AFC Leopards’ Kenyan Premier League match against Ulinzi Stars is the most viewed live match on the club’s digital media channels.
The match played at Afraha Stadium has garnered over 48,000 views, followed closely by Leopards v Zoo Kericho which received 47,800 views while the match against Tusker got 32,600 views.
With the absence of a regular and dedicated broadcast partner, the club launched an in-house production unit that has been churning out high-quality videos for AFC TV that is hosted on YouTube and Facebook social media websites.
The digital media platforms have recorded tremendous growth in the past year and are among the most vibrant and active sports teams pages in the region.
The club launched AFC TV, that can only be accessed via social media channels for the time being, in October and has recorded over 404, 650 minutes of quality content.
The club’s home matches have accounted for the bulk of views and the club is actively working to get more matches on board as it seeks to deliver more action to fans unable to attend the matches in the stadiums.
“ We appreciate that video is the driving force of any sports discipline. For football, this is what sells. We would like to deliver quality content to our fans but currently we believe we are in the initial stages of building a system that will grow the club’s digital dominance,” said Mbakaya Milimu, the head of digital operations at the Club.
“We have long way to go in delivering quality content but we had to make a start. We have given fans a sneak preview into what happens in training with weekly pre-match coverage as well as post-match highlights. This is not where we would like to be. In the coming weeks and months, we are working to deliver more engagement of the fans into the Club’s affairs with more engaging content.”
The Youtube page has experienced an increase to subscribers and currently has over 1600 subscribers against a target of 100,000 which the Club seeks to have.
“Monetising our platforms will take time. We have to give value to our fans first and then engage potential partners. As things stand, we are on the path to where this Club should be on the digital sphere. OTT is running the sports industry and we would like to have a bite of the pie when the wave lands in our market. At the moment, we believe we are progressing well. Our numbers are positive.”
“Our annual target is to hit 2.5M views by the end of 2020 which will be mid 2020/2021 season. We have to plan for content 365 days a year to achieve our targets which is quite demanding but we can make it with creativity. Our content has to make Leopards have an impact on the society as well beyond the pitch and this is the big picture in the end.”
“Our key challenge is equipment and adequate personnel. We are currently working with a team of volunteers who are few in number. This strains the team in providing all-round content on match days. However, the team is growing in number. Another challenge has been stable internet. The internet coverage in most stadia is poor considering our service providers do not see sports facilities as crucial areas to enhance coverage. Whenever we have fans at the stadium, we run into reduced speeds and reduced quality of streams and at times break of the signal. We have learnt from it and hope we can net a stable internet partner. Expensive licences for software is a drawback too but we hope to get this solved in due course.”
AFC Leopards has the most digital following in the sporting arena in Kenya of verified platforms. Facebook has 66,000 followers, Twitter 88,000, Youtube 1600 and Instagram at 4500 followers.