Out now - SportsPro issue 73: Inside Manchester United’s digital money factory

5 January 2015 | Posted in Notes & Insights | By James Emmett | Contact the author

Out now - SportsPro issue 73: Inside Manchester United’s digital money factory

Since the February edition of SportsPro magazine was sent to the printers just before Christmas, Manchester United have amassed 180,000 more Twitter followers, 300,000 more fans on Sina Weibo, and 800,000 more likes on Facebook.

Late to the party, the Premier League giants didn't go near social media until 2010. Since launching on Facebook five years ago, the club has snowballed its following to 63.5 million. Expanding its social media presence to include output on Twitter, Google Plus, Instagram, Pinterest, Sina Weibo, and Tencent Weibo, the club is now directly in touch with over 120 million people around the world.

According to Manchester United group managing director Richard Arnold, United are the most engaging thing on the internet.

In our February cover story - 'Posting profits - we put United's digital strategy under the microscope, and delve into the remarkable statistics that have allowed the club to monetise its online and mobile output better than any other sporting entity around.

Elsewhere in the issue:

- We look back to the recent past to better understand the near future, running the rule over the 25 stories that shaped 2014, before sticking our necks out to predict the ten figures to shape 2015.

- David Cushnan squints hard at his Olympic tea leaves, drawing conclusions from a momentous International Olympic Committee meeting in Monaco last month.

- Eoin Connolly goes AWOL, before returning to deliver the definitive guide to the Mexican sports industry. In retrospect, it's clear he was in Mexico City, where AAA, the preeminent promoter of traditional Mexican wrestling discipline lucha libre, is making hay.

- From our West Coast outpost, Ian McPherson chews the cud with Major League Soccer commissioner Don Garber, before burrowing deep into the foundations of the league's coming-of-age rebrand.

- Meanwhile, Michael Long commits a technical foul by revealing how the Cleveland Cavaliers aim to capitalise on the return of LeBron James. He'll be out of the game until the March edition.

- And in a fight sports special, David Cushnan takes on Mike Tyson, forcing the 'baddest man on the planet' to answer some very powerful questions, guest writer Jon Abraham debuts with a look inside the grapple game at the Sambo world championships in Japan, and I go face to face with Lord Michael Grade.

Get your hands on a copy of the magazine here.

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