The month long Brazil 2014 FIFA World Cup seemed to have it all when it came to entertainment on-and-off the field. The event has been hailed as the first truly digital World Cup and the biggest social event in Web history. This was the World Cup where even players were hitting social media before they hit the showers. Brazil 2014 enjoyed online fan-dom like no event before it.
In addition to the colorful blend of skill and the disappointments during the actual matches, there was a cannibalistic Luis Suarez. Tim Howard saving, Sad Brazilians, Cristiano Ronaldo’s hair, and the Cameroonians’ elbow and head butt series, among other nail-biting drama.
Here’s how FIFA World Cup 2014 thumped online records:
FIFA ‘Global Stadium’ Ratings
FIFA, international soccer’s ruling body, says Brazil 2014 has proven to be a “social, mobile World Cup” with more than 1 billion people engaging with World Cup content through its website, social media accounts and mobile app, by the final whistle of the World Cup on Sunday.
FIFA’s Global Stadium was the social, online and mobile hub for the World Cup matches where fans could follow the games live and engage with friends, worldwide fans, players, coaches and celebrities.
A total of 107 million fans connected to FIFA’s official website and app content on mobile devices. The official FIFA app recently became the biggest sports event app of all time with a record 28 million downloads.451 million Facebook users were reached with official FIFA social content.
FIFA’s Twitter followers surpassed the 16-million mark, with an average of ten new followers per second recorded on the opening match day.The governing body’s World Cup Instagram app increased from 42,000 to 0.8 million followers in 31 days, a growth rate of over 1,600 per cent.On Monday, it emerged that the World Cup final win set a TV viewing record in Germany.An average of 34.65 million people watched Sunday’s final, beating the 32.6 million who tuned in to see the semi-final match between Germany and Brazil.
Social Media Records
From June 12 to July 13, 350 million people generated a massive 3 billion World Cup posts, comments and likes, according to Facebook.In just its first week, from June 12-18, the tournament inspired 459 million Facebook interactions-more than this year’s Super Bowl, the Academy Awards in March and the Sochi Winter Olympics.
combined.The thrilling final championship match between Germany and Argentina alone spurred 280 million interactions by 88 million people on Facebook, surpassing the former champ, last year’s Super Bowl, with its 245 million interactions.
On Twitter, the finals was inspiring more thantweets per minute, a new record for the site. There were a total of 32.1 million tweets about the match.
Television and Online Streaming Records
The FIFA World Cup broadcast production has already broken television viewing records in several territories around the world, underlining the growing popularity of the competition, including a breakthrough in the United States.
On the digital side, leading content delivery network provider Akamai has confirmed this is the biggest event in terms of video content streaming on record, due to huge demand from fans accessing content live from the online platforms of FIFA’s Media Rights Licensees.
In the United States alone, a record-breaking 5.3 million unique viewers tuned in for the round-of-16 match between Belgium and the United States on ESPN and Univision platforms, representing unprecedented traffic for both broadcasters.
24 million unique users have already watched some 15 million hours of content through FIFA’s multimedia services solutions alone.
Certainly, the global appeal of the World Cup played a huge part in the tournament’s popularity. But the big numbers were clearly being bolstered by growing interest in the United States, one of the few nations where soccer isn’t, hands-down, the most popular sport.
Merchandising and Apps
As is expected, the event drove sales of everything from the traditional jerseys and cleats to unusual items.
The official FIFA app became the biggest sports-event app ever, with 28 million downloads. The FIFA World Cup “white-label” second screen app has been downloaded more than 10 million times in more than 20 broadcast territories since its launch at the start of June, with up to three million fans accessing videos, statistics and live match content each day.
Sports shoe and apparel giants Nike and adidas, tapped into the once-every-four-years consumer frenzy, dubbed by some as the “World Cup Effect.”
Nike Soccer App, launched last week, brings young soccer enthusiasts together at the grassroots social-media level, facilitating pick-up games and pointing wanna-be stars toward training tools and even Nike Academy trials. And, of course, the app easily links to merchandise.
Adidas, who enjoyed the spotlight as an official sponsor of the World Cup, designed the “Brazuca” ball that the players used in Brazil. Adidas also launched its miCoach Smart Ball. The soccer ball, which meets FIFA specifications, has embedded sensors that show players velocity, angle, spin and a host of other information including what part of the foot is striking the ball via an app. The app emits cheers for good shots and also provides feedback.
This year’s World Cup merchandise also went couture, too. Donatella Versace created the “Versace Loves Brazil” T-shirt, featuring a multicolored baroque print that includes images of soccer balls and silhouetted players, along with gold chains, flowers and leopard print. If that wasn’t enough, it features the designer’s trademark Medusa head. At a price tag of $690.
There are quite a few companies trying to capitalize on Luís Suárez, and more specifically, his jaws. There’s the Luís Suárez Soccer Bite App game where players control an animated Suárez, who goes from player to player. You can guess the end of that story :). There is also now a Luís Suárez bottle opener.