Our motto at Ganassa is ‘Bridging Asia and the Global Football Community.’ But you might wonder, what does that really mean? To guide you through, here is a selection of the creative and localised content we are proudly producing at Ganassa. Enjoy!
12.04.21 – Hello, I’m Emma – Borussia Dortmund, Japan
Mascots, being the symbolic creature of each European football club, are beloved symbols of the team. Emma, the official mascot of Borussia Dortmund, was given the challenge in favour of our neighbours in Japan. Writing “Hello, I’m Emma” in Japanese on a piece of paper, the wide grin of Emma with the paper held on his both hands were enough to bring smiles to the fans.
10.04.21 – Indonesia bracing for the thrilling fixture – the El Clásico – LaLiga, Indonesia
El Clásico, the fixture that features the biggest rivalry of football history – Real Madrid C.F. and FC Barcelona, is an event that deserves and needs full-throttled attention from a social media manager. Most often sharing the championship title amongst the two for decades, substantial eyeballs were directed to the match of the two titans. Ahead of the heated fixture, LaLiga Indonesia ran a quiz that sought followers to participate and claim their prizes from LaLiga. Leveraging on the event, several data-driven match trivia with statistics and facts were localized to hype up ahead of the game.
09.04.21 – How well do you know about Japan? – Borussia Dortmund, Japan
Cultural differences exist across the world and finding out how much our beloved professionals are aware of the Asian cultures is a pleasure to watch. Taking the centre stage, Manuel Akanji and Julian Brandt took the hot seat with a series of questions being thrown to test how much they knew about the cultures in East Asian island. Eight questions were asked with the first one kicking off with what ‘Arigato’ means in German. Flexing his linguistic skills, Julian further added: “Arigato Gozaimasu”. Eight short clips were released on Twitter, while the longer versions were published on LINE.
15.04.21 – Ganassa’s Locker Room Talk: Career Advices, Industry G.O.A.T.s and more (Ep.2 – Naddanai Lertchaiyalit)
Thailand is at the centre of Europe and Asia’s attention. With a strong 70 million population inhabiting the Southeast Asian country, the ongoing success of local diminutive stalwart Chanathip Songkrasin at Asia’s showpiece J1 League was the manifestation of emerging authority within the region. The footballing success of a local star has added impetus to interests in European football and here’s the man who bridges Europe and Thailand, Naddanai Lertchaiyalit. Fondly known as Toey, the digital creator shows why his home is called the ‘Land of Smiles’ with his wide welcoming grin.
We spoke to Toey to find out how his journey in football began. Surprisingly, football wasn’t what he aimed at. First kicking off his career at an advertising agency he then realised he was “donning the wrong kit”. As soon as he took the handle for sliding doors moment, he found his next job as the “junior reporter at Siamsport, the most famous sports media in Thailand.”
Having drifted apart from what could have been his dream job for decades, we were curious to find out how he sees himself in the new role in a new industry. As an editor for Ganassa, he shares: “The pros are that I have a very flexible schedule to work and the clients are very reasonable.” As we nudged to find out if there would be any cons as well, he went, hesitantly, “restrictions on creativity depending on the client” may be a challenge for some.
Being one of the leaders in Thailand as the 21st century’s novel role of ‘social media manager’, he shared that “digital marketing through social media” is the most interesting commercial aspect of football for its “bright prospect”. To cap off the session, he shared his words for aspirants wishing to knock on to the industry: “If you love football, things will be easier. You need sacrifices such as working on weekend to do the job, but if you manage your schedule wisely, you will have a full work-life balance.”
Naddanai Lertchaiyalit (Toey) is the social media manager at Ganassa who spearheads digital marketing activation strategies in Thailand. He had previously spent multiple stints with Siam Sport and Inside United magazine as a local journalist.
08.04.21 – Ganassa’s Locker Room Talk: Career Advices, Industry G.O.A.T.s and more (Ep.1 – Alberto Cazzaniga)
As our first guest for the Ganassa’s Locker Room Talk, we are honoured to have Alberto Cazzaniga, the managing director of Ganassa, who leads a team of digital marketing experts across a wide range of regions. With an avid passion for football, when asked to share how his journey began in football, he said: “Passion, (lots of) studies and networking” have gotten him to where he is. “Having an MBA in Football from the Real Madrid Graduate school and several postgraduate diplomas from the Cruyff Institute and SBI Barcelona among others, helped to empower the skills required by the industry and expand the network among the global football community.”
Asked about the pros and cons of his current role, he commented: “As the Managing Director of China and Indonesia at Ganassa, working with a multicultural team unified by the passion for football as our common language is the key pro to the role. Whether we are listening to our client’s local community needs or working on a local activation with a club, league, or federation, they are all parts and parcels of our learning curve. Cons? No doubt, the time difference with Europe.”
Having extensive knowledge in the football business through the acquisition of multiple certificates from renowned institutes, we were curious to know what commercial aspects of football he was mainly interested in. He went, “Digitalization, innovation, and SportsTech are the revenue drivers for Europe’s yet-to-be elite clubs. Being perceived as an expensive transition, digitalization actually comes as a bargain compared to the level of audience reach, brand positioning, and cost optimization for target ad campaigns or activations. Luckily, at Ganassa, we never close our doors to any club, something unfortunately very popular across sports agencies in Asia because each team has its unique and beautiful history, vision, values, and fanbase, which is always worth telling.”
When asked what he perceives to be the key aspect to succeeding in the industry, he said: “A friend of mine working in a top Serie A outfit used to say, ‘Here at the club, even the lowest-paid employee walk around feeling like a first-team player’. Over the years, I realised they are not 100% true, but there is much arrogance within the industry and it could be hard for graduate students to find opportunities. To me, perseverance is the key. Keep in touch, show your creative contribution to the club, and be patient. The turnover rate is high so if you have talent in what you do, the HR ignoring your Linkedin DM (direct messages) might be replaced by a better one.”
