Ministry of Sport

Manchester United App Providing ‘Sustained And Phenomenal’ Fan Engagement

On the back of record revenue numbers, Manchester United’s managing director, Richard Arnold, also reported the clubs official app has become the most downloaded throughout the world of soccer and is operating well above other industry benchmarks.

The club hasn’t released specific metrics from the app, but, speaking on the Premier League giants second-quarter investors’ call on Thursday, Arnold said the platform has received “sustained and phenomenal” user engagement since its launch six months ago, and is exceeding their “uppermost expectations”.

With month-on-month growth across all features, including downloads and user retention Arnold said: “We need a period of time to really understand the detail trends and what will continue.”

“When the app was brand new, the record-breaking engagement statistics we were seeing – in terms of dwell time, video time, and frequency of visits – would be the most fervent.

“Even in our uppermost expectations, the continuation of that trend as we’ve added more and more fans has surprised us and consequently underlined the need for us to analyse deeply and to also be patient in determining at what point we are settling on what the long-term trend will be.”

The clubs revenues have skyrocketed to US$267.1 million for their second financial quarter, aided primarily by growth in the sale of media rights and matchday tickets.

Year-on-year, broadcast revenue for the quarter rose by 37.9 per cent to US$132.8 million at the end of 2018, while match-day revenue for the quarter increased by 5.7 per cent to US$49.95 million.

This growth has been attributed to the Uefa Champions League broadcasting rights agreement and playing one additional Uefa Champions League game compared to a year earlier.

In addition, Arnold says the club is also eager to see how this year’s inaugural ePremier League esports competition will impact engagement with their fanbase, which has made up 20 per cent of the all entrants across 20 Premier League clubs.

“We have a fantastic family of fans around the world and there is a huge opportunity to engage with those fans in new and exciting ways,” Arnold continued.

“Over a number of years, one of the points we have made is that we have only taken baby steps in what’s possible at Manchester United in terms of the opportunity that working with our fans around the world represents.

“That phenomenal engagement and digital reach also means that the value of our traditional inventory remains very sought after because it is such a powerful connecting tool with our fans and represents an increasingly valuable commodity in an increasingly fragmented media landscape.”

Shaun Carney

Shaun Carney