World Cup Traction Tracker, week 1: Nike and Ronaldo clean up

Hookit offers its insight into the socially engaging early World Cup winners.

World Cup Traction Tracker, week 1: Nike and Ronaldo clean up

The 2018 Fifa World Cup kicked off with a bang. Host nation Russia have surprised everyone with two convincing wins; Cristiano Ronaldo surprised no one when he stole the show with an extraordinary hat-trick during Portugal’s opening game draw against Spain.

With all eyes fixed on international soccer’s quadrennial showpiece, Hookit, SportsPro’s official data partner, has been monitoring the athletes, teams and brands that drove the most interest and engagement on social media during the first week of the tournament.

About this data

Hookit followed activity across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube during the first week of the 2018 Fifa World Cup. The individual accounts of players were tracked, as were the official accounts of all 32 competing nations and those of Fifa’s 12 official World Cup partners. Interaction data comprises the total number of likes, comments and shares.

A Spanish procession

Spain’s aforementioned 3-3 thriller against Portugal helped the 2010 world champions dominate the other competing national teams in terms of total engagement, driving three times the number of interactions as second-placed Mexico, who got their World Cup campaign off to a flyer with a 1-0 win against defending champions Germany. Despite their surprise 2-1 win against Group H top seeds Poland, Senegal are still fighting among the bottom five teams in terms of social engagement.

Ronny reigns supreme

Unsurprisingly, Cristiano Ronaldo converted his form on the pitch into social engagement, scoring three times as many interactions as Brazilian poster boy Neymar, who struggled to escape the clutches of the Swiss defenders during the pre-tournament favourites’ underwhelming 1-1 draw in their first game. The biggest revelation of the opening week was Iran right-back Ramin Rezaeian breaking into the top five most engaging players after his side won their curtain-raiser against Morocco by virtue of a last-minute own goal.

A big tick for Nike

Nike, which is not even an official sponsor for the World Cup, benefitted from nearly ten times as many interactions than rival sportswear brand Adidas during the opening week. Ronaldo’s influence was clearly a factor, with the Portugal captain driving more interactions and video athletes for Nike than all Adidas representatives – including Lionel Messi – combined. Adidas did, at least, get some love from its national team partners, seven of which posted about the German company during the first seven days, in comparison to one each for Nike, Puma and New Balance.

Cracking open for Coke

Coca-Cola carried its pre-tournament dominance of the World Cup sponsors by accumulating more interactions than the likes of Qatar Airways, KIA, Budweiser and McDonald’s combined. The soft drink brand was, however, significantly more active across social media than most its competitors, making nearly 400 posts over the course of the first week. McDonald’s, though, will be taking a close look at its marketing efforts after generating far less engagement from more than 1,500 posts.