Football Team Blossoms on Social Media
Something rather unusual is happening on the football scene and it’s connected to YouTube.
Spencer Owen is a YouTube celebrity who came up with the idea of forming a football club, Hashtag United, and showing its games on social media. You have to take him seriously because he has nearly two million people following his own YouTube channel.
All Hashtag’s games and some training exercises are filmed so that the highlights are seen online.
“Creating a football team with games that play out on YouTube has always been a big ambition for me and this year felt like the right time to finally give it a go.”
(His own journey to YouTube fame began eight years ago when he was a student at the University of Reading. He started making footy video content and in 2013 he turned that into a full-time career.)
Hashtag’s games are filmed by a four-man camera crew then edited and posted on YouTube. The matches tend to be exhibition-like in style, using video games as an inspiration for applying league formats, incentives and challenges.
Incredibly, they have a social media following bigger than some English Football League sides. Their Instagram account has over 100,000 followers and you can add another 40,000 on Twitter.
More than one million people on YouTube watched a recent team ‘penalty challenge’.
On Saturday, Owens Hashtag United beat Tekkers Town in a 6-1 thrashing. Man of the Match was Scott Pollock, who has come through Hashtag United’s academy.
Hashtag’s games are normally played behind closed doors. In a recent interview with a national newspaper, Owen admitted that they have to keep match timings secret. “There’s a chance a lot of supporters might turn up to watch and the truth is we’re not prepared security wise for that yet,” he said.
In contrast, Hashtag United recently arranged for a game to be played at Wembley Stadium. Over 20,000 people turned up and, to date, nearly 4 million people have seen the game online!
Jake & Louis, Year 6