To cap off the session, he shared his words for aspirants to the industry: “Work on your core skills. You having a passion for football doesn’t necessarily mean you can create value for the client. Understand the rightsholders’ main problems, work hard, research, and finally, get in touch with a simple idea to help them solve. You will get your chance.”
Alberto is currently the managing director of Ganassa who mainly oversees the company’s operations in Indonesia and China. He has earned his MBA in Sports Management at the Real Madrid Graduate School. He is also the managing editor at Electronic Arts, China.
18.03.21 – Learn German with Dortmund – Borussia Dortmund, Japan
Polyglot in Asia guarantees not only conversation across the border but also job security. With English being the most popular second language in Asia, parents have invested bucks for a ‘better life for their children. As English becomes more common and losing its uniqueness in the region, other linguistic options have risen. German is one of them. A language spoken by 130 million in Europe, is a fascinating language, especially for football fans spending midnight catching the live actions of Borussia Dortmund. Although learning a new language isn’t easy, it heavily depends on your tutor as well. Ever fancied having one of the Black and Yellows as your tutor? It was realized when the 33-year-old left-back Marcel Schmelzer appeared on camera to teach the Japanese fans a German word (Fußball) on the first series of ‘Learn German with BVB’ series. Kindly repeating the word several times staring into the camera, fans have certainly earned their bragging right to their friends and colleagues with the first of many to come.
14.03.21 – Joaquín’s Total Concentration – Real Betis, Japan
How familiar are you with seeing a Spaniard speaking in an Asian language and especially if that is a slang he is speaking? Former Spanish international, Joaquín nailed it as he braced himself for the El Seville derby, also known as The Great Derby between Real Betis and Sevilla FC. Shouting “Total concentration” in Japanese to imbue spirits to the Japanese fans miles away, fans were awed first to see him speaking in their native language and second to witness his familiarity with the newest trends in the island. We, too, wish the Los Verdiblancos for a “Total Concentration”.
10.03.21 – Roman Weidenfeller’s heartfelt message for the 10th Anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake – Borussia Dortmund, Japan
On 11 March 2011, global citizens moaned as our neighbours in Japan faced the harshest natural disaster of the decade. With a magnitude of 9.0 hitting the epicenter east of the Oshika Peninsula of Tōhoku, it has taken away 15,899 lives, damaging more than 228,000 residents. As Japan took silent strides ten years on from the date, it has bravely marked the 10th Anniversary of the Great East Japan Earthquake. In tandem with the commemoration, the former Borussia Dortmund goalie, Roman Weidenfeller shared his sentiments for the fans in Japan. He went further by sharing his experience of taking part in the charity match held in Duisburg. Our prayers are with the people who have been affected by the earthquake.
07.03.21 – Guess the score with LaLiga – LaLiga, Indonesia
Derby day doomed at the capital city of Madrid as two giants of the league – Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid C.F. – braced for yet another Madrid derby at Wanda Metropolitano Stadium. To hype the vibe ahead of the game, a quiz was run on Twitter to gift winners with LaLiga merchandise for guessing the game result and the first goalscorer correctly. Two winners emerged amongst the plenty as the intense rivalry ended in a draw with Luis Suárez scoring the very first goal of the game.
06.03.21 – Time for Revenge – Borussia Dortmund, Japan
Borussia Dortmund and FC Bayern Munich, having shared a combined total of 22 of the past 26 Bundesliga titles as of 2020, are the fiercest rival in Bundesliga. Also known as Der Klassiker, the two outfits’ fixture raise goosebump for many. As the Black and Yellows braced for another German Clásico after a spate of defeat last year both on the league and cup tournament, 21-year-old rugged defender Dan-Axel Zagadou spirited fans miles away with short footage that had enough impact to sweep social media. In tandem with a popular phrase from one of the Japanese TV series, the center-half stared into the camera calmly claiming, “It’s time for revenge.” Without a need for a peek into Borussia’s locker room, we already know who’s ready for the war.
18.02.21 – Good morning Vietnam – Cádiz CF, Vietnam
“Xin chào Việt Nam”, said the decorated Cádiz forward, Álvaro Negredo. Netting seven times for the Spanish outfit this season, the honour was directed to our neighbours in Vietnam. As Cádiz CF activated their marketing initiatives in Vietnam with the opening of a localised Facebook account, fans thronged to know the unknown with only Real Madrid C.F. and FC Barcelona being the two most familiar clubs in the region, not to speak of numerous Premier League outfits. Nationalism and pride associated with it have been a key component to understand the region and with the provision of bespoke content for the proud citizens, Cádiz are well ready for a Good morning in Vietnam.
14.02.21 – Your pick for Valentine’s – SD Eibar, Japan
It’s the time of the year where chocolates are building sorrows unto thousands of single men in our neighbourhood. Valentine’s Day, also called Saint Valentine’s Day is celebrated annually on February 14 and it was no exception for our neighbours in Japan. We asked the fans, their pick for Valentine’s, saying: “Who would you wish to present a chocolate among the six boys in the team?” The collage made that exuded former viral TV show, Boys over Flowers, included Eibar’s favourites with the likes of Takashi Inui, Yoshinori Muto, Alejandro Pozo, Sergi Enrich, Bryan Gil, and Marko Dmitrović. Who’s your pick?
12.02.21 – Celebrating the Chinese New Year in style – LaLiga, Indonesia
Indonesia, with 2.8 million of its population being Chinese Indonesian, diversity is the key to the archipelago. All races are celebrated and so do their festivities. As the country braced for the Chinese New Year in February, LaLiga presented to its fans a rendition with Chinese stalwart Wu Lei taking the center stage. The graphic also provided trivia on the RCD Espanyol de Barcelona forward of him being the first Chinese to have represented on LaLiga. He has made 66 appearances and netted nine times for the Spanish outfit. We wish happy Chinese New Year to everyone.
