Often Partisan

Blues and Social Media

Blues have continued their recent trend of increasing supporter/player interaction with the second “day” on social media offering chats with a player amongst a slew of photos and interview questions designed to inform and entertain the fans. Jonathan Spector was the second player to be given the hotseat following the success of Chris Burke’s day the week prior.

As someone who has been a user of social media on the internet before it was even called social media, I’ve been fascinated by the way Birmingham City have embraced it in the last year or two and how it has grown from updates on Twitter and Facebook to encompass apps like Pinterest, Foursquare and Instagram. Under the stewardship of Andy Walker, the club have taken on the changing face of the internet head on and have looked to counter the negativity surrounding the ownership of the club by emphasising the positives.

Whilst I can appreciate that the older generation of fans may well not be on the internet let alone social media, I think it is to be applauded how the club have improved their communication over the last couple of years. We’re not in a time when players will drink in the same bars as fans and mix with them on a social basis; thus there has to be some sort of link between the two to help ensure that there remains a connection between supporter and player. Twitter in particular has allowed the players to talk to fans on a wide basis without having to give away too much personal information which has meant instead of bland updates we’re now treated to a more human and less formal approach – for example, Wade Elliott taking the jokes about his hairstyle on the chin by running a competition to win hair care products and Chris Burke offering to play words with friends with a fan.

I’ve also noticed of late that the club have done a lot more about promoting the Academy; something (although it may be a little hopeful of me to say it) that I feel partially responsible for as I have been pushing them to do more on the development squad and academy for some time. The “Blue Kid on the Block” series has introduced the new generation of younger players to the fans and with the club being more reliant on its academy than ever it means that possibly the club get a head start on promoting the next big thing.

I’ve talked a lot about how I think Blues (and football clubs in general) need to adapt their financial models to succeed but I think it’ important to emphasise the things that the club gets right also. It’s my hope that these sorts of things are helping re-engage some of the fans who maybe have walked a way a little from the club and maybe, just maybe will encourage them to feel part of the club again. That could only be a good thing for the future and maybe it would help push forwards the rebirth of the club.

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61 Responses to “Blues and Social Media”

  • Lee says:

    Can’t see it myself, particularly in view of the fact that most of our players cost nothing of are on loan so are Infact shite, this type of thing would work well at larger clubs with world class players but then most if them don’t do it as they’re above all that, it’s a gimmick nothing more, the reality is everyone is just hanging around waiting for china man to go so hopefully we sign some half decent players, that aren’t free, loans, journey men or overpaid lazy under performing shite just creaming a last couple of years out the club on 60k a week

  • Shane says:

    I think Andy Walker Sarah Gould and Alex Stockham (I think that’s her set name sorry Alex) deserve a huge amount of credit for the crap we all give em at times but also the fact they are the Human face of BCFC on the Internet they also have a bit of banter and prove that as a football club the vast majority of the people who work for us (I can only think of one acting chairman who isn’t) are the same as our fans THE BEST and we should be proud of them

  • Mark1875 says:

    When it starts hitting the fan all this social media noncy stuff goes quiet. It means nothing just a marketing tool. Something the club are embracing to divert attention away from real news

  • I totaly agree with your comments Dan. The people at St Andrews do a propper work with social medio out to us supporters. It has over the last year or two shown big improment. It so importent when we are in diffucult times to look what we (club/supporters) can improve and one off the most importent is to get supporters/club closer. And with quality work (like media) and other departments people understand its not only black clouds around our club. Suggestion from supporters, like Blues Trust has also been taken more serious. Let`s get behind the club and hopefully the Carson Yeung saga will end soon or later. We are Birmingham City FC, and the club is noting without us! KRO

  • Ali Duncan says:

    I think it works because the vast majority of Blues fans live in Birmingham or Warwickshire and therefore live and work in the same area as the players. This way they can relate to them more as, even if just for a season or two, they’re one of them. I think Blues can tap into this more and increase community buy-in. IMO players must seem a little more distant if say Van Persie is tweeting about football / life in Machester to the millions in China / India / London etc

  • Blueboy 88 says:

    i dont care about Wade Elliott’s hair style & even less about which hair products he uses.
    Talk about dumming down…!!

    What we care about is Birmingham City winning football matches…these players can do all their talking on the pitch…..on a platform & in a language every football supporter understands most..

    • Cleggy says:

      Dumming down? What an absurd thing to say. This is football we’re talking about here not politics. How cynical do you have to be to resent genuine friendly interaction between footballer and fan? Lighten up for goodness sake…

    • Northern Exile says:

      What is he dumbing down by running a contest to win hair products? Interacting with footballers was hardly an intellectual pursuit prior to the advent of hair gel…

  • Dan says:

    Particularly as a Bluenose in Germany I am quite delighted with the good job BCFC are doing on the internet. Most of the time Twitter, Facebook et al are my only source to whatever happens around the club. All that is missing now for me is a way of watching full games on the net, but I guess that is a dream that’ll take a while.

