CF Montréal

All to Win | Tous Pour Gagner

Meltwater Enables CF Montréal to

Acquire more insight into their ongoing activities and identify the best way forward

Engage a multilingual fan base more effectively and expand their global footprint

Access the influencer contact database to forge more productive media relationships

Challenge

Meet CF Montreal

Analyzing the public's reaction to the rebranding of one of Canada's biggest sport's teams.

Bold in Any Language

Club de Foot Montreal is a professional Major League Soccer (MLS) team in Canada's largest province. Previously called the Montreal Impact, CF Montreal acquired its new name and look in a radical rebranding unveiled in January, 2021. It was a big change, and they needed a way to monitor the reaction from fans, the media and the general public. That's why they turned to Meltwater to monitor the on line conversation.

What's in a Name?

"To make an impact, we need to retire the 'Impact'," the team said when announcing their name change. Management believes the rechristened Club de Football Montréal better reflects the diversity of their city and its French- and English-speaking population.

But, what would be the reaction to the new name? The new colors? The new uniforms? The new team slogan in French? These are things CF Montréal wanted to understand through Meltwater.

Early on it appeared as if the name change stirred up a hornets nest. A pocket of vocal fans have criticized the rebranding on broadcast and social media. CF Montréal is aware of this because they've been tracking fan reaction across the entire spectrum of media channels. They're using Meltwater to listen to and learn from their supporters, while furthering their efforts to grow a global fan base. A benchmark for CF Montréal is the venerable Montreal Canadiens hockey team. The use of French in their name hasn't limited their appeal. CF Montréal's Raphael Larocque-Cyr says, "With the rebrand, we want to have numbers for the international and North American markets also. We want to be more relevant globally, so it's important to see where we stand."

We want to be more relevant globally, so it's important to see where we stand.

Raphael Larocque-Cyr, PR & Media

Solution

Putting Their Best Foot Forward

CF Montréal began using Meltwater a year ago when they were still the Impact. They wanted more insight into their communication activities and what people were saying about them. "This helps direct us and tells us if we're doing the right thing," says Raphael Larocque-Cyr.

Since the rebranding they've been leaning more heavily on the platform. The first three days saw 14,000 relevant reactions worldwide on social media, with two-thirds of these on day one. They were quickly reminded that "fan" is shorthand for fanatic, which often leads to overreactions. While a core group of critics took to Twitter, seen holistically, sentiment was more neutral. After capturing and weighing all of the likes, comments, and shares across all of the major media platforms, positive sentiment fell short of negative 25% to 35%, with another 40% in the middle. These figures compare well with rebrands elsewhere, including Europe.

Unlike other MLS teams, CF Montréal must communicate in two languages. Capturing local sentiment in both French and English is vital. If coverage in one language begins trending down, they use Meltwater's influencer database to identify qualified journalists and media outlets and initiate relationships. Their goal is always to get people talking.

The opinions taken together approach fifty-fifty. That's a lot more positive than we thought. Knowing that was super helpful.

Raphael Larocque-Cyr, PR & Media

Summary

Satisfy a wide range of communication goals, both inbound and outbound

"We'd just announced that Thierry Henry was becoming our manager, which was a very big hire. A lot of coverage was coming our way , so we wanted to be able to track it. But now we also use Meltwater to send out press releases, use keywords to pull together our morning reading, and identify outlets to target."

Engage with their supporters in multiple languages, locally and globally

"We need to be relevant in two languages, English and French. If we're not, we miss out on 50% of the population. Using Meltwater, we're able to see who's talking about us in either language and that's definitely a big plus."

Achieve a clearer understanding of fan sentiment via in-depth analysis

"Meltwater is useful in showing fan sentiment around the rebrand. Because these are facts. When we look deeply into likes, comments, and emoji use, we arrive at the real numbers. People who understand data look at the results and say yes, this makes sense."

-Raphael Larocque-Cyr, PR & Media