As the Premier League reaches its finale behind closed doors, with Liverpool FC playing their last match at home and lifting the trophy on Wednesday, data science and marketing technology company 4C have unveiled the big brand winners seeking to capture the attention of fans on social media and capitalise on the return to sports: betting firms.
Twitter and Facebook users engaging with Liverpool’s accounts (@LFC) were 6.6 times more likely than the average user to engage with Bet365, while the affinity numbers for William Hill and Paddy Power were 6.3 and 3.0, respectively. All three scored higher on affinity than any brand in any other sector.
“Football creates shared moments and creates deep connections between fans,” comments Karl Knights, VP Revenue, EMEA, 4C Insights. “With games being played behind closed doors and with fewer opportunities for fans to gather together in person, social media and the second screen experience have never been more important for generating that excitement. It’s clear from the data that betting firms have been really savvy about this, reaching highly-engaged consumers where they’re most active.”
Social provides new meaning for YWNWA
Despite the current situation, the fans were not left celebrating alone with social media providing a vocal platform, and traditional hashtags to the football club, utilised in fullforce.
Overall social engagement numbers for core Liverpool FC hashtags rose dramatically on the 22nd July, when they lifted the trophy at Anfield, compared to the day before.
The hashtag #YWNWA, for the Liverpool FC Song, You Will Never Walk Alone, witnessed a 1,493% increase in engagement alone compared to the previous day. No doubt partially fueled by the video already released by Liverpool FC upon winning the league, with the sound track in it: We Are Liverpool. Champions of England.
Surprisingly, engagement for Liverpool FC official social handles, dropped 93% following Manchester City’s loss to Chelsea in late June – the game which assured Liverpool’s victory and end to their 30 year wait.
Knights continues “The likely reason for this, is the fact that Liverpool played hometown rivals Everton the week before, showing that the rivalry still outweighs even a league win when it comes to sparking conversation.”
Liverpool FC won the league, but players outside the team win fans
And while Liverpool claimed victory, measurements of people’s affinities suggest that personality is more important than club when it comes to who fans engage with.
Users engaging with @LFC were 6.6 times more likely to engage with Wayne Rooney online, 6.3 times more likely to engage with Marcus Rashford, and 5.6 times more likely to engage with Paul Pogba.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, the strongest affinity measured was with Match of the Day: people engaging with @LFC were 11.5 times more likely to engage with the BBC’s flagship football show.
“Having three players most associated with Manchester United top this list shows that football is anything but insular. Whether it’s complaints or congratulations, football on social media is one huge conversation.” concludes Knights.