  • Frankie says:

    In the NEW spirit of ‘openess’, just one question …

    Where is Pannu ?
    On over 20k, plus a week plus fat expenses .. what does he do for that money ?

    comment edited – moderate your language

    • almajir says:

      a) He’s not on that much plus expenses.

      b) No idea. Not seen him here if it helps.

      • Frankie says:

        Hmmm the word ‘disgsuting’ is seen as obscene is it ?
        I’d call Pannu’s salary obscene to be honest, which is a word rarely used in context.
        Also surprised that this ‘man of mystery’ makes you privvy to his P60 documentation.
        You are privileged indeed !

        • almajir says:

          Frankie.

          It could be seen as defamatory, and I’m erring on the side of caution. As website owner I have that prerogative.

          I don’t have access to his p60 documentation but I can do simple maths and read accounts. His wages according to the accounts were 687k per annum (13.5k per week) inclusive rather than exclusive of expenses – contrary to your previous comment.

          • Frankie says:

            If we accept THAT figure, its still pretty shameful for someone who brings NOWT to the party.
            In fact if is was 13k a year we would still have reason to challenge it.

  • Bradley says:

    I think this can only be positive for the fans and the club, I’m in an industry where social media has been taken very seriously in the last couple of years, I’ve worked with people who have been within the network of social media for some of the biggest clubs, Liverpool & Utd, and trust me, it’s the way things are going.

    Cooling some of the negative vibes is definitely not a bad thing

  • Agent McLeish says:

    I’m sure all this media stuff is great for the type of person that like watching Xfactor and Big Brother and reading OK magazine. It reminds me of a thing Smash Hits magazine used to do with pop starts asking them what their fav food was etc. Personally I don’t care who in the club has a dodgy hairstyle or who farts the most all I care is what they do on the pitch (at all levels), let the football do the talking.

    • Cleggy says:

      Who knew this comments page is made up of such miserable patronising curmudgeons. Having an interest in the team and players as a whole does not make one stupid or effete as your horrid post seems to imply…

      • Northern Exile says:

        2 minutes ahead of me on both counts – maybe I should get to the point quicker!

      • StaffsBlue says:

        It’s a known fact that, over the last 20-25 years, the gap between players and the fans has grown increasingly wider. As OP said, gone are the days when you could have a pint in the same local as the players (i.e Kenny Burns in The Broadway, circa 1969/70) or breakfast in a local cafe with a player (i.e John Rudge of the Villa, circa 1967/68) I think anything that can bridge that gap, at least to some extent, isn’t a bad thing. I don’t really understand why anyone could see a bad side to it.

    • Northern Exile says:

      I appreciate we might all look like insects to someone sitting up in their ivory tower, but I don’t think there’s anything wrong or fatuous about taking an interest in the people representing your club on the pitch as just that – people. Fair enough if you just want to focus on what goes on for 90 minutes or so on the pitch. You don’t have to read the players’ twitter feeds if you’re too busy listening to Radio 4 current affairs comedy and reading Kafka in the original German.

      • DoctorD says:

        Actually given the contorted and incomprehensible shenanigans of the BIHL saga, readking Kafka in the original German AND Wade Elliot’s hair-styling tips on Twitter is probably a VERY good thing indeed. In fact, I think I’m going to try it.

  • TonyEvansPerm says:

    Theres a great crop of U13’s as well. Despite of a 14-2 pasting at Arsenal the gems really do auger well for the future – my one to watch is Jay Ward.

  • chas says:

    Just a tad off topic, but this is interesting.
    http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/football/23703265

    • Ali Duncan says:

      Nasty piece of work. I know so many do it but it is disturbing to show how much of a mercenary they can be.

      I wonder if it was Maik Taylor that he head butted (if it’s even true)

    • StaffsBlue says:

      That’s what p1sses me off about the BM at times. There are two very good articles about two up-and-coming players from our academy.. and what do the BM stick up top as the main article….? That grinning idiot Savage. Who gives a monkeys what he has to say anymore? He’s NOT a Blues player.. and his views are NOT of any interest to me.

  • Zenzero says:

    Jesus, I never knew we had so many miserable fans!

  • Tony says:

    Never seen the attraction of social media to be honest, people seem to delight in putting the most intimate details of their lives on screen.
    As regards Blues cant do any real harm I guess.

  • dave mann says:

    fans who walk away from the club had better have a very good reason if they want to be
    in my company, not acceptable. the blues are doing a great job with the academy but then
    again when youve got no money youve got no choice. the only thing that concerns me is
    WHEN the new owners come in that might be discarded and foreign players comming in
    for big money and big wages, but then again if it gets us back in the premier league i
    personally wont be making an issue off it.KRO.

  • Chris Walker says:

    This has to be good for the younger generation as a lot of the older generation are novices when it comes to social media. Well I am when it comes to twitter and the like.
    Since players don’t mingle with supporters as they did, it allows for a virtual interaction.
    Gone are the days when a player would offer a lift home as Trevor Hockey did after a night match to me and a friend, or the players are seen in motorway service stations giving autographs.
    Years ago Joe Bradford use to be a neighbour and would walk up the road on a match day and catch the bus with the supporters.
    Another positive from a club in a financial mess, well done Blues and Andy Walker.

