Written by Ally Haag
Do you feel it? The overwhelming wave of American pride as the U.S. soccer team competes in the FIFA World Cup. Perhaps you’re not even watching the World Cup or cheering for the US, but you can’t help but feel some sort of enthusiasm and excitement for such a world-renowned competition? It could be that this feeling has suddenly originated as you scroll through your social media accounts. The Hollywood Reporter states that the World Cup has produced more social media content than any other major event ever measured. In terms of Facebook content, the World Cup has surpassed a combined total of interactions from the Oscars, the Super Bowl, and the Winter Olympics. According to Adobe, until the big kick-off on June 12th, the phrase “World Cup” already generated more than 19 million social mentions from 90% of the world.
Forbes comments that Brazil plays a major role in this social media outbreak, as 86 million out of Facebook’s one billion-plus users are only active in Brazil. However, as the World Cup exceeds this social media record globally, it is predicted that America will only contribute a small portion, with only 7% of Americans planning to diligently keep up with the soccer tournament. (We’ll see how this changes after USA’s performance on Thursday versus Germany!) On FIFA’s Live Activity Map, you can track the top trending teams and players, as well as the tweets per minute, mentions per hour, and total mentions. These numbers continually remain in the thousands, and even millions. Fascinatingly enough, depending on the game and team currently playing, these numbers can all change within an instant.
As the World Cup overtakes social media, this can only help the players of the tournament gain even more attention and fame. Take Cristiano Ronaldo, the soccer superstar for Portugal with over 117.4 million social media followers, for example. According to Forbes, Ronaldo’s vast following has lead him to major sponsorships like Tag Heuer, a personal underwear brand, and Nike. All things considered, the opportunities are huge for athletes in the World Cup as social media leads them to their ultimate stardom.
Are you interested in following some of the FIFA World Cup’s most famous players? Check out this list of the Top 5 Social Networking Superstars of the 2014 FIFA World Cup: (followers are including Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram)
Cristiano Ronaldo (Portugal): over 117.4 million followers
Lionel Messi (Argentina): over 62.52 million followers
Neymar (Brazil): over 42.2 million followers
Wayne Rooney (England): over 30.51 million followers
Andres Iniesta (Spain): over 29.61 million followers