11.02.21 – Donning the Chinese name – LaLiga, Thailand
To celebrate the Chinese New Year, a quiz was created with a graphic of six iconic stars of LaLiga being covered with Chinese lanterns. Their names in Chinese accents were given below each player to provide hints for the fans. The fans actively participated to figure out who the players were and also to learn how each player is pronounced and called in Chinese, the language spoken by massive 1.3 billion.
26.01.21 – You are the manager, what’s your take? – LaLiga, Thailand
There is a reason why Football Manager is called the game of evil. The game that positions users on the hot seat of European football is undoubtedly a drug if not all. The element that makes the game so popular is clear: ‘ownership’. Hence, the two players with the same name (Luis Suárez) were taken to rendition for users to take ownership of how they would call each of them differently if they were the manager. So, how would you call them?
11.01.21 – Erling Braut Haaland congratulates the Coming of Age Day – Borussia Dortmund, Japan
Coming of Age Day, the Japanese holiday held annually on the second Monday of January, is held to congratulate and encourage all those who have reached or will reach the age of maturity (20 years old) between April 2 of the previous year and April 1 of the current year, and to help them realize that they have become adults. As Japan celebrates the annual holiday, we hosted Erling Braut Haaland, the world’s most famous 20-year-old footballer on the stage to congratulate the day of marking the passage into adulthood. Congratulating his peers in Japanese, the Norweigian forward shared his sentiments with the fans in Japan.
01.01.21 – Goodbye 2020. Goodbye Kengo Nakamura – Borussia Dortmund, Japan
2021 has finally arrived. After a year that was like no other marred by the pandemic, only ‘farewell’ to 2020 was deemed the right option. However, an unwelcomed farewell was inevitable at the turn of the year as Japanese football bade a sentimental farewell with Kengo Nakamura. The 40-year-old Kawasaki Frontale midfielder officially hung his boot after 17 years of commitment with the club. The stalwart has served more than 500 games with the league champion and more than 60 for the Samurai Blue. A legend on his own, we sent a special message for the retiring Nakamura with an image of Shinji Kagawa and the retiree fondly posing when Borussia Dortmund visited Japan in 2015. Salute to the man and we cross our fingers for Kengo’s future endeavours.
31.12.20 – LaLiga wishes Happy New Year with Indonesia from top to bottom – LaLiga, Indonesia
Living in a big country with its territory elongated through the sides means not only the challenges of physical distance but also the time differences. Just in America, there are nine standard time zones as the country stretches from along the states. It resonates in the East as well as the Indonesian archipelago geographically stretches across three time zones from UTC+07:00 to UTC+09:00 in Western New Guinea. Although the differences are minimal, the differences are distinguishable on a single day of the year: the New Year. As we come to the end of the year 2020 that had been a year like no other, we wished to celebrate the new year with all three different time zones in Indonesia. In two hours, we released three star-studded renditions with LaLiga players for all three of the different time zones. It was a meaningful experience, uniting the archipelago through the power of football.
22.12.20 – Eden Hazard’s mom takes the spotlight as LaLiga celebrates Mothers’ Day – LaLiga, Indonesia
As we celebrate national Mother’s Day in Indonesia, we shifted our focus from players to their greatest supporter, mother. On a graphically designed rendition, we featured Real Madrid C.F.’s top talent, Eden Hazard with his parents flanking the winger. We captioned the image highlighting Eden’s mom, Carine Hazard, who was once a renowned forward in Belgium. We wish happy Mother’s Day to all mothers in the family.
15.12.20 – Big Green celebrates the new year – Real Betis, Japan
As the swirly year of 2020 passes by, we wished to celebrate to mark off the end of another year. A year that has been covered by the repercussions of the pandemic had its silver linings too. For Real Betis, a Spanish side with 113 years of history, it was a year of ‘novelty’ as the Big Green housed a new manager and sports director to kick off the season. In commemoration, we celebrated with the Japanese character, ‘新’, which intimates ‘newness’. We wish everyone a Happy New Year.
10.12.20 – ‘Did you know?’ with Ganassa: Cibeles and Neptuno – LaLiga, Indonesia
Ahead of the derby match between Atlético Madrid and Real Madrid C.F., it was only appropriate to share trivia between the two. On our rare series of the ‘Did you know?’ with Ganassa, we covered the monuments Cibeles and Neptuno. Two different statutes both safely installed in the heart of Madrid, are both the creation of an artisan, Venturo Rodriguez. In the 1980s, Real Madrid began the traditional call to celebrate their achievements at the statue, Cibeles, while their counterpart, began from the 1990s at the Neptune. A rare scene in Asia with a relatively shorter history of football has come as a surprise for many of our followers.
14.12.20 – Napoli protects you from the cold – S.S.C. Napoli, China
As the European footballing actions arrive at the midpoint where Christmas and Boxing Day schedules are a yearly routine, that also means our neighbours in the East are bracing for the coldest period of the year. The temperature dropping to negative degrees Celsius in some cities, it is a season like no other. For social media managers, however, is a chance to take a step closer to the fans. Ahead of the fixture between two leading Serie A sides, S.S.C. Napoli and Inter Milan, we ran a quiz post: ‘Napoli protects you from the cold’ to award fans with a scarf for those who have guessed the match results correctly. A seasonal campaign of its kind only fosters our relationship with the fans under the shivering cold in Asia.