  • Atahualpa is a BlueNose says:

    Using social media to engage with fans and bring about a more informal approach in getting information about our club, players and team to one another (especially those based overseas), is a positive way in improving relations and creating enthusiasm in keeping abreast of events and topics.

    All organisations are moving forward in such ways and well done to AW for directing the club as such.

    Some of the comments might confirm why some quarters are always so full of disdain and contempt when considering the views of some fans as regards to how a football club should function.

  • dave mann says:

    chris walker, joe bradford lived across the road from me back in the 1970s when i lived
    in banford road, alum rock, lovely guy, very modest always invited us into is house but
    he was more into cricket then than football and was getting on a bit then but lovely guy,
    dont make them like that anymore.KRO.

  • StaffsBlue says:

    I’m not on Twitter and never will be, but I am on Facebook. Although, I never think to access the BCFC facebook page.

    For all things Blue, the only places I need, are:

    http://www.bcfc.com/index.aspx
    http://www.oftenpartisan.co.uk/
    http://www.youtube.com/officialbcfc
    http://www.birminghammail.co.uk/all-about/birmingham%20city%20fc

    I think it’s wonderful that the club are using social media to interact with the younger generation, because, at the end of the day, all us ‘growp-ups’ won’t be here one day. There’s a chance that, in the future, 90% of Blues fans could be internet/social media savvy. I’m sure that’s what the club are catering for.

  • dave mann says:

    i dont do twitter or facebook staffs but the other 4 sites are bang on.KRO.

    • StaffsBlue says:

      To be honest Dave, I originally set up my account, just to see how safe it all was before creating an account for my granddaughter (who had been pestering me so she could chat to her school friends, etc.)

      Now, I only think about it every few days. I pop on to see what friends and family have posted and reply where necessary. I post the odd youtube music video… but that’s about it. It’s not something that’s an important part of my life or owt. But I know it is for some people… it’s a way of life, so why not use it, if it’s in the club’s and the fan’s best interests. :-)

  • Tony says:

    As I’ve said before, I fully support the efforts of the U.K based staff and think they do a great job in what must be very trying circumstances. As for the Hong Kong based staff, inc Mr Pannu, well…….

  • dave mann says:

    i was watching the news this morning and they done a survey and people who spend more time
    on facebook are likely to be more miserable than those who dont so i aint ganna argue with that
    cause ime generaly quite a happy person and my wife and son are generally miserable and there
    both on facebook so it must be right! KRO.

  • Marky mark says:

    Social media love it or hate how fans can moan about it is beyond me ? Same fans who don’t go the games for a million and one reasons.

    The club should get Peter Pan on next I’m sure we have plenty to talk to him about !!!!

  • Tony says:

    Been out all day just got back did I read correctly 14-2 gulp and the gems shone through?
    This is what I cant have, if the kids got beat by that score why dont they just hang up their boots and play Ludo.

  • Tony says:

    A Piece near the start of this article Chas look back

    • StaffsBlue says:

      Who hasn’t been on the end of a hiding at some point in their playing days? I know I have. 3 or 4 players, no matter how good they are, aren’t going to stop a hiding. You need 11 for that! Those kids need encouraging, not deflating.

      • chas says:

        I used to run an U11’s side. The kids were those who couldn’t get into another Team. In the First Season we conceded over 200 goals and scored 11. Only once that Season did I have less than 12 Players waiting to turn out , and it was more Fun than many of the more successful Teams where the Managers made their lives a misery if they lost. A lot of kids don’t mind losing, as long as they get a game.

        • Bluenosesol says:

          Hi Chas, I couldnt agree more. 30 years ago I took over a kids team in Chelmsley Wood. We got beat by the top of the league 22-0 and finished bottom. Next season we ended up beating the team that beat us 22-0 in the cup final and finished 4th. I was very proud of that team, but do you know what, in retrospect it was the worst thing I ever did. I got rid of all the kids I had inherited and recruited some excellent footballers. I then realised that as a kid I was a very poor footballer that couldnt get a game for love nor money. I had actually betrayed the kids who used to turn up, love their football and get slaughtered every week. My greatest deed would have beeen to keep the original happy squad together. Biggest sin I ever committed.

    • KeepRightcroydOn says:

      What article are you referring to Tony?

  • sappy sad says:

    ………these kids of today need a dream to follow ,as did my grandad…my dad .,and then me……….so to all the young kids out there that feel alone ..join the family follow blues…live the dream …follow the blues team ….without belief we have nothing kro

  • Tony says:

    I used to play to win to say someone does not mind losing is a travesty of the game, as I recall if you were not any good at something you did not play you did not want to. How can you not like losing?.

  • Tony says:

    not mind losing

  • Tony says:

    What was the dream Sappy


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