CA Osasuna are a club on the up and this is also clear to see on social media. In recent months, they have taken a significant step forward on multiple digital platforms, doing so to establish even closer connections with their fans and to reach new audiences. “At the beginning of the season, we barely had 950,000 followers across all our social networks, yet a few days ago we surpassed 2,000,000, so the growth has been incredible,” stated the club from Navarre.
Reaching this figure is significant, especially when considering that just a few years ago CA Osasuna only had an account in Spanish on Twitter, another on Facebook and one YouTube channel. As the club explained: “We had to adapt to the times, as people have started using different platforms. For example, a few years ago young people started using Instagram a lot and we adapted to that and now the same thing has happened with TikTok, only this time we were better prepared to respond more quickly.”
TikTok has become the main catalyst of the club’s successful social media ecosystem. The growth is dizzying, as evidenced by the accelerated increase in the number of followers. On January 19th, the club had 891,300 followers on this social media platform, but just a few days later there were more than 950,000.
To understand how the club managed to grow so rapidly on TikTok, it’s necessary to go back to May 2022, when a rapid increase in followers was detected. At that time, the strategic plan was to focus on this platform more during the 2022/23 season. The club recalled: “We started to generate more content in July alongside the team’s pre-season and the creation of a much more specialised digital department at the club. Then came the viral phenomenon of ‘Osasuna nunca se rinde’ (‘Osasuna never gives up’, in English) and from there we experienced very quick growth.”
How ‘Osasuna nunca se rinde’ boosted the follower count and international reach
To provide some context, the ‘Osasuna nunca se rinde’ chant is one that refers to a feeling of resistance and that has been sung at the club’s El Sadar stadium over the past decade. Back in 2017, Pamplona native Eneko Elósegui went on a charitable trip to Uganda and recorded a video with some Ugandan children singing the famous chant. He sent it to his closest friends and family without thinking that it would reach the levels of virality that it did. It has since had millions of plays on TikTok, Instagram and YouTube, with the 20-second video going viral around the world. It has now been sung on excursions and playgrounds by children all over Spain and even in South America.
Discussing this viral phenomenon, the club said: “We immediately detected that 'Osasuna nunca se rinde’ was working very well on TikTok and, in just a few days, we designed several pieces of content through our digital department to capitalise on this. We have been pushing several videos related to this chant over the past few months and this has allowed us to take advantage of around 15% of the global pull that the associated hashtag has had on this social network.”
Of course, the club understood that this viral phenomenon was an opportunity to connect with a younger audience. They stated: “Obviously, we have had to prepare very different content for this specific social media platform and for its very young average audience. In fact, practically all the posts that are uploaded there were designed specifically for this platform.” Thanks to this, the club’s TikTok profile is one the most followed of all the LaLiga clubs.
11.2% of the followers are from China
CA Osasuna now have social media profiles in Spanish, Basque, English and Arabic, while they’re also present in China through Sina Weibo, the main social network in the Asian country. As the club explained: “We use Sina Weibo for a more basic communication than with the rest of the social networks, above all in the sense of promoting the club, the city and the region. We understand that many of the followers don’t know much about the club, so we are trying to prioritise that specific content. We are trying to reflect that we are a club that has a great youth academy and that boasts more than 100 years of history, so we promoting historical content.”
The club’s commitment to providing content for international audiences is also evident in the data that the club released breaking down where their followers are based. This showed that 63% of CA Osasuna’s followers on social media are from outside Spain. The region with the most international followers is China (223,000 followers, 11.2% of the total). On their success there, the club said that it had been achieved “thanks in part to the support of LaLiga, who already had experience of working in China, and this helped us enormously”.
The commercialisation of television rights, the evolution of new technologies and, of course, the boom in social media have all led European football clubs to find more and more business opportunities beyond their own borders. In this sense, CA Osasuna’s efforts in China have helped the club to “close sponsorships agreements in the region”, while “the marketing department can now speak with companies in the region on the back of almost five years’ experience of working on communication in Chinese”.
Another country with an important number of supporters is Morocco. CA Osasuna are known for being a largely homegrown team, with many Spanish players and usually just a few foreign footballers. Yet, having a foreign player always helps with international development, and the incorporation of Ez Abde last summer was a great example of this in the case of CA Osasuna. The club revealed: “We have managed to attract more than 100,000 Moroccan fans over the last six months. We are particularly proud of this and we want to continue to attract fans who identify with our way of understanding football wherever they are.”
To have hit two million followers on social media is a major success for the club, especially if we also take into account the fact that the digital area had been underdeveloped until not so long ago. Commitment to changing this was key to the social media growth. “All of this required significant effort over just a few years, because CA Osasuna had been in a very complicated situation and had been lagging behind in the digital field compared to the majority of LaLiga teams.” But, CA Osasuna were able to catch up, because this is a club that never gives up, neither on nor off the pitch, especially not in the digital department.