FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and 10 Premier League clubs unite to launch digital platform 'Dugout'

A total of 27 clubs from around the world have signed on as partners of the new site

FC Barcelona, Real Madrid and Bayern Munich are among some of the world’s biggest football clubs that have united to help create a new digital platform, which will see them act as content creators while also splitting the advertising revenue.

Dugout has partnered with 27 clubs as well as players and influencers to offer football fans exclusive behind-the-scenes original content on one platform.

Some of the other big clubs to come on board include Manchester City, Liverpool, Arsenal, Chelsea, Juventus, Paris Saint-Germain and SC Corinthians Paulista. The Premier League has the most clubs with a total of 10 teams.

As part of the creation process for the building of the new site, Elliot Richardson, co-founder of Dugout, had 24,000 fans worldwide polled to gain a greater understanding of modern day football fans.

The results identified a trend of following multiple clubs – 4.6 on average – as well as a tendency for fans, particularly in China, to support individual players.

With this in mind Dugout has been designed to offer users a highly customisable setup where they can choose which clubs, players or influencers they follow.

Each partner club has a dedicated profile page on the site which allows them the freedom to upload content they have created, such as training ground clips, or work with Dugout and its media partners to create content.

This same approach applies to both players and social influencers who will also have their own portal on the site where they can interact with fans and post content with the help of Dugout’s editorial team.

Discussing the aim of the new platform, Richardson said: “The game today is truly global and fans don’t just want to watch matches in their own country – they want to follow their favourite clubs and players across the world, on and off the pitch. That’s what Dugout offers - unrivaled access so fans get behind the scenes of the clubs and into the lives of the players.

He added: “A combination of factors – from the explosion of international TV rights to the rise of social media – have provided Dugout with an unprecedented opportunity to reach the estimated 3.5 billion football fans across the world. We think they will love what they see.”

According to Kate Burns, executive vice president of Dugout, the free to use site will generate its revenue primarily through advertising, which will be split 50-50 with the partners. To this end it has partnered with some key partners to implement a strong advertising model from the off.

“Dugout offers brands a cutting-edge approach to advertising – harnessing the latest innovations to deliver maximum impact and working with key partners like AOL and Rubicon Project to place programmatic technology at the core of our model,” said Burns.

“Dugout has been built to engage and attract millennials from across the globe and we know this is a critical audience for our advertisers to reach – it’s a great match. Dugout has already secured a number of media partners, including Allianz and Coca-Cola as part of a Mediacom partnership, and BetVictor, with more to follow. “

Other players to come on board include Brandtix, a real-time index of athletes and teams brand value. The London-based data specialist will be Dugout’s official stats supplier and will have its own dedicated section on the site, giving fans access to unique social insights and on-pitch data points.

The Dugout site launches today (28 November) and is expected to arrive in app form on iOS and Android on 5 December.

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