Football is without a doubt the most celebrated sport in the world with over 200 countries embracing it. In India, it is being played for more than 100 years now, but we are yet to produce a team which can make it to the Football World Cup. However, in contrast, India is home to World's largest football fan base - 170 million. To be more specific, the number of football fans in India is greater than all the fans combined in England, Spain, Italy, Germany, and the USA. And one of the most popular clubs in India is Manchester United, the most successful team England has ever had.
And now there's going to be an official fan academy of the club in the country. Gulf Oil Lubricants, which is a part of the Hinduja Group, in collaboration with Manchester United, on September 29 unveiled a unique campaign titled - 'Gulf Fan Academy', with the aim to connect with ardent Indian fans of the football club.
And this first of its kind initiative did manage to strike the right chords with the sports lovers in the country. The #GulfFanAcademy was trending at No. 2 in India throughout the day of launch (September 29) on Twitter and was ranked at No. 36 across Globe. It was only behind #MumbaiStampede, which of course was the biggest news that day.
Notably, The Gulf Fan Academy is a part of a multi-rollout comprehensive campaign to highlight Gulf Oil's association with Manchester United as the official global retail fuel and lubricant partner.
Speaking on the development, Mr. Ravi Chawla, CEO & MD, Gulf Oil Lubricants India Limited, said "The Gulf Fan Academy is a unique platform by the fans, for the fans, to the fans of Manchester United. The initiative will be instrumental in enhancing Gulf Oil's digital footprint and present an innovative way to engage with the 600 million fans, spread across India and the world. Academy will provide the fans with an opportunity to showcase their fandom in their own unique ways while uniting them with their favorite football club under one platform".
Interestingly, the launch video featured cricket legend Mahendra Singh Dhoni, who is a self-confessed fan of the Red Devils. He dolled out details & conversations that highlighted his love for the club.
And this video has created quite a rage among the youth over the weekend. It has been shared by major Facebook communities which have ManUtd, Football, Dhoni, and Humour as its core quotient. Such immense popularity of the video speaks volumes about its rich and appealing content for the audience.
Notably, popular stand-up comedian Azeem Banatwalla has been roped as Chief Fan Officer to drive the Fan Academy. He will directly engage with the fans, some of whom are high profile personalities. As per the information shared in the media release, 'The Gulf Fan Academy' will primarily engage with the audience in the digital domain through official digital properties: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Web Banners and YouTube, of both Gulf Oil and Manchester United.
The academy will utilize different interesting techniques to engage fans, such as the variety of original entertaining content, challenge-based contests on social media, and on-ground activations. Fans who prove their mettle through endurance and passion will be awarded at the Gulf fan academy with official Manchester United autographed merchandise and in many other ways. They will also be groomed to become the ultimate fan and gain access to the Hall of fame. These top winners will then get a trip to Old Trafford (UK), the Theatre of Dreams and home of Manchester United.
If that was not enough to drive Manchester fans to frenzy, the 'Gulf Fan Academy' went one step further to ensure it happens. Interestingly, Manchester United Legends will be undertaking the India tour as part of the engagement campaign for 'The Fan Academy'.
So, are you ready for the extravaganza 'Man-U' fans?
For feedback/comments, please write to email@example.com