Football. Soccer. Calcio. Futbol. Fußball. Whatever you call it, the world's favourite game continues to grow in terms of players, viewership and, of course, money. Just last week, Brazilian forward Neymar sealed a whopping €222 million ($263 million) move to France after Paris St Germain triggered the former Barcelona player's release clause. With so much cash at their disposal, teams are coming up with more and more elaborate ways to broadcast the news of their new signing. Take Premier League strugglers Watford, who decided to use the popular Football Manager video game to announce their new record signing.
Yesterday, the club tweeted a short 30 second video that showed in-game footage of Football Manager. That's pretty notable in its own right, but Watford loses a couple of style points because it's sponsored by the very same brand (courtesy of Sega and Sports Interactive). Once a saved game is loaded, the video announces a new player is set to sign for Watford and then discloses his position, his nationality and his stats, before finishing with a dreadfully painful monologue from Andre Gray, the team's new £18.5 million attacker.
The truth is that Watford is just the latest in a long line of teams hoping to achieve social media virality. Spanish team Sevilla staged a fake kidnapping to announce the return of former Manchester City player Jesus Navas. Bold, considering the player was a free agent and hadn't scored in over 100 games.
Turkish champions Beşiktaş announced one of its big-name transfers with perhaps the most meme-worthy football video of 2017. For the unveiling of Spanish striker Alvaro Negredo, the club enlisted the help of Portuguese players Pepe and Ricardo Quaresma and overlaid some trashy techno. The results were hilarious.
Italian title chasers AS Roma took to FIFA 17, while English teams Liverpool and Aston Villa shared news of their summer signings with help from Twitter and WhatsApp. Some are good, some are very bad, but it seems nothing will stop social media teams from all over the globe from trying to one-up their footballing counterparts.