05.12.20 – Father’s day celebration with LaLiga – LaLiga, Thailand
As many would fondly remember, December sounds like the month of Christmas. December, being a month of festivity, is also remembered as Father’s Day in Thailand as they celebrate their dedicated pillars of the family. As the Land of Smile celebrates Father’s Day, we released an image depicting father and dad who have both plied their trades at the world’s most prestigious league, LaLiga. The post that recognized the dedication of dads, reached 6,499 people and received 310 reactions, 5 comments, and 11 shares. We wish happy Father’s Day to all fathers in Thailand.
30.11.20 – Palmerin to your homes – Real Betis, Japan
Japan, being the heart of beloved characters and fantasies, it seems like a daunting task for a European club’s mascot to mark its name in this region. In particular, given the rise of the pandemic, it has become harder to reach out to people through offline engagements and raise the mascot’s awareness. Thus, we chose a simpler and more affordable option: sending mascot to the followers’ homes. We launched a simple but fond campaign where we sent a doll of a Real Betis’ mascot, Palmerin to houses of followers who responded to the post. Palmerin now travels all over the island without having to physically move across the continent. Digital marketing connects people with just a simple click of a button.
21.11.20 – Celebrating World Tree Day with Palmerin – LaLiga, Indonesia
Mascots, the symbolic creature of the football clubs, are often the beloved characters found at the home stadium. Furthermore, they are also a great companion on digital platform if used wisely. As the world celebrates World Tree Day amid the increasing fear of climate change, we took the chance to introduce Palmerin, the mascot of one of our LaLiga outfits, Real Betis. Palmerin has been motived by the many palm trees around the streets of Benito Villamarín, where its stadium is located at. No mascot other than Palmerin would have better celebrated World Tree Day.
11.11.20 – Replacement strategies amid the pandemic drive Twitter fanfare – SD Eibar, Japan
The Covid-19 pandemic has brought hiatus on all levels of the game and it was no exception for the professional side, SD Eibar. As the virus spread outrageously, the league resumed with no fans allowed in the stadium, leaving the players to themselves. We gathered fans online instead. With an emphasis on its home stadium’s capacity of 8,164 at the Ipurua Municipal Stadium, we sought to fill the empty stands virtually through fans’ engagement on social media with the post. Pandemic has changed the world and so has the virtual landscape. Be flexible and adapt to changes.
24.10.20 – Bringing fans to the center stage of El Clásico – LaLiga, Thailand
El Clásico, the football matches between Spain’s most famous and bitterest rivals, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid C.F., often brings rivalry among the fans too. With its long history of fame and trophies, it is no surprise to see the heated conversation brought about in an online platform miles away from Spain among the locals of Thailand. As the world’s fiercest rivals were to pit, we began to receive images of the fans from each side to form a ‘Best XI’ line-up ahead of the fixture with those images. The post that placed fans at the core, reached 12,868 people and generated 765 reactions, 15 comments, and 12 shares. The fiercest rivalry on the pitch can be carried onto social media.
22.10.20 – Local element provides impetus to LaLiga’s social media marketing strategy ahead of El Clásico – LaLiga, Indonesia
El Clásico is often the best time of the year to leverage on LaLiga’s social media presence. Regardless of Asian players’ existence, the rivalry between the two is always enough to attract a global audience. As we geared towards the fiercest fixture of the league, we released a trivia on ex-members who have featured for both teams. In doing so, we applied the golden rule: include a local element. Luis Milla, the former national team manager of Indonesia who is also a former player of both FC Barcelona and Real Madrid C.F. was at the center of the rendition with his quote ahead of the game. As social media manager of a league, it is the best way to satisfy fans from both sides at the same time.
15.10.20 – Celebrating World Animal Day with LaLiga mascots – LaLiga, Indonesia
For every football stadium, you go to, you would see a giant-headed mascot that characterizes the vitality of the home team. With the likes of Gunnersaurus and Stamford the Lion, mascots are beloved dolls of every home stadium, often a recreation of animals. As the world celebrates World Animal Day (4 October), we introduced the fans of Indonesia to the animal-like mascots that symbolize several outfits of the LaLiga. Animals, being traditionally beloved and respected in Asia, the post was well-received by the fans.
10.10.20 – Ganassa with Numbers: Three promotees the largest buyers of the window – LaLiga, Indonesia
The summer transfer window is the best opportunity to best prepare for the year-long season with the right armors and bullets. Though it is mostly the domain of big clubs with the likes of FC Barcelona and Real Madrid C.F. in Spain spending astronomical values each window, in terms of quantity, the limelight has been given to the exact opposites: the promoters. As the summer transfer window of the 2020–21 LaLiga came to a closure, the three promotees, Elche CF, Cádiz CF, and SD Huesca, were found to have bought the most number of players (13, 12, and 10 players respectively), a huge reinforcement and overhaul ahead of the season. The three new members were given the podium as we highlighted their feat of the transfer window. We cross our fingers to all teams of LaLiga for the brand new season.
28.09.20 – Anime marketing in Japanese Twitter continent – SD Eibar, Japan
There’s no one-size-fits-all answer to social media marketing in football. A tool that works well in one region may not be as effective in another and vice versa. Bespoke content and customization should be at the heart of social media marketing. It is, therefore, critical to consider the local taste of the target audience. Japan, a country home to world-renowned animes, animations, and their characters are elements to be harbored with social media marketing. As we vie on the Twitter front on behalf of SD Eibar, we noticed a social trend with the viral hashtag: ‘#Express European football with Ghibli pictures’. Following the trend, we posted an image that empathizes with the feelings of Eibar’s Japanese fans looking forward to the team’s victory. Be observant of the trend and leverage when possible.
