Social Scoring, FIFA World Cup Style!

Published by Engagement Labs on July 31, 2014

The World Cup kicked off last week on June 12th. 
It’s projected that approximately 4 billion dollars in revenue will be generated throughout the tournament, up 44% from that of South Africa in 2010 – much of which can be attributed to the huge growth in social networks since then.

Soccer is the most popular sport worldwide, and has a truly passionate global audience. As a result, blue chip companies love to throw money at the World Cup. While the action on the pitch has just started, the fight over consumers has been going on for quite a while. The Fédération Internationale de Football Association is projected to earn $1.4 billion from sponsorship deals with major companies during this year’s event.

The Sponsors
FIFA’s key partners, including Adidas, Coca-Cola, Emirates, Hyundai, Sony and Visa, each reportedly pay some $25-50 million per year. Added to that are FIFA’s World Cup sponsors, a group that includes global brands like Castrol and McDonald’s. Those second-tier sponsors pay in the range of $10-25 million per year. Even companies that aren’t officially sponsors are attempting to pick up massive traction from the tournament.

In addition to traditional methods of promotion, such as TV commercials and being featured on FIFA promotional materials, much of brands’ increased investment this year will go into content for social media. During major cultural events such as this one, brands are increasingly becoming publishers, with their owned and earned media occupying a larger share of their respective communications mix.

An estimated 3.6 billion people (half the world’s population) are expected to watch the 64 matches, and hundreds of millions of those fans will converse about the World Cup on social media.

• Twitter registers 350,000 tweets per day about the event

TWITTER: Evalue analytics Pro allows us to see a snapshot of the biggest sponsors, and their respective evalue scores. Emirates airlines is doing the best at engaging with their audiences with a whopping 97.47 score.

It is important to note that being a top-level sponsor partner does not guarantee overall fan engagement. This is best illustrated by the following companies: Sony, Adidas (their primary account) and Visa, all of which appear to be on the wrong end of the spectrum compared to their competitors.

The most important element in conducting a marketing plan around an event like the World Cup is the quality of content. Every program should be built to be social at its core. It’s about how the product is going to be distributed across the channels that fuel social engagement, regardless of where consumers are actually watching a game.

As seen above, Nike, Adidas and Puma, the three major soccer brands, have additional twitter accounts specifically to manage their respective soccer (football) presences. Nike’s comes out slightly on top, but all have been successfully generating super high levels of engagement in the last week.

YOUTUBE: Nike vs Adidas is the fiercest rivalry among the top sponsors. It’s like the Brazil vs. Argentina of the sponsorship World Cup backed by Superstars Neymar of Brazil (Nike) and Lionel Messi of Argentina (Adidas). One of the major battlefronts between the two brands right now is taking place on YouTube. Adidas is an official partner of the World Cup, Nike is not. Doesn’t matter. Nike is already pummeling them on YouTube. Not only is Nike outstripping Adidas in terms of subscriber growth and views, but its evalue score is also superior.

The above table shows the activity on Nike vs Adidas respective YouTube channels since the start of the tournament. Nike’s commitment to producing content that’s built to be shared and engaged with, is paying dividends.

One example is Nike’s “The Last Game,” an animated short that stars the company’s highest-profile athlete endorsers in a battle to save soccer in a dystopian future, released just last week, already has approx. 45 million hits. Its ‘Winner Stays’ ad, the second in its ‘Risk Everything’ 2014 football campaign, has attracted more than 70 million YouTube hits so far and counting (both clips can be seen below).

Check out the top YouTube posts below from Nike and Adidas

(image courtesy evalue analytics Pro)

The World Cup is off to a great start so far. We’re looking forward to seeing what happens on the pitch and also how the sponsors will rank in terms of social media effectiveness when it’s all said and done! For more information on our metrics, or to showcase your own social performance, click here.

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About eValue™:

The eValue™ score measures the effectiveness of a brand’s overall social media performance on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Instagram and provides a score from 0 – 100. It’s the aggregate of the three subscores including Engagement, Impact, and Responsiveness that work together to create one top-level KPI. Our subscores are calculated by using hundreds of sub metrics which are then benchmarked against a hand-picked database of 75,000 verified brand accounts on each channel.

Engagement: Measures the level of interaction generated by your content and how well your community reacts to it.

Impact: Measures how many unique users have potentially been exposed to a piece of content posted by the channel’s admin through organic, viral and paid reach.

Responsiveness: Measures the rate, speed and quality of your responses to fans.