LAFC Goes Digital to Deepen Connection With Passionate Fan Base

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Video content is widely used to convey entertainment to fans across multiple social platforms such as Instagram, Twitter, and YouTube.

Meanwhile, the Los Angeles Football Club made waves by tapping YouTubeTV as its exclusive home for locally televised matches — a first of its kind in America. In addition to the YouTubeTV deal, LAFC is capitalizing on an episodic series dubbed ‘Black & Gold’ with host Max Bretos, continuing its on-brand ideas for its consumers.

“Our partnership with YouTubeTV has been exciting and successful in our first season,” said Seth Burton, VP of communications for LAFC. “YouTubeTV is an ambitious, innovative and internationally recognized brand that we are proud to showcase on the front of our jersey, as well as partner with for our local broadcasts.”

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Bretos is currently the play-by-play announcer for the soccer club, doubling as an ESPN personality with a well-versed background in soccer. LAFC knew, with popularity and a knowledge of the game, this episodic series would provide personality and fun.

“Our goal is to entertain and inform our fans the best way we can. We are focused on actively keeping our messaging true to the sport and the city of L.A.,” said Colin Kelly, LAFC’s director of digital. “Our fans have gravitated towards that.”

LAFC knows Bretos is the right man for the job, given his status and ties to Los Angeles.

“He has a unique ability to connect with fans in so many different ways,” said Burton. “He is able to serve as the voice of LAFC and serve as fans’ personal guide to bring them into the LAFC experience, whether through broadcast or digital content.”

Also, Los Angeles is home to a well-established LA Galaxy team, which has forever owned the market. Tim Rebich, principal at Varsity Partners, knows LAFC, as a brand and team, must remain honest in its given space.

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“Owning your own space in a crowded market like L.A. is crucial and has to be done in an authentic and honest manner,” said Rebich.

The weekly ‘Black & Gold’ series goes in-depth about the team, players, and members of the organization that keeps it running.

“The show and Max have the freedom to explore what the world’s game means to the city of Los Angeles on all levels,” said Burton. “We provide interviews with head coach Bob Bradley, features on supporters groups, and more.”

Enriching video usage is known to be more emotional and resonate more impactfully with the consumer, reflecting the brand’s spirit, according to Rebich — especially when telling a story like LAFC.

Bretos, with a Los Angeles and massive soccer connection, is able to bring about that connection every week for viewers in Los Angeles and anywhere in the world.

“Even in our first season, he brings to LAFC true name-recognition, professionalism and the expertise of having worked on events like MLS Cup and the MLS All-Star Game,” said Burton.

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Despite other clubs’ use of digital content, Kelly always wants to take what LAFC puts out one step further.

“We endeavor to go beyond the standard post-match soundbite,” said Kelly, who believes personal aspects of the content amount to liking. “For example, our series ‘Anatomy of a Goal’ allows players to break down LAFC scoring plays in their own words, providing a player’s perspective of what’s happening on the field.”

With an enhanced personalization in digital content comes another media capitalization — social media, the greater form of personalized outreach.

Social media provides a 24/7 outlet for fans to engage with the team and its brand. From retweeting supportive fans’ content to uploading emotion-filled photography and personal response tweets, LAFC recognizes the need for direct connection to the Club — and it delivers.