May 10, 2023

AFC Richmond: from Ted Lasso’s dream to the reality of off-screen success

The fictional Premier League club has become a social media success 

Apple TV 2020 series Ted Lasso tells the story of an American football coach - starring and created by Jason Sudeikis - who travels to London to coach a fictional Premier League club: AFC Richmond. Throughout the series, the ‘Greyhounds’ encounter every team in English football, from Arsenal to Manchester City, and even travel to Amsterdam to play Ajax.

Even though they are not a real Premier League club, Richmond have reached extraordinary heights off screen: a sponsorship deal with Nike, a debut on FIFA23 and, to date, 400,000 followers on Twitter. How can a fictional football club become so real?

Scrolling through their official Twitter account, the question answers itself: the club's presence and way of communicating, like a real English club, contribute to Richmond's success.

Connecting each game from an episode with Twitter posts, AFC Richmond are careful enough to manage their social media as if each match is a real one, from 'Match Day' designs to player interviews and statements, and also including game highlights and announcement of new players.

However, what really catches the eye and influences the club's success is the ongoing interaction between real organizations and clubs and AFC Richmond. From Ajax who published a post about the game, to Nike who made a post about their recent sponsorship deal, to the Premier League who shared the team's line-up, all contribute to the Greyhounds' remarkable social media success.

With a growing number of followers and supporters, AFC Richmond are getting further and further away from the television screens and closer to the four corners of the pitch.