Egor Kretsan: Zenit St Petersburg - bold, brash and speaking 15 languages

Egor Kretsan: Zenit St Petersburg - bold, brash and speaking 15 languages

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Russian football is undergoing a makeover. It has just hosted a successful World Cup and its club sides are regulars in the latter stages of European competition. The Russian League revealed a radical rebranding last year and its leading club, Zenit St Petersburg, are thinking beyond the serious stereotype into which the country’s persona sometimes falls.

They are creating high polished content, translating it into 15 languages and are not afraid to take on the world’s big teams and major media outlets on social media.

New Media Director Egor Kretsan leads the club’s content strategy. He spoke to me about their approach.


2:56 Outlining Zenit’s multi-lingual strategy. How many languages and why they started in Persian

4:14 Why they don’t use agencies and decide to employ their fans

8:12 How do you manage 15 fan blogs “It is about building relationships and talking to people”

10:58 “The first the multilingual was more opportunistic, now it is about strategy”

13:37 Changing the story for different markets

14:45 Giving the bloggers some autonomy

15:35 How do measure the success of each blogger

17:16 ‘Issues’ and how to manage with them

19:32 The social media trends in different countries

22:34 The size of his team

24:18 The content strategy in a nutshell

26:45 The role of Zenit TV

29:01 How highlights are used “The only way to watch the Russian League abroad is google”.

30:07 Exporting the Russian League is the “hottest topic” right now.

31:12 The rebranding of the League last season

Zenit 1 Daily Mail 0

Zenit 1 Daily Mail 0

32:22 TV - “It is easier to watch the Dutch League than the Russian League but we are No 6 ranked country in the world”

32:53 The confidence of having a fine World Cup

35:32 Working with VK/Telegram

36:48 The strength of VK - “better than Facebook and great engagement”. The weakness of VK - Piracy

37:52 Telegram - the usage of it channels

39:51 Using Foursquare/Swarm, Yandex (a competitor to Google), OK - big in the provinces and the home of the the Classico in Russia

43:07 The tone of voice - talking to fans and clubs, like digging out Chelsea

45:56 “Art v Humour”

47:01 The small Russian club who have pushed their way into the national media through social

48.32 Attacking the issue of racism in Russian Football and Zenit St Petersburg

51:15 The source of new ideas

53:25 The best teams on social media in Russia

55:06 The problems of slow internet reaction

56:01 Flares for the Zenit bus for the Fenerbahce game and why it got 22m views

59:52 Other successes - the G Drive show. A sponsored show that received excellent engagement.

1:01:45 Taking on the Daily Mail

1:04:55 The emphasis on branded content and how they approach it


Egor Krestan on LinkedIN

Zenit on English website, English Twitter, Instagram, YouTube

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