Liverpool FC names digital media chief

Liverpool FC has boosted its efforts to reach overseas fans through online content with the appointment of Matthew Baxter to the newly created role of chief media officer.

Gerrard-Steven-Liverpool-2013
Premier League club to step up its online content push following the appointment of digital media head.

Baxter will head up the club’s digital media and TV operations as it looks to offer additional content to its growing overseas fan base who cannot attend matches. Among other projects, Baxter will oversee the brand’s nascent social media offering – which includes its online video service on Apple’s iTunes.

He joins from broadcaster MGM Networks where he was senior vice president and has also held senior roles at Warner Bros International Television, Walt Disney and Fox Kids.

Baxter will report to the club’s commercial director Billy Hogan.

The appointment is part of a wider strategy to use localised content not only to inform its millions of fans worldwide, but to encourage new overseas supporters to become loyal Liverpool supporters. Twitter and Facebook are a large part of the club’s new media strategy, as are localised websites and the development of online video content.

To that end, the club’s digital team is looking to forge partnerships with its sponsors such as Warrior Sports to launch social media campaigns in Europe, Asia and South America.

Ian Ayre, managing director of Liverpool FC, says: “Our digital media and television operations are a crucial component of the Club’s future brand and commercial development. Matthew will have global responsibility for establishing a world-class television and digital media business by further developing our digital platforms domestically and internationally.

“This is a key appointment in our digital strategy to create further engaging content for our growing global fan base.”

Separately, Arsenal has overhauled its website to make it easier for fans to share content across social networks. Additionally, there is stronger focus on showcasing the club’s online video offering.

Michael Leavey, head of the Arsenal Media Group, who led the re-design, says: “We consulted with supporters throughout the process to ensure the site retained its most popular features while making it easier to use, particularly when you are mobile. This will help fans to interact globally, while also giving the Club new ways to engage and interact with our supporters”.

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