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Thursday, March 11, 2010

QPR Shortlisted For Another Award: For "Digital Content"...Neil Warnock Photoshop Competition


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Football League


Posted on: 11.03.2010

The 2010 Football League Awards take place on Sunday 14th March and all this week in the build-up to the prestigious ceremony we will be focusing on those in contention to receive awards on the night. Here we focus on the nominations for the 'Fleishman-Hillard Best Digital Content' award.


Judges were looking for a the official club website which best demonstrates excellence in the delivery of digital content including, editorial, features, video and audio. The entry may be for a one-off activity or regular features.


Cardiff City wanted to create a different matchday experience for fans through digital communication with the opening of their new stadium. The club got in contact with Sony who agreed to provide the club with top recording and editing equipment and also spoke to i Stadia who provided the networking infrastructure and content management software. Cardiff City installed a subsequent amount of HD televisions around the new stadium and decided to offer something aside from a sports news channel and opted to produce their own television channel 'Bluebirds TV'. The channel consists of archive highlights from previous matches, as well as clips from Player. Bluebirds TV allows Cardiff to advertise their Player and interact with fans via SMS/Bluetooth. Efforts were also undertaken to help the local community by contacting the university and through this avenue hired the camera operators and various operators to work on 'Bluebirds TV'. Overall, a professional entry with varied content and entertaining to fans.

The entry from Crystal Palace took the form of an online blog from Assistant Manager Mick Jones. Published every Thursday on the official website, it enables the fans to get an account of what goes on behind the scenes at the club from a management perspective. The blog runs throughout the season and aims to encourage fans to visit the website on a regular basis. It also contains within it a question and answer element which enables fans to have their own input to which Mick responds with some great answers that have helped to make the blog the success it is. The judges found that it was a very focused entry with the club knowing exactly what they wanted to achieve and it is this that has helped them produce such a fantastic end result. What particularly impressed the judging panel was the uniqueness of the entry as it is rare to get such insight into a club directly from the management team. The blog has successfully raised page impression statistics and monthly unique visitors to the site which shows it is not only the judges who really rate this great content but the fans too!

Derby County for the last 12 months have focused on the "Rams Player" section of the website with an aim to produce high quality content to drive subscriptions, as well as improved and innovative content to help enhance the aims and objectives across all other club departments. Derby have introduced the policy of 'Rams Player' exclusive, ensuring all major interviews and club announcements are announced first in video format. Alongside this though 'Rams Player' contains really engaging clips with great features, with exclusive access to the first team squad and the innovative ideas to show the players in a different environment, behind the scenes information that has never been seen before, such as player quizzes and a Pot Black Pool Challenge, giving fans what they really want and can't get anywhere else. The judges were tremendously impressed with Rams Player's slick production and the quality of the features, clearly demonstrating the investment and work the club have put into it. The Club has made huge strides forward in terms of production quality, using multi camera shoots, cut-a-ways and new branding. It was this together with the use of exclusive access that really made their content stand out as a leading contender. It goes to show that a small investment into software, time and forging strong relationships with the footballing arm of the club, can help the club in many different ways, and Derby's nomination for Best Digital Content is due recognition for the efforts they have made in this area.

Nottingham Forest produced a range of content over the Christmas period to provide subscribers with better as well as more, high quality content, but highlighted two main pieces in particular for the judges focus on. The first was a 'Forest Player Christmas Special' which was a 30 minute programme with a 'chat show' feel and exclusive interview with Stuart Pearce. The second was a 'Brian Clough feature' which was a video featuring his most famous quotes and his final interview with Forest. The main aim behind the features was to provide more unique and exclusive content which was not available elsewhere online. The content produced great results for Forest as over December (when the content was shown) the subscriptions to 'Forest Player' increased as a result. The judges felt the videos showed very high production values and were very polished, professional broadcast quality items, and that the Brian Clough piece in particular was a fantastic use of archive content to engage fans.

Preston North End submitted a particular video of first team player Sean St Ledger showing viewers around his home for their entry and it really impressed the judges. The idea of the video was taken from a popular TV series using the same style of editing, script and music. The result of the video was very professional and the content was highly engaging, with the entertainment factor alone making it worth watching. The objective of the video was for the fans to see the player in a different and engaging way which it certainly succeeded in doing. The judges found the video humorous with one commenting they just wanted to keep watching! In conclusion, this was an example of a high class piece of content that the judges felt it was as good as anything that can be seen online.

The objectives set out by QPR for their entry were very fresh and innovative. They introduced a new template for their QPR Player that as well as enabling them to offer 'features', enabled them to offer fresh, daily bulletins which are informative and promote off-the-pitch as well as on-the-pitch activities. The club set out to showcase the positive work that QPR does in the community and that they believe their role as a football club is more than providing 90 minutes of football on a Saturday afternoon. As well as providing video coverage of events such as the club's Family Fun Day, players visiting a local hospital for Christmas and service men and women being guests of honour at a match, they also interviewed players and key personnel to get their views on the Club's activities. The judges felt that what was achieved was not only executed well but that it really portrayed the message of community. The link to external community projects was also clear with mentions of Help for Heroes, the official charity partner of The Football League, which helps to promote not only club projects surrounding this but also places the issue within a wider framework. A clear objective, combined with an excellent execution and good production values make this a great example of fantastic digital content. Football League

Neil Warnock pinpoints one of the problems: "I've said to them if they want to stick around then do what I say and if they don't then they will be leaving," he said.I suppose in the past they must have thought 'we'll be all right in a couple of weeks'." Teamtalk

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