A Look at The 2018 FIFA World Cup From a Media Monitoring Perspective – Matchday 1

6 min read

I bet there are some football freaks among the readers of our blog! We’re one week into the 2018 FIFA World Cup Russia and I am one of the billions of people around the world that got carried away with the football fever.

I won’t lie if I say I’ve only missed one game so far, and I am pretty sure there are people out there who have seen them all. World Cup is that special time among football fans that even if there was a game between, with all due respect, Easter Island and Virgin Islands, I’d totally watch it!

We’re in the middle of the group stage and there have already been a few disappointments and a few surprises, just to mention the loss of current World Cup holders, Germany, against Mexico!

Nobody likes boring games and we’re far from them so far.

But we all know that what makes football even more interesting and adds that extra spicy bit to it are the statistics. Oh, all the fans love statistics!

How could we not pay attention to them with a media monitoring tool? Of course we did.

Well, these are not going to be the stats like the ones you get during the broadcasts of the games, like, how many shots on target each team had, or who was the player that ran the biggest distance.

We will, however, present a deep dive into media monitoring stats such as a number of mentions, social media reach, or most active locations. All that encompasses Matchday 1, so all the games that took place beginning from the opening game between Russia and Saudia Arabia to that game between Poland and Senegal that I’d love to believe never happened…

Now, let me tell you a few words on how I collected the data. I was thinking whether it’s better to create one project per group, or a project per team. The former would probably skew my results and I wouldn’t be able to single them out as effectively as with the use of the latter.

The main keywords I used for those findings were Twitter handles that are similar for the majority of other social media profiles of the teams involved. I also used the hashtags that all teams use in their social media posts as their official World Cup hashtags. Apart from Tunisia and Morocco, I was able to find all hashtags.

This all led to me creating the projects and collecting mentions on both social and traditional web weeks before the World Cup started, but this post only includes data between June 14-19.

Let’s get down to the nitty-gritty!

Top 5 teams with the biggest number of mentions

  • Mexico – 48 677 mentions
A graph presenting a number of mentions for Mexico

At first, if came off as a surprise to me. Mexico? Really? I mean, I was aware they have a really decent team but I’d never think of them as the one having the biggest number of mentions on the web. But then, when you think how passionate they are, it’s no longer that much of a surprise. Hardly any nation is as supportive and colourful when it comes to cheering for their team and you can clearly see that based on numbers.

  • England – 35 859
A graph presenting a number of mentions for England

Even though a few previous major tournaments like Euro 2016 or the World Cup in 2014 were massive disappointments, the spirit in England is still strong! The Three Lions have of one the youngest teams in Russia and they are really hoping to make it further in this tournament that the previous generations.

  • Argentina – 29 575
A graph presenting a number of mentions for Argentina

They are regarded as one of the favourites to win the whole tournament. It’s hard to think otherwise considering the fact that one of the two best players on the planet, Leo Messi, is among the team members. He’s been wildly successful with his club, but is he able to lead Argentina and himself to eternal glory?

  • Nigeria – 27 588
A graph presenting a number of mentions for Nigeria

Once upon a time, they were the most feared African team. While the current generation of Nigerian player is not as successful as the likes of Jay Jay Okocha, they are still a team capable of great things. The fact that they are among the top 5 teams with the biggest number of mentions might be even more surprising than Mexico topping this ranking, but you can’t deny the fact the Nigerians are one of the most supportive nations with their #SoarSuperEagles hashtag!

  • Germany – 22 252
A graph presenting a number of mentions for Germany

German team rounds up the top 5 with 22 thousand mentions during Matchday 1. They are defending the title they won 4 years ago in Brazil, but after the first game, they cannot be too optimistic. Still, the loss against Mexico didn’t have the negative impact on German fans and they are responsible for quite a big buzz with their #ZSMMN hashtag!

Now, on the flipside, I’ve also got the top 5 teams with the lowest number of mentions. This includes Tunisia and Morocco, which I mentioned before saying that I couldn’t find their official world cup hashtags.

But what’s particularly interesting is the miserable position of Sweden! Would you believe a nation of Zlatan would be so low in my table? Maybe the absence of Ibra is the exact reason for such a bad result?

On top of that, imagine my shock when I found out there’s no official Twitter account either for their national team or the football association of Sweden? I’ve only managed to get their Instagram account but the results collected there are far from spectacular.

Anyway, the top 5 teams with the lowest number of mentions are:

  1. Tunisia – 51
  2. Sweden – 76
  3. South Korea – 2 210
  4. Morocco – 2 274
  5. Serbia – 2 587

This leads us to…

Top 5 teams with the widest social media reach.

For those of you wondering what social media reach is, it’s the estimated number of people that could have had contact with social media mentions containing the monitored phrases. It is based on the number of authors talking about the monitored phrases in social media, the number of their followers/subscribers/friends and the typical visibility percentage for the selected social networks (this percentage describes how many of your friends/followers on average actually see your posts.

TL;DR to that is simply the number of people that had contact with mentions of the teams participating in the world cup.

The teams that made the cut in this ranking are almost exactly the same as the ones above. The only difference is Brazil instead of Nigeria.

  • Mexico – 630 803 572
A graph presenting the social media reach for Mexico
  • Germany – 243 685 004
A graph presenting the social media reach for Germany
  • England – 225 296 265
A graph presenting the social media reach for England
  • Brazil – 220 558 432
A graph presenting the social media reach for Brazil
  • Argentina 167 979 821
A graph presenting the social media reach for Argentina

Have you noticed the difference between Mexico and other teams? Their social media reach is almost equal to the reach of Germany, Brazil and England combined! Mexican players caused quite a stir ahead of the World Cup with the infamous swimming pool incident, but it didn’t stop them from beating the current cup holders and taking over social media.

Mirror, mirror on the wall, who’s the most active nation of them all?

Thanks to one of our latest features, Locations, we also found out which nations are in for a race of the most supportive one. Have you already guessed who tops the list? Yes, it’s Mexico again!

Brazil and Argentina made the cut once again, and we can also see a come back from Nigeria. The last addition to our rankings are Polish supporters. Too bad Polish national team couldn’t keep up with tempo in which the Poles express their support on social media.

Most active locations:

  1. Mexico – 9 838
  2. Nigeria – 6 054
  3. Poland – 4 743
  4. Brazil – 4 409
  5. Argentina – 4 042

Wrapping up

The World Cup only started a week ago but some historical events already took place.

On top of that, not a single game has ended goalless so far and let’s hope it stays like this until the end of the tournament.

Let us know in the comments what do you think about the stats presented above and don’t hesitate to share your ideas or suggestions on what would you like us to analyse in the following days!

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