- Nike led social media mentions in the lead-up to the FIFA Women's World Cup with more than 16,300 posts referring to the sportswear brand, per a study that analytics firm Talkwalker shared with Mobile Marketer. The firm observed about 912,000 social interactions and engagement of 10.8 million in the month before the June 7 kickoff of the global soccer tournament.
- Other top brand mentions included Qatar Airways, Visa, Adidas, Coca-Cola and Hyundai/Kia, most of which took place on Twitter. Being the host country meant that France's national team was mentioned most frequently at about 30,200 times, followed by England (14,000) and the U.S. (7,800).
- The most popular post in the month before the tournament showed the French men's and women's national teams having dinner together for the first time during a special training session. The post was viewed about 577,000 times on Instagram, per Talkwalker. A group picture of the French teams had 146,000 likes while a FIFA post showing all the styles of women's soccer uniforms drew 144,000 likes. A post showing women's soccer figurines for sale in France saw 16,300 shares or likes.
The Women's World Cup is drawing significant sponsorship from U.S.-based brands with the appearance of the U.S. women's team, which won the last tournament in 2015. The prominence of the U.S. team this year could encourage more American viewers to tune into the tournament, unlike last year, when the U.S. men's team failed to qualify.
Fox Sports, which has the broadcast rights to the Women's World Cup, reported that ratings for the first two days of matches were up 11% from four years ago, and by 79% from 2011. Fox Sports is streaming its "FIFA Women's World Cup Now" show from its Paris studio on every match day from its @FOXSports and @FOXSoccer Twitter accounts, which could lead to higher viewership as consumers tune in on a mobile device while on the go.
The higher viewership is translating into social interactions for sponsors of the tournament, as measured by Talkwalker. Nike last month began running an ad featuring the U.S. women's team that included a narration from Oscar-winning actress Viola Davis, per Footwear News. The promotional activity appears to have sparked an uptick in social media mentions of Alex Morgan, the gold medalist forward who was mentioned 4,772 times in the month-long lead-up the tournament, Talkwalker observed.
Meanwhile, Twitter is getting in on the Women's World Cup by handing out awards for the best tweets related to the tournament. The company's analytics team will mark the best tweets with a #GoldenTweet tag among multiple categories from countries around the world. Winners will receive "an iconic, limited-edition trophy" featuring the Twitter bird, Adweek reported. That move could encourage viewers to engage in the conversation on social platforms, allowing brands to reach sports fans with tournament-related content.