Manchester City, the soccer team that leads the English Premier League, signed a multiyear deal with dating app Tinder to cross-promote their brands worldwide. With its first promotion in the sports market, Tinder is partnering with Man City's men's and women's teams along with U.S. sister club, Major League Soccer’s New York City Football Club, per a statement.
Tinder heralded the partnership by flying a blimp in Man City’s club colors, light blue and white, along with logos of both organizations in Manchester, England, on Thursday. The dating app, which is owned by Match Group, also changed its social media icons to match the club’s colors before a key match against rival Manchester United on Saturday.
Tinder also will offer access to games, different experiences, stadium events and other ways to engage with fans. Terms of the deal weren’t disclosed, but was reported to be valued in the millions of British pounds, per Sky Sports.
Tinder’s sponsorship of English Premier League and Major League Soccer teams reflects the dating app’s operations in 40 languages among 200 countries, given the international appeal of soccer. The marketing partnership is aimed at mobile-savvy young adults who share an enthusiasm for their soccer teams. The news points to how, as mobile-first brands gain strong followings, they are moving into areas of marketing dominated by pre-mobile era brands like sports sponsorships.
Man City has worked to promote equality among its men’s and women’s teams with the January launch of a “Same City, Same Passion” campaign. The club merged its men’s and women’s social media channels to provide fans with news and behind-the-scenes content in a single location, per Marketing Week. The team, which has 1 million subscribers to its YouTube channel, is investing in video production to create more content that reaches fans worldwide.
Tinder had technical difficulties this week after Facebook changed its privacy rules to limit data sharing amid a growing controversy about how the social network allows third parties to access the personal information of users, per Wired. Tinder doesn't require social media profile integration to work, and users can sign up with a phone number. However, many people sign up with a pre-existing Facebook account to make photo sharing easier and to see if a potential match has mutual friends on the social network. Tinder fixed the issue later in the week.
The dating app has opened its platform to marketers with a variety of promotions aimed at experience-seeking millennials. Travelocity, the Expedia-owned travel site with an estimated 12 million monthly users, ran a contest on Tinder that urged its users to enter a sweepstakes by submitting a photo or video post.