21.09.20 – Celebrating World Peace Day through the empowerment of football – LaLiga, Indonesia
Football is not merely a sport of kicking a ball into another’s net. Being a sport that resonates globally, it is embedded close to global citizens. As we have witnessed previously with The Elephants’ then captain, Didier Drogba halting an ongoing civil war in Ivory Coast ahead of the 2006 FIFA World Cup in Germany, football acts as a peacemaker. Thus, as we celebrate World Peace Day on the 21st of September, we wished to imbue the meaning of peace through an image of LaLiga’s fiercest rivals, FC Barcelona and Real Madrid C.F., coming hand in hand. Football connects as one.
13.09.20 – LaLiga isn’t just about the three giants – LaLiga, Indonesia
We all know the three big giants in LaLiga. Atlético Madrid, Real Madrid C.F., and FC Barcelona. They are the trios who each year, share the spotlight of a global audience directed to LaLiga. However, LaLiga isn’t just about these three clubs. With more than 90 years of history, the top tier Spanish league hosts 20 clubs each with enriching narratives and close ties with the citizens. Thus, it is the onus of a social media manager to promote all teams equally not only to raise awareness of these clubs but also to provide quality content for the fans. As LaLiga braced for a derby night between Valencia CF and Levante UD, we released a graphic detailing fun facts behind the fixture. The image with key players of the derby detailed Levante’s old history, being the first club to visit Mestalla Stadium in 1923. It further added that Valencia have always finished above Levante at the end of the season.
02.09.20 – Numbers do not lie – LaLiga, Indonesia
Data Science. The name that has entrenched itself in the past decade as a tool for ‘win’, has become a necessity even on social media. As we face digital native fans in the 21st century, a mere influx of news and features are no longer eye-opening to the fans. Immediate statistics and numbers have been provided to fans after each match by broadcast media and the quantitative results have become the fans’ go-to tool to assess their supporting clubs’ performances. Stats from Roberto Soldado’s xG (expected goals) to the number of saves made by Thibaut Courtois have been the mainstay. Thus, as the new season was in the vicinity, we crafted comprehensive statistics for each LaLiga club for fans to feast on social media. The highly-engaging post was well-received because ‘Numbers do not lie’.
01.09.20 – Your lucky number: 999997 – LaLiga, Thailand
Everywhere in the world, weekly lotteries are seen as a way-out. Way-out of dragging one’s feet to work and way-out from the chain of numerous responsibilities. It is not easy to earn the way-out, however, as one has to pick the right numbers at the right time in the right order. As millions pin their hopes with a slip of their most fortunate numbers, Thailand has seen the unlikeliest number awing millions of its hopefuls. ‘999997’. Amongst all the numbers, only ‘7’ and ‘9’ were picked with ‘9’ appearing record five times. As the number raised surprises rather than disappointment, we took the chance to express these numbers in the best way we can: football. Ronaldo, fondly remembered for donning the ‘Number 9’ with the Seleção, the winners of the 2002 FIFA World Cup, was portrayed five times with the last image being former Real Madrid C.F. forward Cristiano Ronaldo. The post reached more than a hundred thousand garnering 464 shares. Life is a tragedy when seen in close-up, but a comedy in long-shot.
22.08.20~25.08.20 – Borussia Dortmund Virtual Asia Tour, an alternative drive amid the pandemic – Borussia Dortmund, Japan
The tremendous interest received from the fans in Japan upon the launch of Borussia Dortmund’s Japanese Twitter account was an epitome that Dortmund came in the right place at the right time. At a time when face-to-face meetings have been barred and restricted due to the pandemic, the usual pre-season tours have been switched to virtual tours as a tool to engage with the fans who must have longed to be connected since the departure of Japanese international Shinji Kagawa. In a spate of online events, to satisfy the insatiable fandom, we began the session with Roman Weidenfeller. The former Dortmund goalie shared his memories at Asian Tours, matches, and the hardest opponent he had to face.
Leading on, a special documentary was released to connect Tokyo and Dortmund. We featured Borussia’s brand ambassador, Takahiro Ogata, and two other fans at a sushi restaurant in the heart of Tokyo. As they shared their feverish love for the Black and Yellows, Ogata made sushi which would travel miles for former German international Patrick Owomoyela to savour. Building bridges with cultural diversity under the name of football.
A key feature to all celebrities and football stars tour, the autograph session was not compromised during the event. A designated website was built for the fans to download players’ autographed cards to allow fans to download their favourite players’ autographs. The designing process was filmed and released to interact with the fans as well. Also, several players with the likes of Mats Hummels, Emre Can, Marwin Hitz, and Łukasz Piszczek were featured for quiz sessions that included Japanese word and culture challenges to know more about the language and culture.
20.08.20 – Dortmund open official Twitter account in Japan – Borussia Dortmund, Japan
Borussia Dortmund, the club fondly remembered by many Japanese have launched their official Japanese Twitter account. It has been a year since the beloved midfielder, Shinji Kagawa left The Black and Yellows yet Japan remained adoringly to the German outfit as well. As we aided our client with the opening, we took long-serving captain Mats Hummels to the center stage to warmly welcome the fans in Japan. The tweet that was part of the virtual tour due to pandemic constraints quickly became viral on the Japanese Twitter hemisphere. Cheers for more to come for Dortmund and Black and Yellows in Japan.
07.08.20 – So you think you are Real? – LaLiga, Indonesia
Everywhere around the world, several football clubs share similar naming patterns as tons of teams end their names with ‘FC’ (Football Club), or ‘United’. However, not many share similar first (front) names, with many engraving the name of their cities. In LaLiga, four clubs share the same first name: ‘Real’. The word which refers to ‘Royal’ in Spanish, was bestowed to the club by King Alfonso XIII in 1920 together with the royal crown in the emblem for long-time favourties, Real Madrid CF. Thus, we ran a quiz on our social media channel for LaLiga with an image of four teams starting their names with Real: Real Madrid, Real Betis, Real Valladolid, and Real Sociedad to ask fans to guess which club has the longest history since their inaugurations. A trivia on its own has been well-received by the fans.
