Liverpool Football Club chairman and former EA Sports boss (opens in new tab) Peter Moore is a wee bit worried about all the videogames young people are playing when they could be watching football, instead. There’s a lot of pressure on people’s time now, he reckons, and competition from the likes of Fortnite (opens in new tab).
Moore, 64, is particularly concerned about my ability to sit down for 90 minutes, apparently. As a millennial male, according to Moore, I don’t like sitting. After years in Sega, Microsoft and EA, Moore knows quite a bit about video games and the people who play them, but he’s clearly fallen into the trap of making peculiar assertions about people born between the 1980s and early 2000s.
“90 minutes is a long time for a millennial male to sit down on a couch,” Moore told the Arabian Business (cheers, SportsPro (opens in new tab)) . “When I look at viewing and attendance figures of millennial males, I’m concerned as a chief executive of a football club that relies on the next generation of fans coming through.”
Sorry, Peter, I flipping love sitting down. I’m doing it right now and I will continue to do it all day. Then again, I’ve only watched 3 football matches in their entirety, and I did get paid for one of them, so Fortnite’s really not to blame for me not putting the last game, or any, on the TV.
Presumably, Moore’s more worried about the people who otherwise think football is fine, and to attract them back to the sport, he thinks Liverpool FC needs to “build technological prowess as a club” or they’ll lose the viewers.
“We are an industry that needs to harness technology to make sure we don’t miss an entire generation of young people growing up that don’t have that love for football,” Moore said. “We need to package content in bites of 60 to 90 seconds to keep their engagement.”
Easily shareable ‘content’ might be what we crave the most, at least that's what I keep being told, but that’s down to social media rather than gaming. Fortnite matches might be briefer than football, but they’re not 60 seconds long. The whole attention span myth seems especially weird during an era of binge watching streamed TV and videogames that straight up never end.
The club is now working with IBM, Moore explained, improving its website and apps so it can keep churning out content for fans to devour, tailored specifically to them. “That’s something I learned in video games. I can push you all kinds of stuff on particular players, but if you’re only interested in Mohamed Salah, and I don’t know that, my outreach is wasted.”
What do you reckon, football fans? Want more social media and game-inspired stuff? Or do you just want to watch people play football?