Luis Enrique: can his landing on Twitch change communication in football?

Luis Enrique: can his landing on Twitch change communication in football?

Luis Enrique

Stadiums with air conditioning, the defeats of Argentina and Germany. But the real novelty of this 2022 World Cup in Qatar was brought by Luis Enrique: the former coach of Rome and Barcelona, ​​now coach of the Spanish national team, has decided to tell his experience in the tournament through a series of live streams on Twitch, the streaming platform linked to Amazon . It is a small big revolution in the world of football, and not so much because a coach has decided to approach the social world in a different way. In fact, there are many on Instagram, but more abroad than in Italy, so much so that of the top eight teams in last season's standings, only Spalletti from Napoli and Mourinho from Roma have a social account. And perhaps it is no coincidence: in the world of football, perhaps more in Italy than elsewhere, having a presence on social networks could represent excessive overexposure for a coach. In a football-centric country which, according to an old saying, is made up of sixty million coaches, having an account on Instagam could mean adding more pressure to that produced by traditional media and cheering. Added to this is the very strict communication strategy adopted in recent years by clubs and federations which, together with television and streaming services, have distanced the protagonists from the public. Over time we have therefore become accustomed to knowing only the "pre-compiled" thoughts of professionals which, in fact, can be summed up in a series of circumstantial sentences which vary at most according to the results. This impeccable approach in his stereotyped way of communicating (dictated by a billionaire business), has taken away a lot of emotions from football. The main players, therefore, are flattened, almost dehumanized, showing only the dimension of the athlete or coach.

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Communication in football

Luis Enrique's idea, in this sense, is brilliant. Him deciding to tell his feelings, among other things in the context of the football event par excellence where tension is very high, works, even if he decides not to expose himself 100 percent. Because? First of all, because today football communication is always very controlled. Despite the recent landing of clubs on applications such as YouTube, TikTok or Instagram, where live interviews with their favorites are also offered to the public, communication is never direct but is always mediated by a representative of the team's communication office. The difference with Luis Enrique's live streams is also - and above all - here: although he will surely have asked for permission to create similar content from the Spanish football federation, the fact that he is there alone, like one of the many Twitch streamers , in front of 350,000 followers who interact with him, allows us to get to know him and appreciate him perhaps with a few less filters. In fact, he is the one to open the discussion, he is the one who chooses which questions to answer and which to ignore and he will always be the one to decide if and how to show his emotions during the tournament after a victory and after a defeat. The experiment, for now, is bearing fruit with a huge following: The ceiling of simultaneous viewers reached in just over an hour of live coverage was over 150,000 people, more than double that recorded by other professional streamers such as Ibai Llanos and AuronPlay. A success that, for the moment, is destined to grow further after the first victory on its debut with a sensational 7-0 against Costa Rica.

"My intention is to do of the streaming sessions during Qatar 2022, I think it could be interesting to establish a direct and unfiltered relationship by telling you about the world championship from a particular point of view, mine"

“Lucho”, the streamer

For his new career as a streamer, Luis Enrique has in any case shown that he is already up to par with his direct competitors: his speaking and entertaining skills are not lacking in class. We would have to say something about the choice of the name of his account luisenrique21, perhaps it would have been better to use the nickname that accompanied him almost everywhere: “Lucho”. It probably would have been more intriguing. However, he doesn't seem to particularly need marketing lessons, since a week after the creation of the profile he already has around 600,000 followers.

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This is because it shows a new side of itself. Ready-go, he immediately spoke of his project, revealing his source of inspiration: "The idea was born watching my son spend many hours following the streamers". In the question and answer with the users, Luis Enrique tries not to hide anything, also expressing himself on situations which, in a more institutional context, could have created some problems for him in the locker room or with public opinion. Any examples? "If Busquets was Del Bosque's point of reference on the pitch - a follower asks him - what is the point about him?" . "The answer is very simple - jokes the coach - it's Mr. Ferran Torres. You know, if I don't answer like this, my daughter will cut my head off!" . Sira Martinez, the coach's eldest daughter, has in fact been engaged for about a year with the Barcelona and national team striker. And again: “ They asked me where the subscribers' money goes. I'm not going to make any money. All proceeds will go to a charitable cause. There are many better coaches than me. I'm a modest guy even if it doesn't seem like it. I think I'm a good coach but there are many (Guardiola, Klopp, Ancelotti...)". And then the passion for first courses in Rome - where the yellow and red team lived and trained - and the wish for Messi to win the World Cup, Spain permitting of course.

A turning point?< /h2> Will this new relationship of talking to fans improve things? Perhaps . Luis Enrique's streamer approach can be a method of breaking away from a past in which the sportsman in general has transformed into a "mythologized" protagonist armored in a gilded cage from his own environment. It won't be a turning point, of course, but the Spanish coach - if he were imitated by his colleagues - could have created cracks in a glossy superstructure, allowing to normalize a sport which - for various reasons - is experienced in a toxic way by everyone. How will we know if he has succeeded? If and when, Spain will lose a match in this World Cup…

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