Working with Rebel FC, SE Dons and Palmers FC gave us an insight into the fast-paced and exciting world of football Vlogging. Each boast a viewership in the tens (or even hundreds!) of thousands meaning their attraction is something many semi-professional clubs would love to achieve, but how have they done it?
Simply put it’s through quality content that started as organic and has been driven from within. Taking professional level production values down to the grassroots at a fraction of the price has been instrumental in how it works. This coupled with the raw nature of the grassroots game seems to appeal to a wide audience of football fans across the globe providing them unparalleled access to the individuals involved along with a familiar sense of what it’s like to play “real” grassroots football.
Consistency also appears to be key to success in a space that is becoming more popular. Palmers' Sunday League Extra has become a staple across the football season with viewers tuning in each week to get the best of the action. The quick wit of Palmer’s front man Smiv allows for an entertaining watch with a style of football and facilities all viewers can relate to with a wry smile.
Sunday 26th August saw us cover Palmers FC vs SE Dons with the “YouTube championship belt” on the line. This followed the week before where SE Dons battled it out with Rebel FC, who boast YouTuber Calfreezy amongst their ranks. We were drafted in to give an extra element to each game providing elevated footage (thanks to the Hi-Pod!) which added that dimension not seen much among the YouTube ranks.
Both games offered a fresh perspective on grassroots football but not everything is entirely different.
Firstly the passion is real. Football is the real driver and it brings this YouTube community together. It’s a new way of consuming football but this is no different with grounding in the love of the beautiful game.
It can go off, big-time. Palmer’s titled their Sunday League Extra video as “scenes” which was very apt; celebrations are uncontained, limbs fly everywhere and tackles date back to the ‘80s. The passion previously mentioned is magnified by the lens the players play in front of. It’s the very raw emotion football fans seem to crave from their polished, media-trained professional heroes gracing the upper tiers of the football pyramid.
Nothing beats a beauty. Palmer’s scored one of the best goals you’ll see in the game we covered. I’m thinking Bale in the Champions League final (a little closer in but you get the idea). The admiration and joy for a sensational piece of skill such as an overhead kick doesn’t change whatever level you are at. You need to check out 15.04 in the video to see Palmers' Asa score a goal of a lifetime.
Ultimately YouTube teams offer us that window into why we all love to kick a round ball in the back of a net. It captures the rawness of football and promotes the experience many of us have all shared. It claims back some of the reality of the game that’s seemingly drained from the professional ranks. And that is why we love it.