Why was the Rokycan campaign so successful before the match with Liberec?
Just like in football or sports in general, it’s the opportunity that matters. The Rokycans got it by lot and used it. They correctly chose the communication line of the outsider, where there are many possibilities to communicate about the event. For this, they chose the most appropriate platform for this style of communication, which is Twitter. I’m convinced that if they were primarily posting similar posts on another social network, it wouldn’t work to such an extent.
There is a wide sports community on Twitter. The teams themselves, journalists and marketing specialists have profiles on it, which is actually their target group. Rokycany managed to reach them all, and based on that, everything started to get more media coverage. I liked how Liberec, who joined this game, also approached it, and it helped them to increase their viewership numbers. It is incredible what the Rokycans managed in the three weeks that the campaign lasted. I think it is also a guide for other clubs on how to communicate towards the fans.
Does the general popularity of the stories, where the outsider against the favorite, the dwarf against the giant, play a role?
If we take the FA Cup in England, every year it happens that a team from the very bottom of the competition plays against a club from the Premier League and it is a huge celebration for the fans. On the other hand, the cup is not watched that much in our country, especially in the first rounds, when I don’t think many people know that the competition is already being played. Nevertheless, they managed to draw attention to themselves and practically took the whole round to themselves. In the end, Facr.tv also broadcast the match. If they hadn’t started the profile, it would have been just another duel between an outsider and a first-league team.
|Czech football lacks such humor and detachment|
|“I enjoyed the races on Twitter, when Rokycany gradually overtook the first league teams, including us, in the number of followers. It is something that can only inspire a lot of people in Czech football. I’m glad that Roman Jedlička started it like that twenty days ago, because the match had nationwide viewership and it created a very nice atmosphere in the stadium. It was full and I thought that although two teams that would not normally meet, it was a normal fight, even if there is a difference in performance between them. Kuba Děkan and I stood there leaning against the skander and wondered for a moment if the FA Cup had arisen like this 150 years ago from a similar nice atmosphere, because such fights do not happen every day. The match had a nice football feel to it. I feel that if Czech football has been missing something lately, it’s a joke, the kind with the excuse of a mrd, and distance, so that someone does this out of pure enthusiasm and manages to do a job that any first league club could envy.”|
|Actor Ladislav Hampl alias Jarmil from Houslice, a fan of Liberec|
I liked that it had a joke, which will probably always work the most in a finale. The styling made it look a bit like the series Okresní Přebor, which is still popular among people. They gradually warmed up until they kicked it off with a lineup post, which was brilliant in itself. And then they were able to follow it up with more and more tweets. Plus, each subsequent post was just as good, if not better, than the last. And all of a sudden people started to notice, they started following the story and living with it and spreading it through natural organic growth.
Did it help that the author of the tweets, Roman Jedlička, hid his identity until the last moment?
Possible. From the beginning I wondered who could do this. I thought it had to be someone with experience in the communications or media space. It was a well-balanced mix of photos, GIFs, videos, reaction comments… It was really successful. However, this does not change the fact that even if a person has experience, it still depends on their talent and empathy to be able to sell it correctly. It’s unbelievable what he’s done in quotes with a divisional team.
In three weeks, he collected almost ten thousand followers, which was not achieved by most of the first league clubs. How special is the jump?
Extremely special! Anyone who knows a little about social media will tell you that engaging users and getting their long-term attention is extremely difficult. I remember Líšné’s profile, which was, of course, unofficial, but it was run in such a way that people thought it was official. It was popular because it offered something different. It was a second division club, but with more modest conditions. They also often made fun of themselves, of Brno, and it worked. Then the account ended, I don’t know for what reason. The Rokycans chose a similar strategy and it worked again! In the end, it led to the fact that they were able to collect the fifth highest number of followers among Czech clubs. However, I think that now that the fairy tale is over, there is no room for growth in the future. I’m interested to see how they’ll take it now that they’ve gained incredible power and the attention of potential partners. They are leading the division now, and if Rokycany could advance to the third league next year, it might bring other interesting possibilities.