03.08.20 – Borussia Dortmund launch Japanese Twitter account – Borussia Dortmund, Japan
It was a momentous day for Japan and Borussia Dortmund. The German club with fond memories of Japan have launched their Japanese Twitter account to cater to the local Black and Yellows. Upon the launch, Ganassa released footage featuring Borussia’s fan-favourite stars with the likes of Erling Haaland and Marco Reus and Dortmund’s successful Tokyo trip in 2015. You can watch the video here.
02.08.20 – Incorporating song and football to go viral – LaLiga, Thailand
The people’s love affairs with singing and dancing are trademarks of many Southeast Asian countries. As much as K-pop has set its tone in the region, each country’s traditional songs are deeply rooted with history speaking the truth. In tandem with it, we ran a quiz on Twitter that incorporated two of the favourite hobbies the people from Land of Smile have in common: song and football. A logo of Valencia CF and a portrayal of a player who had plied trade at LaLiga were depicted in the post which hints at the lyrics of the traditional Thai song. The post reached 28,699 people, generating 22 comments and 20 shares. Song, football, and you have all the retweets you want.
29.07.20 – Real Madrid pun wins the heart of Thai fans – LaLiga, Thailand
Santiago Bernabéu Stadium is a fortress that bemoans its LaLiga contenders. In 2019–20 La Liga, the formidable castle allowed no defeat (15 wins and 4 draws) for Real Madrid C.F. at home. To honour the record, an image of the iconic Los Blancos badge surrounded by failed attempts to write ‘lose’ in Thai was created. It was captioned as: ‘Can’t spell lose at home this season’.
The humour was well-received by fans in Thailand and was lauded for the pun. The post reached out to 136,753 people and generated 706 shares and 91 comments. Loosen the mood with puns (be it intended or not).
21.07.20 – Blackpink Jennie stands on Napoli’s favour – S.S.C. Napoli, China
The K-Pop sensation is cross-continental. Even South Korea’s very own Son Heung-min has admitted he is “less popular than BTS”, the only K-pop group to win the Top Duo/Group award at the Billboard Music Awards. On top of the pyramid stands Blackpink, the South Korean girl group sweeping the continent since its origin in 2016. With millions of eyes directed to the millennial, one of the members, Jennie, stands in S.S.C. Napoli’s favour. The 24-year-old singer, Jennie, is a huge fan of Napoli, posting on her Instagram of herself with a Napoli badge. She is an ambassador of GCDS, a fashion outlet which launched its latest design in cooperation with Napoli last year. It presented an immense opportunity for Napoli’s account operation on Weibo to utilize the chance to reach out to a whole new audience that may have never known who Napoli were.
18.06.20 – Dries Mertens’ Napoli story – S.S.C. Napoli, China
S.S.C. Napoli have always welcomed football’s mercurial talents. Since Diego Maradona, if there is one player to be associated with Napoli, that would be Dries Mertens. Thus, a video was created to highlight Mertens’ new signing of the contract and the Belgian shared his love affair with the city, the people, and of course, the club. The video not only allowed fans in China a look into his life but also what it’s like to live in the beautiful city of Naples.
13.06.20 – UCL celebrates Keisuke Honda’s 34th birthday – UEFA Champions League, Japan
A journeyman on his own, Japan’s stalwart midfielder, Keisuke Honda has entrenched quickly and firmly on the heart of European football with his impeccable left foot. The guile has seen him ply his trade at European giants with the likes of VVV-Venlo, PFC CSKA Moscow, and A.C. Milan. Through the journey, UEFA Champions League, the dreamt stage for all footballers has also been the highlight of the former Japanese international. As the incumbent Cambodia manager reaches his 34th birthday, we created a compilation video for the beloved Keisuke Honda, and to our surprise and honour, he replied offering his sincerest gratitude. It’s impossible to leave the job of a social media manager, with players like Keisuke. Subarashī!
07.05.20 – Celebrating full moon with Indonesia – LaLiga, Indonesia
Cultural diversity exists across the world and it is paramount to respect them, especially if one is to engage with football fans in Asia. On that note, Ganassa celebrated Vesak day through Twitter on behalf of our client, LaLiga. Vesak day, a festival celebrating the birth, enlightenment and death of Gautama Buddha in Theravada and Tibetan Buddhism is normally held on Sunday closest to full moon in May. It is part and parcel of localising the content and cultivating the fanbase. We seek to soak ourselves to the fullest to the rich pool of diversity presented in Asia.
02.05.20 – Social media managers should leave the boundary of mere translations – LaLiga, Indonesia
One key aspect of managing a social media account for a foreign club in a foreign land is ‘customization’. At an age where everyone wishes to feel cared for, bespoke contents that are localised to the tastes of locals are of paramount importance.
As we run LaLiga’s Indonesian social media account on Twitter (@LaLigaID), we were cautious not to only fulfill the sole obligation of translating content provided by the client but also to safeguard the locality at the heart of it. Thus, on National Education Day (Hari Pendidikan Nasional), we tweeted a video to wish continuous and jovial learning for the Indonesian children and thanked the teachers for staying put amid the difficult time the world is facing. Football can do more than the game itself and has to do so.
21.04.20 – Si Juki meets Perico – LaLiga, Indonesia
Si Juki is an award-winning Indonesian comic series created by cartoonist Faza Meonk. Juki is an eccentric high school graduate of Betawi heritage who navigates his daily life in Jakarta through his rather goofy ‘anti-mainstream’ eyes. A beloved fictional character in Indonesia, he is particularly popular among the young male demographic.
