Some of the world’s biggest soccer clubs have got themselves involved in a new website called Dugout, which was launched on Monday. Dugout could see these big soccer clubs cashing in on their social media content to create a new source of revenue.
Dugout has been described as a Facebook for soccer. It promises a platform that will see clubs and star players from various leagues posting goofy videos of their antics off the pitch directly to fans around the world.
In a press release announcing the launch of dugout, the site’s co-founder Elliot Richardson said;
“Football fans are hungry to discover the latest news and content from the game they love.”
Dugout has plans to make money by hosting paid ads which it will show to its users. A Sky News report has it that some of the big soccer clubs who have equity in the business include Barcelona, AC Milan, Manchester United, and Bayern Munich. Accordingly, these soccer clubs will receive half of the site’s revenue, in exchange for getting players to set up profiles and for providing special content.
Depending on how many fans actually sign up for their services, Dugout could have a shot at grabbing some of the advertising money that currently flow to social media platforms like Facebook, Twitter, or WeChat.
Another promise made by Dugout is that the site will carry exclusive content from star players and top clubs, with a 24 hour difference, from other channels that this content are normally obtained. It is a strategy that has been employed in the arena of music streaming where it has proved successful as fans have picked off various platforms to subscribe to based on exclusive content that was offered.
Facebook and Twitter are the two social media giants that Dugout will have to compete against and one can only wonder how the site will fair. Are soccer fans so interested in the lives of their favorite footballers and club outside the games, that they will give their time to yet another social media platform?
Dugout currently has only rudimentary interaction features, like the ability to comment on a piece of content, or to select an emoji-like response, much like Facebook reactions. It is still lacking more recent social media interactions like live-streams, stickers, or animated GIFs. Users will also be able to follow clubs or players but the site lacks the unfiltered immediacy that Twitter offers.
Internal documents seen by Sky News showed that Dugout is projecting revenue of over $75 million in its second year of operations. To get that amount of revenue in two years, Dugout has some serious work on its hands.