Located in a city of 30,000 people in northern France, RC Lens is a historic soccer club rich in tradition. Also known for the fervour of its fans, who turn out for every home match (all 19 Ligue 1 Uber Eats home matches sold out in 2022/2023) and away match (leader in away attendance for Ligue 1 Uber Eats matches in 2022/2023 - source : Prime Video), RC Lens can also count on a large fan base on its social channels.
In addition to the already established fans, younger and networked audiences should now be targeted by creating engaging content to grow its community faster than its other social media channels. With more than 1.6 billion users worldwide and more than 21 million users in France, including 72% under the age of 24 (source: statista.com), TikTok proved to be the best platform for meeting these new growth objectives.
To capture this young audience and grow the fan base, our French digital team, in collaboration with the club, has implemented a funny, trendy and offbeat content strategy that leaves plenty of room for the team's creativity. The account is a perfect blend of humour, memes, behind-the-scenes and live content.
Some of the content created picks up on current trends and music to match the platform algorithm requirements. Exclusive content not found on any of the club's other platforms is also published and has contributed to the account's exceptional growth.
To illustrate the virality of the platform, one of the videos created from match footage has become a trend and was remade by thousands of accounts including major players like Real Madrid, Juventus and the UEFA Champions league, generating additional visibility to the club within the platform algorithm.
To capitalise on tentpole moments of the season, they also organised with the club two Live features on two key matches (RC Lens - Paris Saint-Germain and RC Lens - LOSC Lille) which were broadcast on the club's Tiktok channel. This included preparation for the match with a presenter, an interview with the coach and reactions from fans outside the stadium. The TikTok team, with whom we are in regular contact, provided us with support on the technical side.
Finally, Tiktok also provides support on the technical side, particularly in terms of setting up live coverage. Their teams are keeping a close eye on the development of the account and the club is used as an example by other sports partners.
We see TikTok as a great digital playground to reach and engage with new fans, and our collaboration with RC Lens is a great example of how we can achieve that for a rightsholder
Vincent Zurita, Digital Director at SPORTFIVE
Thanks to creative content formats that match TikTok’s best practices, RC Lens has already managed to engage millions of users.
In just 18 months, the club has reached the 1 million follower milestone and in April 2023 became one of the top 50 most-followed European clubs on TikTok, with a fan base of over 1.2 million followers. It is also the 4th most watched club in Ligue 1 Uber Eats (behind PSG, AS Monaco and Olympique de Marseille) with 180 million organic views in total since the launch and is the Ligue 1 club with the highest growth in followers between July 2022 and April 2023, with an increase of over 333%.
TikTok underlines the exceptional nature of such growth for a club of this size. In Europe, it is one of the fastest growing club, and the 26th most watched account in the Big 5 (Premier League, Serie A, La Liga, Bundesliga, Ligue 1) with an average of 10 million video views per month.
Today, the club is a major player of French football ecosystem thanks to its performances on the pitch (2nd in Ligue 1 Uber Eats in the 2022/2023 season and qualified for the UEFA Champions League, 21 years after its last campaign), but it is also seen as one of the most creative in the league. And that is just the beginning!
What's in it for you?
Do you want to increase brand awareness or reach a new target group of club fans? Creating trendy, engaging content can make all the difference, as you've just discovered!
SPORTFIVE's digital teams piloted the creation of the account on Gen Z's favorite social network, and from the outset have created content that meets the requirements and codes of the platform's users, as well as the needs of the rightful owner. If you also want to animate your communities or activate a new target, don't hesitate to contact us. We'll build strategies tailored to your needs.
In addition to RC Lens' TikTok account, SPORTFIVE also supports the Ligue Nationale de Rugby on all its digital platforms and the French Instagram account of the Chicago Bulls franchise.