Manchester United have teamed up with Google+ to provide fans with a unique way of appearing pitchside during the club's Premier League showdown against Liverpool.
Supporters are being asked to share a photo of themselves passionately supporting the Red Devils via Google's platform, with a select few making it onto Old Trafford's digital advertising boards for the much-anticipated match.
Richard Arnold, United's group managing director, detailed the initiative, as reported by Paul Handler of the Manchester Evening News:
This ground-breaking initiative offers a dynamic and innovative way for our fans worldwide to get even closer to the club they love.
[...] Working with Google we are giving the chance for some of our 659 million followers around the globe to have a unique opportunity to be pitchside at one of the biggest games in world football, something that is a dream for all United fans, no matter where they live.
Arnold also confirmed United "became the fastest sports organisation to reach one million followers on Google+," highlighting the club's global brand and pulling power.
United are also the most popular Premier League club on Facebook and continue to dominate Twitter and Instagram numbers. Those who wish to see their face appear around the Theatre of Dreams' turf must post their photo alongside "#MUFrontRow" in order to receive a chance of being spotted.
Extra incentive is provided by Sky Sports' live coverage of the game. The selected few may appear visible on the television broadcast during play, providing a unique opportunity to be seen alongside their heroes in front of a huge audience.
The upcoming fixture on March 16 is nothing short of must-win for both teams, albeit for very different reasons. Currently 11 points behind Liverpool, United can maintain their minuscule hope of qualifying for next season's Champions League with a win in front of their own support.
Liverpool are four points behind Premier League leaders Chelsea at the summit and need a victory to maintain pressure on Jose Mourinho's high-flying Blues. Brendan Rodgers' side overcame United 1-0 at Anfield earlier in the season, via Daniel Sturridge's clever fourth-minute header.
The clubs' second clash of the campaign will also see Luis Suarez become the first player to wear knitted boots at Old Trafford, as revealed by Markus Baumann, senior vice-president for global football at Adidas:
By producing the world’s first knitted football boot we have provided a brand new solution to the search for higher levels of comfort and flexibility. Primeknit is designed to allow for a bespoke fit for each player, making performance more intuitive and responsive than ever before.
Bleacher Report UK posted an image of the feet cardigans on Twitter:
The Uruguayan striker is sure to excel in his new apparel and will hope to end United's season once-and-for-all.
Although the Red Devils are promoting a moment of fun with the aforementioned social media experiment, there's no denying David Moyes' players need to quickly improve as we head toward the end of the season.
There has been little to celebrate since Sir Alex Ferguson stepped down in the summer, so this kind of initiative is a smart way of reminding critical onlookers that United's fanbase is spread far and wide.
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