Mike Koeshartanto

Meme Culture & Digital Snacking: Bleacher Report’s Soccer Future

In the past few years, Bleacher Report has ramped up its soccer coverage and there are no signs of the sports-lifestyle media outlet slowing. Having made inroads in the Millennial-focused NBA, Bleacher Report’s next area of focus is soccer where fans are young, diverse, tech-savvy, and social media fiends.
Fans of their NBA coverage can expect a lot of similarities in their continued support of soccer, as both sports and their fans are seemingly closer to the intersection of sport and culture than others. As the antiquated experience of sitting down for full game viewing becomes more endangered in favor of digital snacking, Bleacher Report is primed to succeed.
Memes, highlights, and fresh content drive interest and Bleacher Report does all those things in spades – a great thing for soccer and its generational growth. Fans of their NBA series, Game of Zones or the NFL’s Gridiron Heights should be elated to know Bleacher Report plans to develop a similar soccer series built around the UEFA Champions League (UCL). Over 72 million people watched the last season of “Game of Zones” and 113 million viewed “Gridiron Heights,” so it’s reasonable to expect a globally-relevant soccer series to do similar damage.
During the NBA season, there’s nothing I personally enjoy more than watching the Sixers and seeing Joel Embiid dunk on Russell Westbrook. It’s obviously great in the moment, but it’s even better when I get to see the highlight again and again on the Bleacher Report-owned House of Highlights Instagram page that has almost 10 million followers. As Bleacher Report delves deeper and deeper into soccer, fans can expect more and more highlights to end up on the social force that is HoH. Interested in the background of HoH and founder Omar Raja? Check out a recent interview on JJ Redick’s podcast.
Bleacher Report was built on finding audiences on and through social media and is primed to grow its audience to new heights as the Turner-owned digital platform capitalizes on the global superstardom of soccer players like Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo, Neymar, etc. In 2018, Advertising tied to Bleacher Report’s soccer coverage will represent 10 percent of its revenue, up from just 2 percent last year.
Highlights of Bleacher Report’s continued investment in soccer:
  • Coverage of UCL, including game streams on Bleacher Report Live
  • Hiring well-known soccer personality Kate Abdo as lead host for UCL coverage
  • Upcoming Game of Zones-style video content series
  • House of Highlights highlight and meme integration
  • Addition of NBA legend and soccer lover Steve Nash as a personality
  • World Cup-themed murals in New York City, Miami, and New Orleans

Categories: Digital Content, Soccer Marketing, Social Media, UEFA Champions League