By Asher Feldman
At the end of the 64th match of the month-long international extravaganza that is the FIFA World Cup, the German national team raised the iconic trophy in Rio de Janeiro.
But in the month leading up to the crowning achievement by Die Mannschaft, the superstar of the World Cup was none other than the social web. From live, in-game reactions from across the web to post-game analysis that seemingly could not be stopped, the web was abuzz for a month straight and never showed signs of slowing down.
Twitter measured up to 672 million Tweets about the World Cup (https://blog.twitter.com/2014/insights-into-the-worldcup-conversation-on-twitter), while Facebook measured 280 million reactions to the World Cup final alone (http://news.yahoo.com/world-cup-twitter-facebook-stats-130423988.html).
But can we find out more? Deeper insights are available using the General Sentiment social analytics tool as to who and what exactly drove conversation.
Not surprisingly, as is the case in most social web conversations about sports, the players on the pitch drove much of the conversation during the World Cup. And none could compare to the Brazilian face of the tournament, Neymar. The young superstar’s emergence as Brazil’s go-to player and his subsequent injury ended up being the driving force, an overwhelming amount of the online chatter. And according to General Sentiment’s earned media value metric, which measures sentiment, volume and exposure weights to come to a dollars-and-cents valuation of overall media exposure, the Brazilian striker ran away with the tournament.
During the World Cup, Neymar earned more than $94.9 million in media exposure value, by far the most among all players in the tournament. Uruguay’s Luis Suarez, whose chatter was mostly sparked by his infamous bite on Italian defender Giorgio Chiellini, bowed at No. 2 at just over $78 million earned. United States goalie Tim Howard — whose performance earned him the largest overall share of U.S. men’s national team member chatter across the web with more than 34 percent — landed third in media value during the World Cup with $52.4 million earned.
Each of the 32 teams during the World Cup experienced their ups-and-downs, to be sure. Even champion Germany saw a surprise result in the group stages against Ghana, playing only to a draw. But among the 32 teams, it was Argentina who was viewed most positively throughout the competition, according to sentiment analysis done on conversations including the Argentinean team, mascot, players and coaches.
For the entire length of their run, surprising Chile ranked second, while host country Brazil ranked third, as Brazil had some of the most positive chatter overall during the group stages and first two knockout stages, and Brazil’s shocking fall in the semis and 3rd place game was not enough to derail an otherwise brilliantly received run through the tournament.
The U.S.’s four matches each ranked among the top-10 in overall web engagement using General Sentiment’s 2nd Screen Score metric, which measures engagement over a four-day window. The Germany-Argentina finale ranked No. 1, followed by Germany’s 7-1 victory over Brazil at No. 2 and the U.S.’s loss to Belgium at No. 3.
Other hotly discussed games included the Colombia-Brazil quarterfinal, which included Neymar’s injury and the Netherlands-Mexico showdown in the Round of 16, which included a controversial penalty and a come-from-behind victory for the Dutch.
The full report is available from General Sentiment here: http://bit.ly/1jybasA
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