Brazilian league champions Atletico Mineiro have tapped into an already popular market in the US and UK so fans can connect with the club’s former players – delivering bespoke video messages from heroes such as Reinaldo and Eder . Fans can select players from a menu and pay between 30 and 329 reais ($5.55 – $60.84) to have a video message sent to a chosen recipient. Since it went live on Dec. 21, about 30 people have used the service, officials said.
Sobhan Daliry, CEO of technology company Polen.me which developed the platform called Galo Idolos (Galo Idols), said the service would allow fans to develop a more personal relationship with their heroes because social media is not not so engaging. . “The relationship between… the players (and the fans) is very under-explored outside of the fans going to the stadium,” Daliry told Reuters.
“You see them passively, on TV or on Instagram. There’s no emotion in reading a post (on social media) from a player you like.” Daliry said Galo Idols could be used by other teams or sports and could also be adopted by the entertainment industry so actors and singers can engage more personally with fans.
The initiative is the latest off-pitch project from the club which won three major titles last year, including the league championship for the first time in 50 years, a triumph that prompted their main sponsor to donate tattoos Atletico free to 1000 fans. As well as pushing fan tokens and NFTs, the idea of Galo Idolos is similar to apps such as Cameo in the US and Memmo in the UK, where sports personalities and celebrities are paid to send messages personalized video to fans.
Cameo brought in more than $1 million in revenue in December, according to Sensor Tower, a US-based company that monitors the app market. However, Galo Idolos is clearly more niche, with seven former players available alongside a number of women’s team members – a move designed to give the women’s team more visibility.
The most cherished and sought-after name is Reinaldo, Atletico’s all-time top scorer. Known as O Rei, or The King, the former Brazilian centre-forward has long been present at Atletico games and is regularly stopped by fans for selfies.
Now that he’s on Galo Idolos, it will give fans further afield an opportunity to connect with him while providing the former player with an income. “The platform is good because before we had this…I got asked a lot to record a video, on the streets, at parties, blow a kiss to my dad and that kind of stuff” , he told Reuters.
“Sometimes it wasn’t nice and with Polen it’s easier, we know where (our message) is going. We have a message and a text to read and that makes it easier to talk to the fans.” So far, Reinaldo has been asked to message for weddings and birthdays.
The club has refused to disclose how the revenue is split and while royalties won’t make him rich, Reinaldo sees the interaction as a way to keep in touch with his fans. “It’s very moving, the relationship with the fans is always surprising,” he said.
“We receive a symbolic contribution, we do it more for satisfaction and to massage our own egos. It’s not a salary, you can’t count on the money but it’s still important.
(This story has not been edited by the Devdiscourse team and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)