Week 1 of a 4 part series
The Spain/Portugal bid for the 2018 Football World Cup
FIFA will officially appoint the host nations for both the 2018 and 2022 World Cups on December 2nd, in Zurich. Over the past few months, many column inches in the British press – both front and back pages – have been dedicated to the bidding process, the voting system and even allegations of bribery. Initially many countries were bidding for both tournaments but, after some withdrawals, the final outcome is now more certain. The 2018 World Cup will definitely be heading to Europe. There are 4 bids in total coming from Portugal and Spain (together), Belgium and Netherlands (together), Russia and finally, closer to home, England. The 2022 tournament will be played outside of Europe – and in the mix for that World Cup there are bids from Qatar, Australia, South Korea, Japan and the United States.
The FIFA executive committee will look at various criteria when selecting the host nation such as the suitability of stadia, supporting infrastructure (transport, hotel accommodation etc) and much more. Given our love of all things digital here at the uksportsnetwork, we thought it would be an interesting exercise to look at what each European nation is doing in the digital space. Focusing on digital content and social media each week for the next 4 weeks, we will appraise and compare each of the 4 European bids for the 2018 World Cup.
We start the series by looking at the various digital platforms used by the Iberian bid from Portugal and Spain. The official website has a welcoming look to it, is highly informative and also holds a multi-media zone which stores logos, videos and corporate images. On the right hand side of the homepage there is a panel which really engages with the reader and football fan and gives you the opportunity to share content and interact with others. Firstly, there is a countdown clock (in seconds) to decision day on December 2nd. There is also a rotating gallery of famous backers of the tournament (Ronaldo and the FIFA World Cup trophy obviously make appearances here), a video section where you can see an official presentation from the organizing committee, an opportunity to view each of the stadiums slated for the tournament, a results library for the two countries and further files relating to the Iberian bid.
For users of social media the panel guides to the YouTube Iberian bid channel where you can see a video of an official presentation (can England seriously compete with spectacular beaches like that?). You can also click to the official Facebook and twitter pages, which are supporting the bid.
The Facebook page has 2,800 likes at this stage and the typical array of photos, videos and posts on the wall and separate tabs that you would find elsewhere. The page does seem to lack a degree of interaction and participation with only 2 photos provided by others. We can also only see 7 likes for the last comment posted on November 2nd. You could also argue that the posts are not regular enough.
As for twitter, the numbers are similar and, at the time of writing, the page has 2,935 followers and is following 579. The tweets are fairly regular, provide content (videos typically) and interact with others. However, given the combined population of Portugal and Spain is just over 56 million, the bid’s committee would probably expect a few more followers in twitter for two football obsessed nations.
Spain is presently the European and World football champions. Over the next few weeks we will determine whether, in digital terms, we think the Iberian bid is the best in Europe. Next week we head north to Belgium and the Netherlands.