#ThisCityIsOurs – Interview with Omer Shai on Wix’s partnership with MCFC

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We are happy to feature our recent interview with Omer Shai, head of marketing of the web development platform Wix.com. We had the opportunity to ask him 10 questions about sports marketing in general and Wix’s #ThisCityIsOurs campaign with Manchester City FC in particular.

1. Could you please tell our readers more about yourself?

Omer Shai Wix.com

Omer Shai – CMO at Wix.com

I’m the CMO at Wix.com. I’ve been in the marketing industry for over 11 years and my areas of expertise are search optimization, online advertising and social media.

At Wix I’m responsible for the company’s global online and offline marketing activity, which boasts an incredible grow of over 1.5 million new users every month. I joined Wix in February 2008 and I’ve been helping the company and the business with its international expansion, including the US, UK, Brazil, Canada and Australia, releasing the product in nine different languages.

Prior to Wix, I’ve co-founded and led marketing for Hyperactive, the digital design corporation, and worked as an online marketing consultant for several leading brands.

2. Could you please explain to us the essence of Wix’s campaign with Manchester City?

As Manchester City’s official website design & hosting partner, we kicked off the first fan engagement activity for the season by unveiling “This City is Ours,” a stunning website dedicated to the fans keeping the city blue. Please have a look here:

#thiscityisours homepage

Homepage of #ThisCityIsOurs

The website showcases images of some of the truest Manchester City fans and the codes they live by, beginning with seven fans from in and around the Manchester area, who share their personal stories and experiences related to the club.

The seven lucky featured fans hail from all areas of the city with some very different backgrounds. They include some serious Manchester City diehards:

  • Seven year old Braydon Bent from Lynn who keeps his father’s seat from the old stadium at Maine Road in his own bedroom;
  • Forty-five year old barber Jason Mellowes who now lives in Stockport, whose Uncle Derek drove the team to Wembley for their 1969 FA Cup Final win;
  • Thirty-four year old tattooist Wayne Coyle from Droylsden, who runs a charity called Community Cutz that has given over 1,000 free haircuts to people over 60. (note, Wix.com are providing Wayne with a dedicated web site for his free haircut charity)

This City is ours will also feature more fan profiles, competitions and unique content from the Club throughout the coming season, highlighting the fans as the driving force behind City’s success.

3. On what channels will the campaign be communicated?

This campaign – “The City is Ours” is life through the site http://www.wix.com/mcfc/thiscityisours, which will bring the Manchester City fans closer to the platform. During the season we will be adding more fans.

In addition we have done a competition on the Wix Facebook page asking fans what city means to them. The winners will receive signed Items by Sergio Aguero, among other prizes.

4. What led you to establish the partnership with Manchester City? How did you come up with the idea?

We are firm believers in connecting with campaigns and brands with which we share the same values – which are, in this case, innovation, growth, beauty of the game, and building something great from the ground up. 

We are happy to have the opportunity to connect with new audiences, especially when it comes to Manchester City’s great fan base, people who are known for being joyful, grounded, and loyal to their routes. We see much of ourselves in them.

The idea came up because we wanted to celebrate these similar values that we share with the fans of the club, and as a tribute to them at this point in time (season kick-off), and as ones who sometimes don’t get the pat on the back they deserve as ones who lift the spirits up week by week, consistently, throughout the season. 

5. Why did you choose the platform football to promote Wix? Where do you see a fit between the football club and your web development platform? 

The great fit lies within the core values of our brand, as well as the fact that football is greatly loved and celebrated across the globe, and what bigger league to join than the Premier League, the #1 most viewed, admired and celebrated league ever.

6. What are the goals of Wix’s partnership with MCFC for the coming season? 

Our main goal is to connect with the great fans of the club, first and foremost, and introducing them to the values of our product and how Wix can be of great value for many of them, in several different ways, be it for small businesses such as photographers, restaurants, online stores, musicians, hoteliers – or individual service providers, to name a few. 

7. Do you see any particularities in marketing to a sports audience? 

Sports audiences are known for one major unique attribute – passion. This is something that we greatly identify with, and make sure our own passion is felt not only in the hallways of our organisation but specifically in every inch of our product. Anyone starting their journey using Wix is actually filled with incredible passion to express, online, what they wish, and we’re there to enable it.  

8. How do you see the recent development of transfer fees and salaries in the world of football? Do you think it will have an impact on marketing strategies in that particular industry? 

Probably in the future they will but only time can say.

9. What’s your best professional advice for any marketer?

Make sure you know your users really well, they are your most valuable asset. Without knowing them you won’t be able to create a successful and impactful marketing campaign.

 10. What’s your favourite (football) goal? 

My favourite goal is from the Israeli State Cup 1991/1992 season when Hapoel Petach Tikva, Menni Basson v Maccabi Tel Aviv scored 3-1, winning after extra time, qualifying for the UEFA Cup Winners’ Cup.

Many thanks for your time and insights, Omer Shai! All the best from the Football Marketing Magazine.

Pictures: Wix.com

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