Peter Moore, the chief executive of Premier League leaders Liverpool, has admitted that soccer must embrace new technologies to avoid losing younger fans to things like video games.
Moore, who previously held roles with video game companies Sega of America and EA Sports before joining the top-flight English outfit in 2017, says the Merseyside club are not only battling with other teams for new fans, but also with video games like Fortnite.
The 64-year-old fears that younger fans are no longer happy to sit and watch full 90-minute games, and pointed to viewing and attendance figures of millennial males as a particular cause for concern.
“90 minutes is a long time for a millennial male to sit down on a couch,” Moore told the Arabian Business magazine. “When I look at viewing and attendance figures of millennial males, I’m concerned as a chief executive of a football club that relies on the next generation of fans coming through.
“If we don’t build technological prowess as a club we will lose them. There’s so much pressure on time now and only 24 hours in a day… there are only so many hours to play Fortnite.”
Moore went on to add that in order to compete with new offerings clubs now need to find different routes to millennial audiences through pieces of content that have a lifespan beyond the 90 minutes of a soccer game.
“We are an industry that needs to harness technology to make sure we don’t miss an entire generation of young people growing up that don’t have that love for football. We need to package content in bites of 60 to 90 seconds to keep their engagement.”
Liverpool recorded 463 million interactions across their four main social media channels in 2018, a figure that was only bettered in England by Manchester United and ranked fifth in world soccer.
Moore also revealed that Liverpool are working with technology giant IBM to optimise their website and apps so that they can provide fans with more personalised, relevant content that they are more likely to consume.
“That’s something I learned in video games. I can push you all kinds of stuff on particular players, but if you’re only interested in Mohamed Salah, and I don’t know that, my outreach is wasted,” Moore added.
“You might like Gini Wijnaldum. The more we learn about you, the more we can push Gini Wijnaldum stuff that you’ll click or engage. The key is that I need to know who you are.”
On the pitch, Liverpool are top of the Premier League and can extend their lead over Manchester City to seven points with a win at home to Leicester City on Wednesday.