New research from Google reveals the extent to which football fans have changed in the past four years. The UK’s World Cup 2010 spectator was not mobile-savvy, with just 20% of searches for the game, players and teams taking place on a mobile device. Search query volume dipped during and peaked at the end of games as fans focused on the big screen. By contrast, the newly released Google report 2014 World Cup: What a Difference 4 Years Makes predicts that today’s football fans will engage with more than one screen during World Cup 2014 matches.
For example it was found that during the recent Bayern Munich vs. Real Madrid 2014 UEFA Champions League semi-final, 53% of UK searches took place on a mobile device, with the cumulative volume of mobile searches far surpassing those during the 2010 World cup final match.
- Mobile Fans: UK fans are over two-and-a-half times more likely to search on mobile during major live football events than other devices compared to four years ago
- Most Searched: There have been more global searches for the World Cup between 2010 – 2014 than for the Olympics, Tour de France and Superbowl combined
- Most Watched: 64.7m hours of football-related YouTube footage watched globally in the past month
The research also finds that football is by far the most watched sport on YouTube globally this year, with 64.7m hours of related footage watched last month alone. Worldwide Google search data shows there was more interest in the World Cup than the Olympics, the Superbowl and the Tour de France combined, even with the latter two taking place annually.
“We now know that digital interaction occurs in tandem with a football match, giving advertisers the opportunity to react and offer content to fans in real-time. Marketers need to take this second-screen opportunity seriously. With recent research finding that 25% of UK men admit to shedding a tear during a football match, engaging with these passionate fans in the heat of the moment can be incredibly valuable for brands.” - Jordan Rost, Insights Marketing Manager at Google
Savvy advertisers are already creating great content for fans to consume before, during and after matches. Google’s analysis of the top five most watched football ads on YouTube in the UK shows that the content was all created by big brands as they all aim to engage with the extremely passionate fans that can be found on the video platform. Interestingly enough, only one of the videos is from an official sponsor of the football tournament:
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