In April, Juki was in Spain to promote his latest book, ‘Si Juki Jelajah Spanyol bersama LaLiga’ (Si Juki exploring Spain with LaLiga). As part of Juki’s promotional campaign, he has been expanding his wings around the Spanish clubs, meeting different mascots. It was an ideal opportunity for mutual promotion. So, we blurred out an image of Juki meeting another mascot and tweeted to ask @JukiHoki and followers of LaLigaID if they could recognise Juki’s company. In case you were wondering, it was, of course, Espanyol’s Perico the parakeet.
15.03.20 – Di Lorenzo thanks Chinese fan amid Covid-19 crisis – S.S.C. Napoli, China
Dizi is an S.S.C. Napoli fan in China who has been fervently participating and organising voluntary activities in Wuhan during the Covid-19 crisis. To thank Dizi for her tremendous and selfless efforts, we created a video with Italian international Giovanni Di Lorenzo to express his gratitude and support. It showed genuine care for the fans in China amid a distressful time and highlighted the unsung heroes amid the crisis. We are better together during this difficult time.
13.03.20 – Real Betis Féminas send messages for fans in Japan – Real Betis, Japan
At Ganassa, inclusion and diversity are the key pillars as we aim to bind communities together under humanity’s favourite sport, football. Therefore, our clients’ women’s team are equally important and cared for in our goals to bridge the European clubs with the Asian fans. Recently, we created a video featuring two of the Real Betis’ best young talents – Rosa Marquez and Anna Bougas – to share their messages for the fans in Japan. Women’s football is a key aspect of the game and we pin our hopes that these messages could empower aspiring girls to fulfill their wishes and dreams.
23.02.20, Romanistas at Tokyo gather with a sense of belonging – A.S. Roma, Japan
Building a fanbase for a football club is not an easy task. It is especially harder if we are to build the fanbase miles away from where the football club kicks about. Stadio Olimpico, the home of A.S. Roma, is where the Romanistas convene in Italy. However, for Romanistas in Tokyo, the 13-hour-long distance compromises one’s fervent desire for a couch with a TV. Though, it was possible to gather like-minded individuals on a firm belief of belonging.
We gathered Romanistas in Japan to build not just the fanbase but also a community. The fans built camaraderie, enjoyed each other’s company, and most importantly, built a sense of belonging miles away from Rome. It was a night to remember under Tokyo’s gazing moonlight. (Click for more)
13.02.20 – Myriads of Japanese Champions League stars featured with the launch of UCLJapan – UEFA Champions League, Japan
With more than 60 years of history, UEFA Champions League (UCL) is one of the most decorated tournaments in the world. Featuring the top-flight clubs with the likes of Juventus F.C. and Borussia Dortmund, it is a dream for any aspirants. Many from Japan have plied their trades on the international stage too. With the launch of UCL’s Japanese Twitter account, we rolled out footage to celebrate the occasion with the myriads of Japanese footballers who have celebrated the wealth of history in the Champions League.
With the classic Champions League music in the background, left-foot specialist, Shunsuke Nakamura, kicked off the 31-second-long footage. The marvelous free-kick that silenced Manchester United F.C. was followed by Yuto Nagatomo’s defensive beauty at his stint with Inter Milan, while Keisuke Honda’s screamer ensued. Then, Dortmund-stalwart, Shinji Kagawa, and FC Red Bull Salzburg’s reliable midfielder Takumi Minamino capped off to leave a tingling sensation in the hearts of football fans in Japan.
13.01.20, Tokyo – Bringing European football through the fans – A.S. Roma, Japan
So as the saying ‘When in Rome, do as the Romans do’, cultural differences exist across the world. So is football. You loiter around the streets of Europe and quench your thirst at a local bar, it would be no surprise to witness Wembley or San Siro dawning on your eyes, with most conversations persistently being related to football. That may not be the case in Japan. Furthermore, European football that is miles away from their backyard may sound rather far-fetched. So we brought European football to their backyards. In a cheaper but creative demeanour.
As Italy’s pronounced outfit A.S. Roma braced for their fixture at Stadio Olimpico, in a bid to increase the awareness among the Tokyoites, we gathered the local Roma and Juventus F.C. fans for a futsal match. They donned the jerseys with the likes of Paulo Dybala, Francesco Totti, and Lorenzo Pellegrini, and a video was created to present the true Romanistas and Bianconeris. Bring European football through the hearts and souls of dedicated fans.
13.01.20 – Diego Demme shares his journey with fans across the border – S.S.C. Napoli, China
Modern football is not limited to the 90 minutes of drama and tears on the pitch. It has the sentiments that resonate globally through stories and narratives closely related to the bottom of our hearts. In line with the spirit, we organised an interview with S.S.C. Napoli’s German international Diego Demme. Joining the Gli Azzurri from RB Leipzig, the diminutive midfielder introduced himself to the fans of China and shared his story on his journey at Arminia Bielefeld, two of his inspirations – Gennaro Gattuso and Andrea Pirlo, and his fervent love for his two dogs. The interview was subtitled in Chinese. #ForzaNapoliSempre
20.12.19 – Japan dons black-and-white with friends over 47 provinces – Juventus F.C., Japan
Japan is not just limited to Tokyo. It is a huge country with land space 1.6 times larger than that of the United Kingdom. Each cities and provinces are occupied from Sapporo in the north to the little island of Okinawa in the south, a remote island rather close to Taiwan. With the large territory, diverse cultural backgrounds exist yet, football, is an exception.
We were curious to find out if we could gather Bianconeris over 47 provinces of Japan, or whether they even exist in some provinces. However, the task that seemed so dauting was completed with just a tweet. We created a graphic of Japan fully colored in the black-and-whites to celebrate with our ‘friends of Juventus’.
