By Colby Leachman
The world of sports is often saturated with opinions, speculation, and fanaticism. Whether the source is journalistic, or a simple peer to peer discussion, sports are a global discussion point. This is perhaps most relevant for the discussions surrounding soccer. As one of the only true “global” games, soccer commentary and speculation is rivaled by only a handful of sports. For many people, blogs are the perfect medium in which to trade and share their opinions of soccer culture. One blog in particular has become remarkably popular by taking an interesting look at a small niche section of the soccer society. Unlike most blogs, Soccer Bible focuses almost entirely on soccer apparel.
In 2001, Soccer Bible broke onto the soccer blog scene with a relatively new offering. To differentiate themselves, the site avoided entering the saturated discussion boards and opinionated articles. Instead, they focused on one mission, “to become the global authority for the very best in football boots and equipment.” Nearly 12 years later, the website has garnered an incredible following with nearly 125,000 likes on Facebook alone.
At first glance, it is impossible to avoid Soccer Bible’s primary focus, football boots/ soccer cleats. The front page almost always displays an image of latest Nike, Adidas, or Puma boot release. Similarly the right panel maintains an updated list of the types of cleats in all the major club divisions. This focus is bolstered by Soccer Bible’s flagship article category, “Boot Spotting”. “Boot Spotting” is a weekly article, typically updated on the first monday of every week. The premise of which is rather implicit in the name; every week Soccer Bible compiles images of famous soccer players and the boots they wore during that week’s game(s). For many of Soccer Bible’s readers, “Boot Spotting” plays on the specific allure of being able to wear the same boots as some of the worlds best players. Furthermore, “Boot Spotting” also gives readers a chance to view the occasional boot prior to its company release. Companies often give top-drawer players early access to their apparel, which (if lucky) can lead to a showcase on “Boot Spotting.”
Similar to “Boot Spotting”, Soccer Bible also compiles a continually updated list of the boots worn in some of the biggest club leagues in the world. Located in the right column of the home screen, this list tallies the number of players wearing specific types of boots and then puts them in order according to the total number. As of 9/18/13, The Adi-zero boot leads all boots in the Spanish Primera Division with a total of 47. The next highest being Nike’s Mercurial Vapors with only 21.
However, Soccer Bible’s apparel focus is not entirely on boots. It also contains sections on new team kits or alternate jerseys and goal keeping apparel. The articles and reviews of team kits are similar to those of the football boots. They are not training reviews but rather opinionated interpretations combined with some facts about the kit itself. Most recently, Soccer Bible showcased the new Manchester City alternative jerseys designed by Nike. Like all of their reviews, it is very in-depth, leaving no stone untouched. For example, Soccer Bible highlights the jersey’s tag, which reads “Pride in Battle.” Small details such as these help separate Soccer Bible from other soccer fashion and apparel blogs.
For goalkeeper’s, the blog offers reviews and criticisms on newly released goal keeping gloves. These include a full training session in which, among other things, they rate the gloves on fit, straps, grip, and comfort. Furthermore, Soccer Bible compiles these reviews with in-depth photos of the important portions of the glove.
Unfortunately the unique and in-depth reviews of soccer apparel alone cannot bolster Soccer Bible, “to become the global authority for the very best in football boots and equipment.” The site also incorporates a wealth of social media into their dominant online presence. Among their most popular and most used forms of social media are: Facebook, Twitter, Pintrest, and Instagram.
Soccer Bible uses Facebook to directly promote their articles, and most importantly, new football boots and “Boot Spotting.” Similarly, Instagram, the photo based platform, and Pinterest (similarly image focused platform) acts as a perfect place to showcase new soccer apparel Soccer Bible unveils. While, Twitter provides an invaluable space to inform readers of new articles and clothing releases in real time. This diverse portfolio of effective social media resources, has enabled Soccer Bible to augment its online presence and blog relevance.
In the saturated world of soccer blogs, finding different, innovative, or even niche blogs can often be a struggle. Soccer Bible has done well to take advantage of an often over-looked aspect of soccer culture around the world. As of now, Soccer Bible has solidified itself as one of the premier websites for up-to-date information/reviews on soccer apparel.