The CEO of Liverpool Football Club says the new battle for fans is not with rival clubs – but with video games such as Fortnite.
Peter Moore became CEO of his hometown club in 2017 after stints as president and COO of Sega of America, corporate vice president of Microsoft’s interactive entertainment division and head of video game giant Electronic Arts’ sports division.
With Jurgen Klopp at the helm, he has seen the club rise to the summit of the Premier League this season. But even as fans contemplate the prospect of a first league title since 1990, Moore is taking a global view of the club’s future – and it all comes down to tech.
“Ninety minutes is a long time for a millennial male to sit down on a couch. When I look at viewing and attendance figures of millennial males, I’m concerned as a CEO of a football club that relies on the next generation of fans coming through,” he told Arabian Business.
“If we don’t build technological prowess as a club we will lose them. There’s so much pressure on time now and only 24 hours in a day… there are only so many hours to play Fortnite.
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“We are an industry that needs to harness technology to make sure we don’t miss an entire generation of young people growing up that don’t have that love for football. We need to package content in bites of 60 to 90 seconds to keep their engagement.”
Liverpool had a huge 463 million interactions on social media in 2018 – across Instagram, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube – the fifth-highest of any club in the world. Only Manchester United surpassed from their Premier League rivals.
In October it managed to top trendsetters Barcelona, racking up the highest number of interactions across any club in world sport in that month. The Reds now have 11.6m Instagram followers.
Liverpool is working with tech giant IBM to optimise its websites, build global apps and generate relevant content.
“That’s something I learned in video games. I can push you all kinds of stuff on particular players, but if you’re only interested in Mohamed Salah, and I don’t know that, my outreach is wasted,” explained Moore.
“You might like Gini Wijnaldum. The more we learn about you, the more we can push Gini Wijnaldum stuff that you’ll click or engage. The key is that I need to know who you are.”
Such an approach can boost revenue from the club’s eCommerce platforms and paid-for video subscription services.
“What does it cost me to go get you? I want your name, your gender, your e-mail address. If I can get your credit card number, that’s a huge plus. What does that cost?” said Moore.
“And then, what are you worth to me as a fan [in terms of] lifetime value?”
Technology also increases the likelihood of fans jetting in from around the world to experience the famous Anfield atmosphere.
“That’s huge, not only for Liverpool Football Club, but for the city. We have thousands of people who fly in from all over the world to watch Liverpool play, and that has a positive economic impact on the city,” he said.
“Liverpool still has socioeconomic challenges. So if we can bring fans, both local and global, into the city, there’s a value. Technology powers that… it’s not cheap, [but] it is a long-term investment.”