Former Arsenal content lead Max Jones on how industry trends have informed JMN's strategy
"When I started at the club, there wasn't an established social media strategy so we were able to devise our own," he explained.
"Back in 2014, the emphasis was very much on the team and how we could get the brand's message across in the most concise way, thanks to the character limit on most platforms."
As social media grew, so did its importance across the club. It was no longer just an editorial tool, it was used by commercial, marketing and memberships teams as a direct line through to fans.
But Max noticed another big shift, too.
"Fans wanted much more personality-led content," he said. "The majority of Arsenal's fanbase followed more than one football club because of one reason: the players. That was our best way of increasing engagement across platforms, and the players bought into it as well."
Max's team worked closely with the club's biggest stars to reflect their unique personalities and tell their side of the story.
"I've always loved playing sport but, as a fan, the athlete's backstory is what gripped me," he said.
"By getting to know the players we were dealing with and creating new video and long-read features, we were able to help them connect with their biggest fans by telling their stories.
"We also used nicknames to bring the fans in on the joke. For example, Nacho Monreal told us that he and his childhood friends used to laugh about how he ran like a farmyard animal. From that point onwards, the Arsenal fans knew him as La Cabra: The Goat."
So when an opportunity to develop bespoke apps for a new batch of talent, including Ronaldinho, came up at Jet Media Network, Max couldn't wait to get started.
"Every athlete has their own interests and their own personality," he said. "They all have their own stories that they trust us to tell. I don't think any of us will ever take that trust for granted.
"But it's not just athletes. One of the reasons I joined JMN was to test myself outside of sport, and I'm really excited to work with our next wave of talent from the film, television and music industries.
"They have been fantastic to work with so far and I'm looking forward to seeing the finished apps very soon."
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The company is shortlisted for Digital Startup of the Year and Innovative StartUp of the Year at the 2023 London Startup Awards
March 8, 2023