Football superstars back new digital platform

A group of 17 leading players and former stars, including Lionel Messi, Neymar, Zinedine Zidane and David Beckham, have today (Monday) been revealed as founding members of a new digital football fan platform that aims to drive deeper connections between players and fans.

Otro goes live across the world today and is being funded by 23 Capital, a London-based investment group focusing on the sports, entertainment and music sectors.

Along with the four aforementioned stars, the other players who have joined Otro are: James Rodríguez, Luis Suárez, Isco, Romelu Lukaku, Jérôme Boateng, Paulo Dybala, Gabriel Jesus, Lieke Martens, Benjamin Mendy, Dele Alli, David Luiz, Toni Duggan and Eric Cantona.

This group has a social media following approaching one billion and they will provide exclusively-curated content for the platform.

Jeremy Dale, chief executive of Otro, said: “Football fans all over the world want a deeper connection with their heroes and this is where Otro comes in. We’ve specifically designed Otro to be a community where members and players engage directly. These players are the founding members of Otro and they are now inviting their fans to join their other club.”

Terms of 23 Capital’s investment were not disclosed, but the Financial Times newspaper said it will inject $50m (€44.1m) into the project. Dale said the players would share in profits generated by the service, which will be available as a free download with premium content available via subscription.

Jason Traub, chief executive and founder of 23 Capital, added: “With an estimated 3.5 billion fans across the world, football is a major driver of online content. Otro is a digital fan club that brings high quality, curated content from many of the world’s leading footballers into a single digital offering for fans. It breaks new ground in creating a platform where the players can maximise their digital IP while connecting with their fans through their love of football.”