The Rhinos have over 50,000 Likes on Facebook, the most of any club in Super League but trail behind NRL teams in terms of popularity at present on Facebook. Only six clubs in football's Premiership have verified accounts in Liverpool, Manchester United, Arsenal, Manchester City, Tottenham Hotspur and Aston Villa whilst the Australian Rugby Union state representative teams all have verified accounts but the Rhinos are the first club side of either code to be awarded the tick.
The news follows the announcement before Christmas that the Rhinos had been ranked fifth in the country in The Sport Social Media Index, the highest of any non-football club in a survey of 148 British professional football, rugby and cricket teams, ranked according to the best use of social media on their official club channels.
Published annually, the table is compiled by measuring the performance of each team based, not just on an algorithm, but research from a team of nine people who looked at eight social networks, as well as a panel of four judges who presided over the results. The Index, produced by PR and social media agency Umpf with partners William Hill, includes an overall table of all 148 teams ranked top to bottom, plus nine additional separate tables showing rankings based on each sporting league.
Commenting on the new development, Leeds Rhinos Media & PR Manager Phil Daly said, "This is another boost for the Rhinos and our brand to be recognised by Facebook in this way. Our plan is to grow our Facebook following substantially over the next twelve months and we have a number of initiatives in place. The likes of Melbourne Storm and Brisbane Broncos have set the bar for other clubs in terms of the numbers they are able to attract however I am sure the Rhinos fan base around the world will help us achieve our goal of becoming the number one side on Facebook. For example, if everyone who currently likes us on Facebook introduced just five friends each to the Rhinos we would be well on the way. Having the verified tick makes that process easier as new fans can be assured they are following the right page for all the latest news from the Rhinos.
"It was a massive honour to be included in the top five sporting clubs in the country for social media. It is something that myself and Leanne Flynn in the media team at the Rhinos pride ourselves on and it is nice to have that recognised. We have seen over recent years, given the great sense of community in Rugby League, that social media lends itself particularly well to our game as fans from all clubs chat about issues right across the game and can interact with our players, who we all know are tremendous ambassadors for the game. Social media has helped break down barriers and spread the word about our game like never before, when people like Wayne Rooney or the Brownlee Brothers are telling millions of people around the globe how excited they are about Super League that can only be a good thing," added Daly.
Visit the Rhinos official Facebook page at www.facebook.com/leedsrhinosofficial to Like the page today to help the club achieve their goal of being number one and if you already Like us, first of all thank you and, if you want to, please help spread the word.