A local derby between two Spanish football teams is scoring social media buzz across the world.
The UEFA Champions League Final, this weekend in Lisbon, Portugal, will be played between Real Madrid CF and city rival Club Atlético de Madrid. But interest in the match isn’t confined to Spain--or even Europe--according to social media monitoring carried out by Adobe Digital Index (ADI).
ADI used Adobe Social (Adobe is CMO.com’s parent company) to monitor 4.5 million mentions of the final match on Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Pinterest, VK, Reddit, Disqus, and blogs during May. It discovered that, of the 196 countries in the world, 120 have contributed to the social buzz around the match. Surprisingly, Spanish social media users don’t dominate the conversation; instead, Indonesia tops the list of countries talking about the Champions League in the social space, accounting for 22% of mentions. Spain is second with 12%, the U.K. third with 9%, and then the U.S. and Venezuela with 5%.
Indonesian social media users also figure prominently in the discussions of the two teams involved--further evidence of the massive popularity of European football in a country where a feud has split the domestic game into rival leagues. More mentions of Atlético came from Indonesia than any other country (35%), followed by the U.K. (16%), Turkey (13%), and the U.S. (7%). Atlético’s underdog status in Spain could be responsible for the fact that only 3% of mentions of the club originated in its home country.
In contrast, the Spanish are using social media to talk about Real Madrid. Just over one-third of the mentions of Real come from Spain, but, once again, Indonesians are also enthusiastic, with 19% of mentions of Real coming from there. The U.S. and the U.K. each account for 5% of Real mentions.
Taken together, these figures show the dramatic worldwide reach of the UEFA Champions League competition. Commenting on this data, Mark Zablan, president of Adobe EMEA, noted the tremendous opportunity presented by football fans’ activity on social and mobile.
“The Champion’s League final and the upcoming World Cup offer marketers around the globe the chance to capitalize on what is shaping up to be a record level of mobile video and social media activity, as fans and foes pick up smartphones to catch up and comment on the teams online,” he said. “Analysing social media ‘buzz’ data is a perfect way for marketers to identify new opportunities. Following ‘mentions’ quantifies the huge worldwide appeal of what some marketers might just consider a regional event. This is a great justification for expanding the use of social and mobile marketing in a business strategy.”
Among the players on show in the final, Real striker Cristiano Ronaldo figures most prominently in social media, averaging 36,425 mentions a day, compared with Atlético’s Diego Costa’s 20,908 average mentions. Gareth Bale, the world’s most expensive footballer, sits in fourth place in average mentions, with only a quarter as many mentions as Ronaldo. Explained Zablan: “Ronaldo has the most Twitter followers of any athlete in the world, at more than 26 million; footballers comprise eight of the top 10 most followed athletes. Athletes are becoming increasingly social with official accounts garnering millions of fans to engage with. It’s no surprise that two of the top athletes in the Champions League, Ronaldo and Costa, are averaging 36K and 21K mentions, respectively, leading up to the final on Saturday.”
Zablan pointed out that the buzz around the final reflects the mixture of feelings that all sports evoke in their fans.
“Forty-three percent of buzz about the UEFA Champions League final reflects ‘joy’ or ‘admiration’ for the game, while 25% is related to ‘sadness,’ showing the mirrored images of the emotional journey that fans go through from the first round of matches through the final,” he said. “Interestingly, a third of the sadness expressed in tweets came from the U.K., presumably showing the disappointment in there not being a U.K. team in the final.”
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Adobe Digital Insights publishes research on digital marketing and other topics of interest to senior marketing and e-commerce executives across industries. Research is based on the analysis of select, anonymous, and aggregated data from more than 5,000 companies worldwide that use the Adobe Digital Marketing Cloud to obtain real-time data and analysis of activity on websites, social media, and advertising.
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