By Geoff De Weaver, CEO + Founder, Touchpoint Entertainment Inc. http://touchpoint.best/
Were you thinking to yourself it was LeBron James? Kobe Bryant or perhaps Tom Brady, Tiger Woods or Payton Manning? Continue reading to find out who is the REAL King of Social Media in the Sports World today.
Sport is HUGE Business. In fact, with 13+ M people bought tickets for sporting events and over 330 million people attended the top 25 sporting events of 2014 which included the: NBA, NFL, MLB, Indian Premier League (Cricket), English Premier League, German Bundesliga, Formula1, Nippon Professional Baseball, etc.
But, the true value of Sport is highly under-valued and its impact is not really well understood, especially in today’s always-on – digital, mobile and social world. This is because it is currently measured by economic and media impacts, not by the stats which convey the true picture.
‘Sport has the power to change the world. It has the power to inspire. It has the power to unite people in a way that little else does. It speaks to youth in a language they understand. Sport can create hope where once there was only despair. It is more powerful than government in breaking down racial barriers.’ ~ NELSON MANDELA
Major League Baseball (MLB), National Football League (NFL) and the National Hockey League (NHL) all have global aspirations BUT, Football (aka Soccer) and Basketball are the clear and dominant global leaders in the social media marketing place.
All the ‘challenger’ brands e.g. NFL, MLB and NHL painstakingly schedule regular season games outside the U.S. in hopes of growing international revenue, building awareness and exposing the game’s biggest stars to the world but, In terms of online entertainment and global influence, the Soccer World Cup, (for both Men and Women) have already attracted the lion’s share.
Importantly, this is because there is a much greater of convergence between sport and entertainment in the rising use of social media marketing today. Social networking continues to create opportunities and challenges for traditional broadcasters BUT, athletes, events and sporting events with millions of engaged fans globally, will only continue to blossom as the best marketers today chase an already engaged, passionate and ever-growing communities.
In the Men’s Soccer World Cup alone, Twitter exploded globally with more than 618,000 Tweets per minute, a new record for the site. There were a total of 32.1 million tweets about the match, which featured Germany and Argentina.
In just its first week, from June 12-18 2014, the tournament inspired 459 million Facebook interactions – more than the last Super Bowl in 2015, the Academy Awards and the Sochi Winter Olympics combined. Now that’s influence and dominates via Trending for weeks at a time.
If you look at the combined followers and friends on Facebook and Twitter, you will clearly see Cristiano Ronaldo stands head and shoulders above the crowd. In fact, as of September 2015, he had approximately 106,476,056 M Facebook FANS andover 37.9 M Twitter Followers. Now that’s social influence, dominance and sheer celebrity status.
Cristiano Ronaldo – The Real Madrid star has the biggest social media following among athletes.
But, if you have ever watched and followed Cristiano, you will instantly see the charisma, appeal and influence he wields over the ‘world game’ e.g. Football (aka Soccer). Importantly, his social media posts across both social networks are full of fantastic images, authenticity, action and outline his incredible career on and off the field. Importantly, Cristiano is also a goal-scoring machine with 60 plus goals in each of the past four calendar years!
Savvy brands like: Nike, Tag Heuer and Herbalife also sponsor and promote this star to push his influence even further. Ronaldo counts 158 million total followers across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram, 65 M plus, more than Lionel Messi or Neymar from Brazil, who plays for Spanish club FC Barcelona and Brazil’s national team as a forward or winger, and is also the captain of the Brazilian national team.
However it is important to remember that Cristiano was the first athlete to gain over 100 M Facebook fans and his current total of 107 million is more than any other person on the planet. He’s adding fans at nearly one per second!
Above all, Cristiano is a star in Social Media because he is AUTHENTIC. Tribes and Fans will see right through fake and phony tactics and ‘dressed up’ versions of manipulation. Soon we will seeing more Sport Stars telling their stories and explaining their brands rather than fronting costly old school Advertising Campaigns pushed by dated traditional TV focused Ad Agencies.
