Tapping into the vast user base on reddit has long been at the top of some marketers’ aims. The site is particularly resistant to marketing messages so isn’t a great fit for the standard methods of promotion.
However Everton have shown the importance of having someone on your team who monitors the platform at least, which presented them with the opportunity to win a new fan and also plenty of publicity.
A short while ago Bosnian football fan Aldin Karabeg – who goes by the username SpacemasterTom on reddit – emailed all 92 English clubs from the Premier League and English Football League and asked why he should become a fan. That he has so far had only 12 responses speaks volumes, however so does the nature of their replies.
While most clubs, such as Manchester United, Chelsea, Cambridge United, Ipswich Town, and Stoke City replied with short, perfunctory responses, it was Everton that stood out head and shoulders above the rest.
The club’s initial reply was strong enough – listing 28 of the club’s ‘firsts’ as reason to follow them – but after the post gained a bit of traction on reddit they followed it up with a personalised video message from Bosnian midfielder Mo Besic.
Basic’s message translates as:
Hey Aldin, I just wanted to say hi and tell you that I’m very glad that you’re an Everton supporter now. and I hope that, if God may allow, I will see you on Goodison Park to see you support us. Once again, congratulations for your choice, and that’s all.
It’ll come as no surprise to learn that Aldin now considers himself an Everton fan.
Since his original post, which has gained 1,917 upvotes so far, the story has been featured in the Mirror Online, Yahoo News, and plenty of local publications. Aldin does go on to point out that the original message the club sent him was automated, but after the story took off they sent the following:
This obviously proves that the club keep track of what is happening on reddit. Without monitoring the forums Everton would have had no idea that the email originated there, and that there was a lot of conversation around it.
It further highlights reddit’s popularity among the mainstream media too: all of the articles generated by Aldin’s email wouldn’t have happened without his posts and updates.
While replying to the email may have only gained them one additional fan, the extra coverage and good feeling towards them is priceless.
One reply worth mentioning came from Leeds United, who spectacularly missed the point of the original email:
Dear Sir/madam Thank you for your recent correspondence. Leeds United receive in excess of 450 charitable requests every week, which is due to our very large dedicated world wide fan base. The vast majority of these are requests for free merchandise. Unfortunately we are unable to assist everyone in this matter. Signed merchandise and official general merchandise can be bought direct from the Leeds United Online Superstore, email. Other information about your club is now available direct from our web site. Thank you once again for your mail and for your continued support.
Yours in sport Stix.