The two men behind the site, Daniel Tannenbaum and Roy Skop, met at a Chabad Conference last July, and it wasn’t long before they were talking football.
Daniel says: “We soon started talking about football and since he is from Antwerp, we started talking about the Belgium national team and how they are emerging as a force in world football with players such as Lukaku, Hazard, Kompany, Benteke and Vertonghen.
“I have a background in digital marketing and was involved in a fan site for Manchester City before they got big. This seemed like another gap in the market. Roy has educated me a lot about the history of the Belgium national side – they haven’t qualified for a major tournament since 2002 and following a 10 year grass root development plan and massive spend in PR and marketing, the team was rebranded as The Red Devils and has developed some amazing home grown talent. “
The site, which was launched last month, took roughly six months to set up, including the branding, design, the SEO and creating partnerships.
Devoting a couple of hours a day to maintaining it, he says: “Roy and I share the workload of the content. I work as a digital marketing manager and Roy is studying Chemistry at Manchester, so we’re working during lunch breaks, evenings and in between classes.
“It’s not that easy to maintain, its hard work but we appreciate that we have a window with the World Cup.”
And while there’s no Jewish link to the Belgium football team – although he’s confident if they work hard enough they’ll find one – he does believe there is plenty to attract the community to the site.
“Belgium is certainly an underdog in the competition – people have never really associated Belgium as being a serious threat when it comes to football and I think this resonates very well with the Jewish community,” he says. “We’re always underdogs in sport but we still seem to make a name for ourselves.
“There’s also the fact that Belgium are a young team and this World Cup is a good warm up for the Euro 2016 which they could realistically win. Belgium have been drawn against Israel in the Euro 2016 qualifiers and play against them in November. “
Slowly making connections with the marketing team behind the Belgium Red Devils, Daniel also feels the presence of so many Belgian footballers in the Premier League will also drive people to the site.
“The Belgium squad has 12 Premiership players in their squad of 23, so naturally, English football fans feel a connection with Belgium players because they play for Chelsea, United and Spurs,” he says.
“So we’re not targeting just Belgian fans but English fans – we’re creating a new market.
The response has been great – we’re almost at 4,000 twitter followers and are currently receiving a minimum of 1,000 visitors a day.”
And with a firm interest in the side, who does he feel they’ll fare in Brazil? “They should reach the semi-finals,” he says. “They should win their group easily against Algeria, South Korea and Russia, which will then see them drawn against the runner-up of Group G, likely to be Portugal or USA. Based on a fifth seed, a good qualifying group and am amazing squad, they should make the semi-finals.
“However, the message we are pushing is that the World Cup will be a great warm up since the average age of the squad is 23. In 2 years’ time, winning the Euro 2016 competition in France should be a realistic goal.”
Visit the site at: http//belgiumtowineuro2016.com for news and updates on the Belgium world cup http://belgiumtowineuro2016.com/belgium-odds-world-cup-2014/ team