Today is a sad morning. My club just lost yesterday to Espanyol Barcelona at the quarter-finals of UEFA Cup, so i started to look for something positive about Benfica to cheer me up, and nothing better than announcing that Benfica has their own fan club at Second Life !
According to the sources, this is the first major football/soccer club to have a presence at Second Life, with some virtual merchandise to see or chat with other club fans. And this was all created by 2 loyal geek supporters, although the Marketing Department of the club is already in talks and looking at ways to be a part of it.
Second Life surely is a great opportunity to sports marketing, with their inherent fan based culture and passion about their other selfs. In a way a club fan is having a second life when he goes to matches or gathers his friends to have a beer while watching the match on TV.
While Benfica is not as global as Manchester or Real Madrid (although it is officially the club with most associates), if they manage to create a great experience at the virtual fan club, with clever product placements, merchandising, memorabilia and links to the online store, it might be a great revenue source – maybe next year we could pitch Saviola or Ronaldinho :).
Oh, out of curisity, the anagram for Benfica is SLB (Sport Lisboa Benfica), as in Second Life Benfica.