FC Bayern Munich had to learn a social media lesson the very hard way when a Facebook publicity stunt backfired, earning it thousands of negative comments on its official page.

The German football club let its Facebook followers know that a big announcement would be made in a few hours. In a bizarre social media strategy, the club announced that a new name would be joining the team. When the name was revealed, fans instead saw their own Facebook profile photo. It was accompanied with the following message:

Dear fans, you probably already noticed, that we did not sign a new player. This app is for our fans to show the importance of you for our club.

When fans realized that it turned out to be nothing more than a gimmick to get attention for a new app that had been launched, the backlash began, and it hasn’t ended. The comments are still coming in, on the one post, which has already earned itself over 5,000 comments.

An apology has since been posted, which reads:

It was not our intention to disappoint you with the new app. Rather, we wanted to provide you with this action in the Center and thus show how important is each fan for Bayern Munich.

The apology has done little to appease fans, with over 3,000 comments, many of which are negative as well, while some fans defended the announcement, saying that it was being taken too seriously. But from what my father always tells me, football is no joking matter for its fans.

This is certainly not the first time we’ve seen a Facebook page blowing up with comments and all for the wrong reasons. Nikon recently saw quite an intense backlash from its fans when what was meant to be a conversational post ended up insulting most of Nikon’s fans,

Bayern Munich might do with taking a few social media tips from companies that have their finger firmly on the pulse on what their fans and customers want.