A couple of months ago I saw Steven Bartlett, CEO and Founder of Social Chain, speak in Amsterdam at Affiliate Summit Europe about how brands can utilize social media and remain authentic.
During his presentation, he told a story about how he was set to speak at the Soccerex conference in 2015 and he wanted to prove his agency could make anything the most talked about topic online in a short period of time.
On the day before his talk at Soccerex, he looked at data of football clubs in the EPL and saw that one, in particular, had the most negative sentiment towards their manager: Arsène Wenger at Arsenal.
Fans were unhappy that he hadn’t signed a player, so Bartlett decided to create a fake player and see how far they could go with it.
And so, he posted as breaking news to two of their sports social media channels that Rex Secco (an anagram of SoccerEx), a 16-year-old had signed to Arsenal for $34 million.
The story became international news until Bartlett explained it was all a hoax a day later.
— Soccerex (@Soccerex) September 7, 2015
It was an impressive example of the impact of social media, and I’d imagine Arsenal fans still wish Rex Secco was real.