All Posts in football

October 12, 2016Published by: Andrew McClenaghan

Could social media be about to change the face of football?

In the UK, many football clubs are considered to be institutions. Manchester United, Tottenham and Arsenal for example, are steeped in decades of history. Their past is part of their continued appeal and their successes, coupled with how social media amplifies their fan base around the world, means it’s hard to imagine how any new team could attract any similar attention.

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May 12, 2014Published by: Drew

Roy Hodgson picks his England Squad. How did fans react on social media?

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For any supporter of England's football team, there are two important factors that help predict England's chances of football glory in the World Cup. Firstly, it's what group England will draw in the World Cup and secondly it's what squad the manager will take to the World Cup. Already knowing the answer to the former, today, fans got their answer to the latter as England Manager Roy Hodgson finally revealed who he would be taking to the World Cup in Brazil. Like supporters at a West Ham derby in Upton Park, English football fans went crazy on social media.

Ahead of Roy Hodgson's announcement, telecommunications firm, WDS, attempted to predict the squad by analysing fans' tweets. Using a social media monitoring tool, it counted the number of popular tweets a player received on Twitter versus the number of negative tweets. This was the basis for its team selection which you can view here.

Over here at Battenhall HQ, we decided to analyse how much social media traffic Roy Hodgson's announcement managed to generate. Using some nifty social media software of our own, we looked at the top trending hashtags concerning the announcement and below is what we found:

  • #WorldCup - 37,868 mentions
  • #EnglandWorldCupSquad (trending UK hashtag) - 22,109 mentions
  • #ComeOnEngland (promoted hashtags)- 5,609 mentions
  • #Lampard - 391 mentions
  • #RoyHodgson - 283 mentions

From our initial analysis it looks like the promoted hashtag wasn't worth the investment...

April 22, 2014Published by: Drew

Man United fans learn of Moyes sacking on Twitter first

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Football is often an unpredictable sport filled with drama, heated skirmishes and last minute comebacks. However, for beleaguered David Moyes, the writing was already on the wall. This morning, much to the prediction and jubilation of many Manchester United fans, David Moyes' short-lived managership at Old Trafford came to an end as he was sacked by the club's board.

Whilst Moyes' dismissal doesn't come as much of a surprise, what is noticeable is that Manchester United announced Moyes' termination on its Twitter page seemingly without issuing a press release to media outlets. Although the club does trade on the New York stock exchange so an official press release may not have been distributed for legal reasons. Having said that, there is no denying that social media has become a crucial platform for brands and companies when delivering important news directly to consumers and the media.

Twitter has become the de facto online space for expressing opinions on major news. This is no more apparent than in football where several prolific pundits such as Michael Owen and Robbie Savage have shared their opinions on Moyes' fate from their twitter accounts. Such is the acceptance and value of Twitter that, instead of contacting sport pundits directly for comments, big media sites such as The Guardian, have simply quoted their tweets in their news reports.

In terms of the reaction from their international fans and followers, the word Moyes was mentioned more than 1.5 million times today and #Moyes #MoyesSacked and #MUFC were among just some of the hashtags that have been trending as a result.

Once again, this demonstrates the undeniable importance of Twitter as the ultimate breaking news source and is testament to its power to share stories instantly, globally and with the intent of collating social opinion quickly.