With the ever changing landscape of broadcast thanks to the emergence of a digital world, there are plenty of new and exciting projects starting up for Manchester United fans – none more so than FullTimeDEVILS.
FullTimeDEVILS is a brand new venture launched to try and bring together all 659 million United fans from as close to Old Trafford as Salford or as far away as Singapore. As the tagline suggests, it is “By United fans. For United fans”.
Through subscriptions on Youtube, likes on Facebook and followers on Twitter, the FullTimeDEVILS project aims to create a unique fan driven platform where fans can get involved like never before – you are only one comment away from becoming a star.
The Peoples Person sat down with Neil Smythe, producer of FullTimeDEVILS, to have a chat about how the project has been received so far, the reasons behind it and just why it is such a unique and exciting venture.
How has the feedback been at the start for the FullTimeDEVILS?
“The feedback has generally been very positive so far despite only being two weeks old. Comments on the channel and direct feedback from United fans has been very good.
“When you start a new football project, you’re putting yourself out there in quite a vociferous world. Football fans are very opinionated so there is always a nervousness in how people are going to react.
“People have close relationships with their respective clubs and you can easily get that wrong if you don’t gauge it properly.”
“Any Youtube channel has to evolve. You can’t survive without listening to the audience. Already we’re thinking of ways to make it better and tweak it.”
Are you happy with the way things have gone so far and what makes this project different from existing broadcast panel shows?
“It’s a start. The good thing about the project is the nature of the digital world means that there is instant feedback as opposed to TV where you can find yourself committed very quickly.
“That’s what makes the digital world more exciting than broadcast because you can move and change quickly. You can be flexible.”
From match reviews, hot topic debates and tactical analysis, FullTimeDEVILS is building up a broad spectrum of content for fans. It isn’t your typical chatter amongst ex-professionals and that is what makes it so accessible.
Everyone can get be a part of it. With just under 1000 subscriptions on Youtube, 1400 followers on Facebook and 1200 on Twitter, everyone is already starting to get involved. No matter where you are in the world, the accessibility of the channel means that everybody has the opportunity to play a direct role in the project and in building the United community.
How easy it is for fans to get involved with FullTimeDEVILS?
“We want to create a platform where you’re one comment away from being a star of the channel.”
“If someone tweets us with an idea or a thought, then you can easily become part of the project. It’s that simple.
“It’s your channel. Get involved. We are guiding it but nothing else is set in stone and the direction of the content is going to be driven by what the community wants.
“Our approachability is what makes it exciting. There are very few places where you can do that.
“I want to create a global Manchester United fan community. I’ve always been interested in user generated content and to have the chance to start a fan community based on that is quite exciting.
“Just look at the size of the Manchester United Twitter community. There are hundreds of people who have thousands of followers, sometimes simply because they are a United fan.
“We want to bring that community together.”
What do you think is going to be difficult about making FullTimeDEVILS successful and popular?
“When we thought about the project, we wanted it be completely inclusive. It is for Manchester United fans but it is a channel for everyone whether you are from Salford or Singapore and whether you are 13 or 30.
“There isn’t another dedicated fan channel for Manchester United and we want to become that.
“We’re trying to bring Manchester United fans together through video and it’s going to take a while for us to spread round the world.
“There may be some fans who don’t like the fact that United are a global club but you can’t stop that.
“It is going to be hard to make sure we create content that appeals to everyone but it is a challenge we are relishing.”
Only in it’s infancy, FullTimeDEVILS has already had a great response from the Manchester United community and with a variety of exciting new content to deliver in the next coming months, it has all the potential to become one of the go-to resources for any United fan.