Huddle 2018 - Content Hub

Wireless Group - No fans, no game!

The World Cup generated one of the biggest shared experiences in living memory, with the whole country getting behind Waistcoat Wednesday, #garethsouthgatewould and countless ‘It’s coming home’ memes. 

As official radio broadcaster of the 2018 FIFA World Cup, talkSPORT was the only commercial media channel to broadcast every kick live from Russia. 

As we look forward to EURO 2020 qualification, a panel of the biggest names on talkSPORT discussed at Huddle how international football tournaments serve as the ultimate galvanising media experiences and how new media channels have bought these experiences even closer to their audiences. 

Huddler Profile: 

David Seaman (Ex Arsenal and England Goalkeeper) 

Robbie Lyall (Arsenal Fan TV and host of Channel 4’s The Real Football Fan Show) 

Laurie Palacio (Wireless Group Digital Content Director) 

Natalie Sawyer (talkSPORT presenter and ex Sky Sports News anchor) 

Thinking forward to EURO 2020, can media still deliver shared experiences and watercooler moments?  

Fans are a very important part of the game, they may not always be respected, but without fans, there is no game. A good example of how important fans are to the game was the England Croatia rematch which was played behind closed doors – without fans and atmosphere, it was a game to forget for football.  

Social media plays a very important part of the shared experience. Fans engagement initially started with phone calls, followed up by text messages, and is now dominated by social media channels like Twitter. For example, now, TalkSport would not do a radio show without checking first what is happening on social media. Against this background, Talksport has been very innovative as a broadcaster, creating a dedicated social media team, and video production capturing fans with cameras and putting it on social media.  

It is a challenging new landscape for the modern tournament. Fans are using social media as a sharing platform, talking about it while it is happening. At the same time, it is very important to acknowledge what a powerful tool platforms like Twitter can be. It generates engagement and gives fans a voice, but with it also comes responsibility.