30.11.19 – Gianluca’s message elates the locals on its inauguration – A.S. Roma, Japan
As we launch the Japanese Twitter account of AS Roma, it was of utmost importance to add authenticity and underscore Roma’s genuine interest for fans in Japan. A footage of budding center-half Gianluca Mancini speaking to the Romanistas in Japan was released to appreciate the fans’ everlasting support. The video was entirely subtitled in Japanese and ended with the tagline, ‘Forza Roma’, to imply Roma’s vibrancy through the support of fans in Japan.
09.10.19 – Takashi Inui’s 100 at SD Eibar celebrated on Twitter – SD Eibar, Japan
Most often, the best way to tap on to the Asian market is to bring in the Asia’s best local talents. It is no different in Japan. With pride as Asia’s leading football nation, seeing its talent competing with the best at the heart of European football enraptures the fervent football lovers in Japan. That’s not all, however, in the age of digital media where people are digital natives and seek to thrive in consumption, it is critical for clubs with local players to leverage through engaging with the fans by bespoke contents on social media platforms. At Ganassa we commemorated Takashi Inui’s 100 games with SD Eibar by creating a graphic to celebrate his milestone on Twitter. Respect for the man who has calved out his career amongst the Europe’s best.
23.08.19 – 10 Things You Need to Know about Hirving Lozano – a step closer to China – S.S.C. Napoli, China
On behalf of our client, S.S.C. Napoli , Ganassa bridge the Chinese market through Weibo, the app used by 25% of its population – a staggering 340 million. To build rapport with the fans, we created ‘10 things you need to know about Hirving Lozano’ in a featured article that entailed Lozano’s nickname (‘Chucky’ – the name of a doll in an American horror movie; given to him as he loved to scare his teammates hiding under the bed), his favourite kind of holiday (relaxing by the beach), career highlights that includes World Cup wonder against Germany at the 2018 FIFA World Cup. With the comprehensive list, Napoli has taken a stride in China.
06.06.19 – Pokémon marketing is not a tool but absorption of culture – Real Betis, Japan
Japan, being the epicenter of where bountiful and dearest Pokémons were born, these anime-created creatures are heavily entrenched as part of the culture with high infiltration to its society and daily consumption. Incorporating the Pokémon mindset, associating them with a football club was not only limited to marketing strategy but a way to fully engage with the locals by soaking into the Japanese culture.
The Big Green (Real Betis), hoping to find out the Pokémon that best represent the integration of their colors and fast and aggressive characters, ran polls online to hear from the fans. The fan-centered poll has allowed followers to not only relate the outfit to a beloved creature but also actively engaged in an online discussion that would leave a lasting impression on the social media platform. Understanding the local culture and respecting them are always the priorities.
11.03.19 – Leveraging the opposition to ride along – SD Eibar, Japan
From Shinji Kagawa to Takahiro Tomiyasu, the talented prodigies have brandished the Japanese flag at the heart of European football. For marketers serving European clubs with fan-favorite Japanese players as their flagship, it is a jovial ride to sail seamlessly in the sea full of tweets. There are tricks, however, for clubs yet to hose these Japanese talents – capitalise on the opposition that does have. We knew SD Eibar’s outing against Takashi Inui’s Alaves would be under the limelight. We highlighted the MVP of the game, Chilean international Fabian Orellana, with a graphic to increase familiarity and club awareness in Japan. It was a step closer to the heart of the locals.
31.01.19 – Erina Yamane Interview – Real Betis, Japan
For all Japanese visitors at Betis, Real Betis, featuring Japanese international custodian Erina Yamane, are the main tourist attraction. Here’s the guide ahead of your next visit to Spain. We catch Erina on her break to cover from her life in Spain and transfer saga to accidentally commanding the game in Japanese between the posts.
The six-parts interview split to continuously interact with the fans shows how down to earth she is and are now viewable at @RealBetis_jp.
17.01.19, Fans rejoice Christmas with derby on the table – SD Eibar, Japan
Christmas is around the corner and the festivity was celebrated in a collective spirit for the local Japanese fans of SD Eibar and Real Betis in a delightful bar in Tokyo. With the community-first spirit, we spent Christmas together with the fans to rejoice in the ‘Takashi Inui Derby’ on the 22nd of December. The event offering fans opportunities to socialize, cheer, and win prizes were filled with fond memories, where the bar (Estadio Dining and Bar) was decorated to exude the Spanish tastes of Betis and Eibar. The fans cheered till the end of the whistle and witnessed both sides sharing the spoils in a draw. To wrap up the event, a raffle was held and palatable cuisines were served. The event not only helped build a reputation for both outfits but underscored the spirit of solidarity amongst fans.
13.11.18 – Joaquín jersey deepens ties – Real Betis, Japan
Based on the fond recount of Marc Bartra’s autographed jersey bringing new Japanese fans to Real Betis, it was difficult to ignore the thousands of empty hands. The evergreen club legend Joaquín rolled up his sleeves for the luckiest fan to be awarded his autographed jersey. It soon became viral with Betis’ solid foundation in social media entrenched through the previous Bartra campaign – solidifying its image as ‘the generous’. The tweet featuring a clip of Joaquín and homegrown star Takashi Inui was watched over 50,000 times, accumulating 1,200 retweets.
05.11.18 – Bartra Jersey and Twitter Wave – Real Betis, Japan
At Ganassa LLC, we are always seeking to provide creative engagement tools for clubs to interact with the fans through social media. In 2018, through the fan-first strategy, we organised a Twitter event to reward fans with the autographed jersey of new-signings, Marc Bartra – the outfit that would probably bestow you the legitimacy to control the line at your Sunday league outing. It was as simple as following the official account (@RealBetis_JP) and retweet the footage of the beloved center-half’s signing of the Number 5 jersey. The campaign was well-received amongst the fervent football fans generating close to 1,000 retweets.