In a remarkable achievement for Indian football, Kerala Blasters FC, a club from the Indian Super League (ISL), has secured the 70th position in the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post’s top 100 worldwide football clubs with the most followers on social media. This recognition highlights the club’s popularity and the strong bond it shares with its fans. Kerala Blasters is the sole Indian football club to make it to this prestigious list, solidifying its position as a global powerhouse in terms of virtual fan engagement.
The virtual domination of Indian football
Kerala Blasters, a prominent force in Indian football, has gathered an impressive total of nearly 7 million social media followers across popular platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram. This remarkable level of virtual fan engagement sets the club apart and positions them alongside esteemed global clubs. Through their strategic approach to social media, Kerala Blasters has effectively cultivated a strong bond with their fanbase, with a sense of unity and shared passion.
Nikhil Bhardwaj, the director of Kerala Blasters FC, has mentioned that the club remains dedicated to keeping on innovating digitally and building a meaningful connection with its fanbase, the Manjappada. He has also highlighted the club’s goals of expanding its brand and fanbases outside India by organising the pre-season abroad and playing friendly exposure matches against the South East and Middle East Asian clubs.
The current top three on the list are the two Spanish giants Real Madrid and FC Barcelona alongside the English club Manchester United. Real Madrid stands at the top with a total of 363 million followers on social media followed by FC Barcelona with 342 million. Manchester United holds the third position with 206 million followers. Kerala Blasters definitely hopes to be there someday as one of the targets of the club going forward is to reach the top 50 in the rankings through partnerships with global brands.
Kerala Blasters remains dedicated to exploring new avenues to further enhance its presence in the digital space. However, the club is also mindful of maintaining the highest standards and respecting the values associated with social media engagement as they understand the importance of striking a balance between expanding its reach and ensuring a responsible online presence.