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Social footprint of the World Cup

posted on Thursday, June 19, 2014 by acate

By Marcello Casal Jr/ABr (Agência Brasil) [CC-BY-3.0-br (], via Wikimedia Commons

By Marcello Casal Jr/ABr (Agência Brasil) [CC-BY-3.0-br (], via Wikimedia Commons

Arguably the biggest international sporting event outside of the Olympics, the World Cup has dominated social media, and according to an Adobe Systems study, it may pass the Super Bowl and the Olympics as the most socially mentioned sporting event – ever.

That’s hard to fathom, but it makes perfect sense. The World Cup has a greater global appeal than the Super Bowl and soccer – err, I mean ‘fútbol’ – is the most popular sport in the world. In fact, the United States only makes up about 8 percent of the World Cup’s social impact.

Let’s dive into some of the World Cup social statistics provided by @TwitterData.

There were 4.9 million tweets during the U.S. vs. Ghana match. Pretty impressive. Twitter also registered 8.9 million tweets during the other Group G match, Germany vs. Portugal. Even more impressive.

Why 4 million more tweets?

The difference was most likely a result of Germany and Portugal both being ranked internationally as top five teams, and the added bonus that Portugal features superstar Cristiano Ronaldo on its attack. By the way, Ronaldo is the most followed athlete in the world on Twitter with more than 22 million followers. So yea, that helps too.

Here’s another one: host and highly favored Brazil played Croatia in its first match. That game recorded 12.2 million Twitter conversations – the most so far.

Twitter also experienced peaks and valleys in activity as you’d expect with a sporting event. When the United States’ Clint Dempsey scored 30 seconds into the match, tweets were being sent at a rate of 173,738 per minute.  Two more events, a go-ahead goal by John Anthony Brooks and the final whistle signifying a U.S. victory, spiked and helped drive Twitter conversation all the way to the end.

Here is a neat graphic showing America’s reaction to the go-ahead goal.

Keep in mind, this was just one match. There are many more to go over the next month so it’s safe to say that the World Cup will continue to have an overwhelming social media presence.


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