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Russian football clubs and their obsession with TikTok

In the Russian Premier League they have figured out how to create engagement on social media

Russian football clubs and their obsession with TikTok In the Russian Premier League they have figured out how to create engagement on social media

Between October and December, taunts, memes, provocations and self-referential videos started to pop up on the TikTok profiles of Russian top division club teams, with Serie A clubs being the main targets. The Russian league, born after the dissolution of the USSR, has a very young history, one of the reasons why it does not enjoy great recognition and appeal in Europe, as well as not having an established tradition like the Premier League, La Liga, Ligue 1, Bundesliga and Serie A.

It is also true that thanks to its position in the UEFA ranking, the Russian Premier League - once again this year - had the possibility to count on the participation of four clubs distributed between the Champions League and the Europa League. Although the results were not excellent, the clubs were able to get themselves noticed through rather irreverent and ingenious social communication.


Goodbye to this ball! We will miss it #spartak

original sound - FC Spartak Moscow

The 'wave' was inaugurated by the Zenit account, which on the eve of the first leg match against Juventus decided to mock the Piedmontese club following their unseemly defeats in the league against Udinese, Empoli and Napoli.


Other Russian clubs have followed suit, such as Lokomotiv Moscow, who posted an intimidating video - albeit in an ironic key - before the match against Lazio, and Spartak Moscow, who decided to come down "hard" on Napoli, publishing - among the various mockery - a dig at Piotr Zielinski, the Polish star of the team coached by Luciano Spalletti.


Russian gangsters in Rome #локомотив #lokomotiv #uefa

оригинальный звук - «Локомотив» (Москва)

It is interesting to try to understand why this phenomenon has taken off in Russia: while it can be argued that Russian Premier League clubs have decided to publish these videos in order to gain visibility, there is also a socio-cultural side that is worth considering. When it comes to countries like Russia, there seems to be a definite trait d'union between the reception of fashion brands and that of popular platforms like TikTok

If, in the fashion sphere, we are talking about a country that is attracted - not to say obsessed - by the so-called "Logomania" of brands of the calibre of Balenciaga, Gucci and Fendi, we can dig deep and note a hidden analogy with the recent phenomenon of TikTok. Free' Russia has a very recent history, which, due to almost 70 years of dictatorship, has not experienced first-hand the burgeoning economic and consumer development of countries such as France, England, Italy and the United States.

Nowadays, whenever a country with a similar history - such as China, for example - interfaces with all things 'Cool' or 'Trendy' it is as if it discovers a cauldron of new things to enjoy, as if their 20th century history dictates that they abuse everything that is fashionable and trendy in other countries, which is why even Russian football clubs' activity on TikTok far exceeds that of clubs in other countries.

In recent years, communication on social media by football clubs has become an increasingly central strategy, using first and foremost the excellent skills of graphic designers, art directors, digital marketers and social media managers, but this case study of Russian clubs offers an interesting key to interpretation: the huge amount of interactions triggered by videos on TikTok demonstrate how materials published through user-friendly platforms and modes are able to create immediate engagement, thanks to the ease of creation, publication and use of the content itself.