Gillette launches YouTube football channel

Procter & Gamble has partnered with Google to launch a Gillette branded YouTube channel that it says “reinvents the way fans engage with football online”.

Gillette Football Club to launch on YouTube
Gillette Football Club to launch on YouTube

The Gillette Football Club, currently in beta, allows football fans in the EMEA region to create a personalised football channel that serves relevant content tailored to each user’s preferences.

The YouTube brand channel, which was launched today (17 September) in London, aims to bring together goals, highlights and behind the scenes footage from leagues within the EMEA region, including Spain’s La Liga, Italy’s Serie A and more than 50 clubs including Manchester City FC and Chelsea.

There is no direct partnership with the English Premier League.Yahoo! has the rights to host Premier League highlights in the UK.

YouTube is working with broadcasters such as Sky in Germany, MediaPro in Spain, and TalkSport and ESPN in the UK to provide content.

It will also host exclusive content such as entertainment and analysis shows, created for the brand by production company Big Balls.

A performance index tool, powered by Squawka, will analyse matches to identify the 11 best players in the region each week to create the Gillette team of the Week.

Additional features such as social gaming and integration of stats with video will be added as the [platform develops.

Alex Tosolini, vice president of e-business for Gillette at P&G, told Marketing Week that he envisages users in the millions, rather than 100s of thousands, adding that the platform will grow because it is inherently social and will be shared by consumers’ conversations online.

The platform is part of P&G’s strategy of using innovative digital platforms as part of its global brand building activity.

Tosolini says: “We define the task of building brands as trying to establish lifelong, one to one, in real time relationships with every single consumer in the world. P&G has previously talked about digital or mobile as new activities, we’re now talking about brand building in a digital world. The number one priority for our marketers is to build the best brand in a world that is digitally connected, in a way that wasn’t possible before.”

The programme is the largest content sponsorship that YouTube has ever done, with more than 150 channels contributing content to the platform, and is an indicator of potential future activity for both YouTube and P&G.

Gillette Football Club to launch on YouTube

P&G could also look to use the platform as a model for other brands and interest areas such as beauty and potentially as a platform to house content for its ongoing Olympics partnership, although there are no specific plans in place.

Steven Nuttal, senior director of sports at YouTube EMEA, told Marketing Week: “You can imagine replicating this football programme with other sports, and also other genres of content. GIllette have been really innovative and forward thinking but it’s potentially much much broader than sport.”

Tosolini adds that the platform will continually evolve and will run as long as it remains relevant to the way costumers behave and engage online.

He says: “We have a platform and we want to learn [from it] – at the end of the day the judge will be the consumer. There are three things that will make it last. Firstly, if we continue to have consumer interest in the content, secondly if the brand is able to establish a long-term relationship and through it build brand equity and business, and thirdly if YouTube’s curated content becomes consumers’ first choice for content, I don’t see why it should stop.”

“We need to be humble and objective in checking the results, but the platform has a huge amount of potential and it will change over time.”

As part of the launch, Gillette is expanding its partnership with Street Football World, an NGO that uses grassroots football to help “change the lives of young people” through education, training and health programmes.

For every member that joins Gillette Football CLub, P&G will donate $1 to fund the programme, up to $300,000.

The Gillette Football Club, will be positioned as “The Best a Fan Can Get”, playing on the long-standing Gillette strapline ‘The Best a Man Can Get.”

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