What sport will people be talking about a month from now?
From the past week’s social media mentions, it’s going to be soccer, specifically the 2014 World Cup, and most particularly the US Men’s National Team’s upcoming match against Ghana in the Group of Death.
Social mentions of the US Men’s National Team (USMNT) leapt to 15,426 the week of May 10, a gobsmacking 476% increase over the previous week’s mentions of 2,675. Majority of these mentions were on Twitter — something to note for anyone conducting World Cup 2014 marketing campaigns for their brand.
The figures were derived from SociaLitmus, an omnibus social media command center that will run only throughout the 2014 World Cup. The social media command center will be keeping tabs on World Cup 2014 marketing promotions and activity online for the US, popular athletes and teams, trends and key developments.
The most dramatic spike in mentions was on May 12, when team coach Jurgen Klinsmann announced his 30-man roster for the World Cup.
Sentiment about Klinsmann’s picks was largely positive, as social media data from May 12 show:
The numbers may seem negligible, but multiplied into impressions, the reach is not shabby. On Twitter, the USMNT earned over 73 million mentions in one week. Any brands looking for endorsers?
Sports network ESPN predicted last month in an AdAge interview that social buzz over the 2014 World Cup will outperform those of the 2010 World Cup and even the 2012 London Olympics.
The World Cup is fertile ground for marketers targeting fans of the Beautiful Game. Categories that will be out in full force are the usual suspects: Beer, fastfood, men’s personal care, sports brands (the Adidas vs Nike rivalry is a sport unto itself) and technology.
It will be interesting to see whether new categories, such as e-cigarettes, will see the same opportunities and make a play on social media.