Today fans want more genuine connections with stars like: LeBron James, Kobe Bryant, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, JJ Watt, Kevin Durrant, Cristiano Ronaldo, Lionel Messi and all the other MVP’s who truly understand the power of the Internet and want to interact with their fans. And authentic, engaging, multi-touchpoint experiences that create value for fans are a MUST.
It’s this interaction has the power to drive new and exciting revenue streams as well as influencing fans, driving on-demand video, creating seamless experiences across channels and enhancing fan loyalty.
There are other notable Global Sporting Stars that I’d like to mention in this post, i.e. LeBron James and his 22 M Facebook followers + 23.8M Twitter Followers, is the only athlete preventing soccer players from sweeping the top of the list. Other NBA stars with a heavy social media presence include Kobe Bryant (30 M Plus followers), Kevin Durant (25 M plus) and Miami Heat’s Dwayne Wade (20 M plus and 4.88 M with Twitter + 11.2 M on Facebook).
Interestingly, despite the huge TV presence in the US, Major League Baseball and the National Football League just don’t touch football/soccer. BUT, the NBA and Cricket (Men’s + Women’s) globally are both more impactful worldwide.
However, a Facebook Fan Page offers a great place to create and deliver an exceptional Fan Experience. A Facebook Fan Page is like having a shop-front at any venue and provides access to over 1.5 billion Sports Fans while at the same time building deeper loyalty for your brand. It’s also important to remember when you’re planning a marketing campaign thatFacebook IS the world’s largest Sporting Stadium! (In fact, Yankee Stadium at full capacity only holds 50,292 fans!) That’s the power of Facebook to the Sporting Industry.
Smart marketers today, more than any time in modern history are looking to move into Social Media Marketing and Sports Marketing because, at the end of the day, we’re all competing for eyeballs, trust, loyalty, engaging experiences and passionate fans/consumers.
The customization of ‘fan’ experiences using big data and powerful data-mining algorithms to facilitate and customize the enjoyment means the difference between winners & losers in 2015 and beyond. The just-in-time 365 x 24 x 7 customized delivery of content and convenience, inside and outside the venue are all driven by rich sources of data and represents the future of the fan experience in 2015 and beyond. The athletes, teams and sports businesses that best understand their fans and their specific hot ‘touchpoints’, are all driven by rich data sources, 365 x 24 x 7 and they will be the victors.
More About Geoff De Weaver:
Hailing from New York; Geoff De Weaver is the driven, passionate and charismatic entrepreneur, lifestyle guru behind Touchpoint Entertainment Inc. Geoff is a catalyst for change, business coach, digital provocateur, paradigm shifter and a strategist for success.
As a CEO + Founder of Touchpoint Entertainment, Geoff is always on the lookout for the latest business innovation, sporting trends, music trends and for the latest ways to engage with people; from mobile and streaming technologies, to live events, music, sports marketing, entertainment and customer/fan experience.
Geoff has a global 25-year background of representing some of the world’s most iconic worldwide brands including: Coca Cola, IBM, IMG, P&G, Microsoft, Nike, British Airways, Wells Fargo, EA Sports, MasterCard, Shutterfly.com, EA.com, E*Trade, Nestle, Air France, AT&T, VISA, Unilever, EA.com, Ferrari, American Express, P&G, Trend Micro, Acer Computers, BMW, Shutterfly.com, Mars, Pfizer, TiVo, EarthLink Internet, American Express, Telstra and others.
- Top 0.5% Worldwide on Twitter Globally
- Top 1% Influencer on LinkedIn and 32+ million network on LinkedIn worldwide
- Top 1% Most Viewed Profiles on LinkedIn (380+ million members)
- Geoff is a Digital Pioneer, Data-Driven, Entrepreneur, Business Coach + Innovator.
Feel free to get in touch with Geoff for further information:
You might enjoy these recent posts on Pulse, LinkedIn entitled: ‘Top Ten Digital, Tech, Entertainment Trends for 2015′: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/top-ten-digital-tech-entertainment-trends-2015-geoff-de-weaver
AND…. ‘It’s official, the Most Powerful Voice in the “Music Industry’: https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/its-official-most-powerful-voice-music-industry-geoff-de-weaver