World Cup Traction Tracker, week 2: Messi arrives

Hookit takes a look at the players, teams and brands driving social engagement.

World Cup Traction Tracker, week 2: Messi arrives

It’s been a breathless second week of the Fifa World Cup in Russia, with the final round of group games serving up no shortage of last-minute drama as teams scrapped and scrambled to stay in the competition.

Germany became the third successive champions to drop out of the World Cup before the knockout rounds after their shock defeat to South Korea, while Lionel Messi finally stamped his mark on the tournament to ensure Argentina didn’t suffer an equally embarrassing early exit.

For all the action on the pitch, it’s been just as busy off it, with fans keen to get their World Cup fix through any means necessary. Fortunately for us, Hookit, SportsPro’s official data partner, has been keeping an eye on the athletes, teams and brands that drove the most interest and engagement on social media during the second week of the tournament.

About this data

Hookit followed activity across Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and YouTube during the second 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.

Sweden make their move as Russia stumble

Despite some underwhelming performances, Spain remain the most engaging national team after the second week of the World Cup, generating nearly five million more interactions than second-placed France. The biggest movers, though, were Sweden, who jumped up seven spots from last week after their surprise 3-0 win over Mexico saw them qualify as unlikely winners of Group F. Argentina’s first win of the tournament also saw them leap five places, while hosts Russia dropped seven spots to 21st after being brought back down to earth with a 3-0 defeat at the hands of Uruguay.

Messi bites back while Salah bows out

While there was no movement among the top three most engaging players this week, Lionel Messi surged up five places after his goal inspired Argentina to a crucial win over Nigeria to see them through to the last 16. Mo Salah’s Egypt, however, were already out of the World Cup before their final group game, and the Liverpool star fell from fourth in the rankings all the way down to 148th. The Swedes were once again the big movers in this category, with winger Jimmy Durmaz gaining over 200 spots after he spoke out against the racist abuse he had received on social media after conceding the free kick which saw his side concede a last-gasp winner to Germany in their second group match.

Adidas gets some love

Nike might still be winning the battle of the kit sponsors, but that engagement hasn’t been driven by its national team partners. Adidas got the majority of the promotional posts – including 16 by Spain – which racked up 2.5 million engagements for the German sportswear giant. Nike, however, continues to benefit from the power of Cristiano Ronaldo, whose 11 million engagements account for nearly double all the Adidas players at the World Cup combined. The American brand profited from having three of the top four athletes this week and, perhaps more surprisingly, Messi and Salah drove no value for Adidas over the last seven days.   

Coke fizzes up the leaderboard as Chinese brands struggle

Coca-Cola continues to impress after doubling its interactions in the second week of the World Cup to displace Nike as the most engaging brand at the tournament. Nike enjoyed only half of the opening week’s ten million engagements with just over five million interactions and video views over the last seven days. Meanwhile, there hasn’t been much action for Fifa’s influx of Chinese sponsors, with Hisense driving a measly 1,043 interactions during the second week of the World Cup.