TikTok and MLS unite to bring fans exclusive content

MLS Cup

A multi-year partnership between Major League Soccer (MLS) and TikTok will aim to bring football fans closer to the action, by linking the TikTok community to the American competition via behind-the-scenes content, in-app programming, easy accessibility to highlights, in-stadium activations, MLS biggest events, tournaments and more.

Football content flourishes on TikTok, whether it’s the reactions of fans, amusing edits of the highlights, or if it is behind-the-scenes content from players and coaches, offering the fans and community a raw view of the sport which they can’t get anywhere else.

The deal between the social media platform and the MLS will launch a new Club Creator Network, which the creators of TikTok will connect with the MLS Clubs to produce engaging content throughout the regular season as well as the off-season.

The TikTok creators are the beating heart of the platform, this will elevate football to create new opportunities by taking their innovation to new heights.

TikTok is also the sponsor in co-presenting the eMLS Cup (pictured) – the League’s esports tournament where the sport and gaming community join forces to provide valuable entertainment.

Global Head of Sports and Gaming at TikTok Harish Sarma said via press release:

“From tifos to club rivalries, MLS fans are some of the most passionate in the game, many of whom come to TikTok react to their favourite moments across the league, build community with other fans, and connect with the passion and authenticity of the soccer world.”

MLS SVP of Brand and Integrated Marketing David Bruce added via press release:

“Our new partnership with TikTok continues to build innovative, ambitious, and powerful programs with the world’s most forward-thinking brands in order to bring fans closer to the game, The Club Creator Network with TikTok fits perfectly with MLS’ vision of creating our version of the global game. We are thrilled that compelling content imagined by young and progressive creators will drive awareness to our clubs, players, matches, and major events.”

Since joining the leading platform for short-form mobile videos, MLS has gone from strength to strength increasing its followers list with 1.2 million, over 256 million views as well as 2.7 billion views for #MLS.

The social media choice for young football fans is undoubtedly TikTok in what was the fastest-growing app in 2020, whether it’s content related to the league’s clubs, an insight into the training sessions or the way signings are revealed through the form of a video clip, it allows the Clubs to see what fans are interested in, giving the fans a scene they wouldn’t normally see.

FIFPRO Asia/Oceania report of AFC Champions League assesses the cost of competition for players and clubs

FIFPRO Asia/Oceania has published a report on key financial findings from the Asian Football Confederation’s (AFC) flagship club competition, the AFC Champions League (ACL).

The report, AFC Champions League Analysis Report: Counting the cost for players and clubs, was produced alongside sporting intelligence agency Twenty First Group (TFG).

This analysis is in response to the announcement of AFC Champions League Elite (ACLE) commencing in July this year, as revealed by the AFC in December 2022.

Based on TFG’s analysis, insights and feedback from participating players and clubs, the report addresses the feasibility of running ACLE with key factors including on-field quality and competitive balance, attendances and fan engagement, economics for clubs and players, travel and workload, competition design, and football development outcomes.

The research undertaken focusses on the value of introducing ACLE, based on the current operations of the ACL.

“This report analyses the merits and drawbacks of the current AFC Champions League based on various data and the results indicate that the merits do not outweigh the drawbacks for most players and clubs, making it an unsustainable system,” FIFPRO Asia/Oceania Chair Takuya Yamazaki outlines in the report.

“However, this does not mean that the future of football in Asia is bleak. On the contrary, we believe that this economically significant region can lead a discussion for truly sustainable competition formats.”

The report is the most comprehensive public analysis of the ACL and includes recommendations for what the AFC should be implementing.

“For players, the development of competitions is central to their employment conditions and future opportunities. As its primary workforce, the players are determined to play their role to shape a sustainable and innovation-driven future for the football sector in Asia,” Yamazaki added.

World Leagues Forum is involved in representing professional football leagues on a global level. General Secretary Jerome Perlemuter explained that collaboration between all stakeholders in the Asian region would help shape and deliver sustainable competitions.

“FIFPRO’s contribution to shaping the future of Asian continental competitions is most welcome,” Perlemuter said.

“Sustainable football development requires confederations, leagues and players to work together with a common objective to shape high potential continental competitions in a consistent global calendar. In this context, it is important to consider economic, geographical and cultural specificities. We look forward to continuing these discussions with FIFPRO and all stakeholders.”

To see the report in full, you can do so here.

Wellington Phoenix team up with Chinese outfit Tianjin Tiger

Wellington Phoenix have partnered with Chinese Super League team Tianjin Tiger to boost football growth in both nations.

As part of the Wellington Phoenix Tianjin Tiger Sister City Friendship, the clubs have agreed to hold an annual encounter between their men’s first teams.

The inaugural Wellington Phoenix F.C. vs. Tianjin Tiger F.C. Sister City Shield match is set to take place in Tianjin this September, with the second in Wellington next year.

The strategic collaboration was formed after Phoenix general manager David Dome visited Tianjin in September as part of a business delegation headed by Wellington Mayor Tory Whanau.

The club hosted a delegation from Tianjin, and the two sides signed the Memorandum of Understanding at the Mayor’s office.

Phoenix general manager David Dome was thrilled with the partnership going through.

“The mayoral delegation to China last year was invaluable and I’m thrilled about this partnership with Tianjin Jinmen Tiger, which will be of benefit to the club on multiple levels,” he said via press release.

“Not only will the men get to play a Chinese Super League side as part of their A-League pre-season each year, but the academy will soon benefit from an influx of footballers from Tianjin.

“We’re looking to grow our academy to have an international component and Tianjin Jinmen have committed to sending some young players to Wellington to attend training camps in July and we’re discussing the possibility of their juniors being part of a new international academy annual programme.

“International students are essential for the secondary and tertiary education sector in Wellington and we are evaluating how an elite international academy focused on football can be part of New Zealand’s international education offering.”

Wellington mayor Tory Whanau added that the city is excited about the opportunity. 

“I’d like to congratulate David Dome and the wider team for the work they’ve done on this MoU,” he stated via press release.

“I’m beyond stoked that the delegation last September has resulted in this MoU between the Wellington Phoenix and Tianjin Jinmen Tiger. 

“The development opportunities for both the clubs will be invaluable to not only football but also our cities.”

The Phoenix are enjoying a successful A-league campaign where they currently sit top of the table 18 games into the season.

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