The Premier League champions have run an ad on influencer marketing platform Tribe, asking for posts to "get across the great atmosphere of the Etihad".
The brief opens by admitting that Man City’s Champions League draw "has given us three relatively unknown teams" in Dynamo Zagreb, Shakhtar Donetsk and Atalanta, which means the club’s "core fans are less likely to attend".
The club would like to identify male students, young professionals and those new to Manchester (aged 18 to 55) to post content that can "tell an authentic and genuine story of what it’s like to be at a game".
To apply, influencers with at least 5,000 followers need to submit a shot that showcases "the electrifying atmosphere that only Champions League live football matches can deliver".
The content should be "fan-centric" and have "an element of FOMO". The club is asking influencers to set a fee for their work (see full Tribe ad below).
The influencer campaign is an unusual step by a club to drum up interest for the most prestigious club football competition in the world.
Premier League clubs in the Champions League usually sell out of tickets for their home fixtures quickly after sale periods open, which makes an influencer campaign to attract fans appear desperate. City's next home fixture is against Atalanta this evening (22 October).
Man City's 'fake followers'
The campaign comes as new research shows the majority of Manchester City’s followers on social media channels are fake.
Analysis by Edinburgh-based social media agency Pilotfish Media estimates that 58 per cent of Man City’s 15 million Instagram followers and 33 per cent of its 7.2 million Twitter followers are fake – which in total amounts to about 50 per cent of followers across both platforms.
This was the third-highest proportion of fake followers among brands analysed. Nike had the highest portion of fake followers (61 per cent on Instagram; 28 per cent on Twitter), followed by Foot Locker (55 per cent on Instagram; 34 per cent on Twitter).
Beauty and fashion brands also scored highly for fake followers.
PRWeek has approached Manchester City for further comment about its influencer campaign and fake followers.