have seen the largest shift in loops, or plays each week. Top of the charts this week was one of sports top social media performers Liverpool Football Club. The English Premier League side Liverpool had an increase of more than 54% to 3,359,858 loops, after it released its most recent Vine which shifted between each of its player profile pictures. This beat US racing series Nascar into second place, following an increase of 42.56 per cent with 108,104,299 loops. Also in the top ten were Manchester City, the NBA, Lakers and ESPN.

Having spent eight seasons in Formula One managing the digital channels for world champions Red Bull Racing, David Granger now runs Fact 51, a social and digital content agency.

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