There is a new breed of football fans in action. The ones that were born at the turn of the century, and shared their infancy with Facebook... The ones that experienced fandom on social media rather than stadiums, living football from their screens and on their screens. We went on pursuit of these new fans on behalf of Nike.

“The beautiful game” has undergone massive transformations during recent years. The rules were updated, jerseys got unusual makeovers, not even the ball remains the same… Perhaps its shape is still intact (so far), but its design, speed, looks, all were renewed. These transformations go hand in hand with the emergence of a new generation of football fans.

The new gen football supporter doesn’t kick around alleyways, they show their skills off on PlayStation instead. Their chants are heard more on Twitter than stadiums, and that’s just the tip of the iceberg. What lies under the surface is Twitch, Reddit, Tumblr and many more.

The new gen fan has not seen unscrambled game broadcasts, they follow the game on their phones and simultaneously comment on it! They care about the commentators as much as the players. They shape their teams, fire the managers, change the administration. They closed the distance with media, and owned the agenda themselves. This new breed of fan, born into industrial football, perceived betting as a fundamental component of the game.

The new supporter still sees their team as a matter of honor. Still, their fandom is an indicator of personality, an expression of their individuality.

In short, a brand new type of football supporter has emerged.

Our job was to conduct a strategic study of the new gen fan for Nike, to access and  familiarize ourselves with them. We collected refined insights from chosen characters via face to face conversations. The preliminary work proved that our intuition and observations were correct. The new generation of football fans expect a different communication approach from brands, embodying colossal opportunities in the process. The end result was a strategic document that encapsulated all these insights delivered to Nike, to shape communication efforts in the future.

The first brand to discover the new gen football supporter will be the driving force in the future of football communication. Afterall, have you seen a brand monitoring the pulse of football better than Nike?