Content brand of the week: The Football Association, the sporting body with a kitbag full of content

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 12.42.47The Effay? Sounds a bit iffy to me!

The F.A. (short for Football Association) is the biggest sports governing body in the UK. Because of its size The F.A. has a massive audience comprising a huge range of participants and fans – from five-year-old stars of the future taking their first steps in the game, to England fans travelling to watch Wayne Rooney et al take on teams around the world. The organisation’s content has to reflect these vastly differing audiences, which presents a lot of challenges.

One being the fact there’s a lot of football content out there already?

There is, with the sheer amount of TV and online channels dedicated to the sport it’s hard to make an impression. Fortunately The FA has a clearly defined editorial ‘beat’ and focuses on producing individual, unique content. There are news stories posted every day that cover the whole breadth of The F.A.’s activities, with the organisation acting more like a modern ‘always on’ media company than a traditional membership organisation. Then there’s also a lot of video content, much of it is in the same vein as the items you might see on Sky’s Soccer A.M. magazine show.

I’m guessing there’s quite a few videos of galacticos performing amazing tricks like we’re used to seeing on YouTube?

You guess right! One of the organisation’s biggest assets is its access to the English stars, so there’s a comprehensive back catalogue of highlights, interviews and other video content for fans to drink in. We really enjoyed the futsal highlights – it’s fast-paced and super skilful, like watching a team full of Lionel Messis play 5-a-side.

Except instead of the streets of Buenos Aires they play in a school sports hall in Barking?

Admittedly it’s not as glamorous, but this is the English Football Association let’s not forget. Speaking of school sports halls, The F.A. also has a fantastic depth of content for younger players looking to pick up some tips. In a partnership with Tesco the organisation has created a fantastic online coaching resource for the use of young players and their coaches. You can check out some of the videos here. Not only are the vids simple, short and easy to follow – they’re also well organised, so you can search for training activities to do on your own or with friends, or pick from a set of challenges to test your skills.

Screen Shot 2014-02-21 at 12.51.19

But as a sport’s governing body isn’t that exactly the sort of thing The F.A. should be doing?

It is, but that doesn’t mean we can’t praise the execution. Great content is great content – if a resource like this were produced by a consumer brand it’d be a standout content marketing case study.

Fair play!

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More from Tom Owen
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Author: Tom Owen

A strategic storyteller and compelling content creator, awash with acuity and adept at alliteration. I work for Speak Media. www.speakmedia.co.uk

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