In an effort to market its club abroad via social media, Sampdoria has targeted international English speaking millennials with the help of Italian Football TV.

Like many football clubs throughout the world, Sampdoria has been using its social media channels to interact with fans and promote its brand and players.

It was just two years ago when Sampdoria, spurred by an unexpected participation in Europa League (Sampdoria finished seventh but took the place of rival Genoa who were denied a UEFA license by the FIGC), ramped up its marketing efforts outside of Italy with an emphasis on growing its English content. The club’s official website launched in English and an English twitter account was also opened.

It was with this spirit in mind that a collaboration was initiated with New York based YouTube channel Italian Football TV (IFTV).

Sampdoria’s marketing and communication department believed working with IFTV presented a great opportunity to promote its club and players to English speaking millennials, particularly those from the USA.

Coincidentally, it was also two years ago that IFTV founder Marco Messina and his partner Michael Kantaris started their YouTube channel.

The channel was created for the duo to share their passion of Italian football with English speaking calcio fans on a variety of topics, with a particular focus on Serie A and the Italian national team. Week after week, matches are previewed and recapped as the hosts give their opinions based on their extensive football knowledge and sometimes get into heated, entertaining debates.

Sampdoria Patrik Schick
IFTV with Sampdoria striker Patrik Schick

Their animated approach to interviewing players is light-hearted and fun. It helps build a rapport as they attempt unorthodox ways to showcase a player’s personality off the pitch. The same can be said for any guests that are invited to discuss a particular topic, whether live on site or via telephone/webcam.

This type of interview style is different than the formal kind you would see with mainstream media, and is perfect in the world of social media to engage fans to interact and have this content shared easily.

It was this particular aspect that intrigued Sampdoria, as they were impressed with IFTV’s growing fan base of loyal, young, active and engaged followers on social media with a significant amount of interactions.

Sampdoria has a young team and they appreciated IFTV’s fun player interview approach. This makes players feel comfortable and act naturally by sharing their thoughts without the usual clichés. With the help of IFTV, Sampdoria got the opportunity to showcase its club and players to an audience, particularly in the USA, that they would probably not have been able to reach on their own.

Sampdoria felt IFTV would provide a nice way to showcase their players, who come from different parts of the world, to an international audience.

Sampdoria wanted to take advantage of this unique opportunity to tap into the US market. They were happy to see the players had fun, which was important to them because the players having fun and enjoying themselves is one of their core values.

The two players interviewed by IFTV were Colombian striker Luis Muriel and from the Czech Republic, striker Patrik Schick. Muriel had a not so typical sit down interview while Schick participated in taking dizzy penalty kicks.

To Sampdoria’s credit, it is this outside the box thinking and doing things the unconventional way that gives you an edge when trying to get noticed, especially for a new audience engaged in a different way than what is done in Italy.

It is these kind of initiatives that help Sampdoria show the world they are a modern club, open to explore new ways of doing things and thinking for the future by attempting to appeal their brand to potential future fans. This initiative with IFTV was a significant step, not only for Sampdoria but also for Serie A. We can only hope the other Serie A clubs do the same for the good of Italian football.