In my previous blog post, I wrote about the fact that high-quality goals were commonplace in the League of Ireland and how they should be heavily utilised by clubs (and the league bosses/the FAI) as a promotional tool. Of course, that’s not a new idea – it’s hardly groundbreaking – but it bears repeating nonetheless.
Indeed, over the weekend, one League of Ireland club showed, once more, exactly how effective sharing footage of goals can be. On Friday evening, Michael Funston opened the scoring for Finn Harps in their 3-2 First Division win over Waterford United in spectacular fashion. Knocking the ball through an opponent’s legs, Funston opened up at the edge of the area and sent a swerving effort into the top right corner to the delight of Harps supporters in Ballybofey.
At the time of writing, since being uploaded in the early hours of Saturday morning the Facebook video has over 21,000 views, which is a remarkable number. To put that into perspective, Kealan Dillon’s amazing volley in the higher profile Premier Division game between Derry City and Bohemians (which I wrote about last week) currently has just over 10,000 views on Youtube. As well as Facebook, Funston’s goal has also been shared on Twitter, thus increasing the video’s potential audience.
Pearse Toal, who is the chairman of the League of Ireland’s newest club, Cabinteely, recently spoke on the League of Ireland GoalMouth podcast of the need for Irish clubs to explore as many different avenues for promotion and marketing. Finn Harps are doing this well. For example, cast your mind back to the cheeky Zayn Malik tweet which gained global attention in March. It was wholly tongue-in-cheek, but, crucially it tapped into the zeitgeist and tickled plenty of football fans around Ireland and the world (I’m sure a few One Direction fans saw the funny side too).
Naturally, winning games helps to draw attention and crowds (Harps are top of the table, unbeaten after 10 matches) but it is also important to harness that energy. Once you have the attention of the casual observer, the difficult part is drawing people in further, to encourage them to stick around and buy into the ‘brand’.
Anyway, enough chat, you might want to actually watch Michael Funston’s wonderful goal. See below:
— Finn Harps FC (@FinnHarpsFC) May 9, 2015