Brazil’s 13th Stadium: Social Media and the 2014 World Cup

Social Media and the 2014 World Cup

For the past 30 days, the spirit of futbol has captivated people around the world. Unless you have been under a rock for a month, it's hard to ignore the jerseys, chants, costumes, memes, drama, Buzzfeed lists, tweets, instagrams and excitement of the FIFA World Cup. It's only once every four years that fans band together and fly their country's colors in the hopes of watching their team raise the FIFA World Cup Trophy. Here at Blue Fountain Media, we're guilty of crowding around a TV to watch Team USA:

Blue Fountain Media World Cup

The hype of the World Cup is not only contagious for fans. This year, brands have caught the futbol bug and have taken the digital space by storm. Unlike other World Championship sporting events, the nature of a match does not allow quality opportunities for traditional advertising channels, such as TV commercials. The game runs almost non-stop for 90-minutes, with only a short 15 minute break between each half, which puts a large price tag and a limited amount of time for TV commercials during the heat of the action.

According to AdAge, one commercial spot on Brazil's largest TV network, Globo, costs $75 million per sponsor and promises 451 30-second advertising spots over the course of a month. This budget is roughly 20 times more than a 30-second Super Bowl commercial. With a steep price tag on TV, a lot of brands turned to the second screen and other channels to connect with viewers on social media instead.

Just like the competition in the tournament, there are companies that rose to the occasion and stood out among the rest - particularly on YouTube and Twitter. The platform that has taken over this event on social media has unarguably been Twitter. This year, the company ran a campaign that aimed to both educate users about the platform and promote themselves as "the source" for everything World Cup. From their chilling "#WorldCup: Love Every Second" YouTube video, to the addition of live score updates in the home feed and "hashflags", Twitter has put their investors dollars to work and successfully created a global forum for fans, athletes and brands.

From a fan participation perspective, the proof of Twitter being king spoke volumes this Monday during the blowout match between Germany and Brazil. When news of Brazil's loss took to the Twittersphere it began to break records of its own. During the 2-hour match, 35.6 million tweets were sent - 10.7 million more than the Super Bowl record.

The fans haven't been the only ones participating in the conversation. The athletes have been putting in their two cents by thanking, laughing and crying with fans. When Brazil's striker and star player, Neymar, was injured against Columbia he posted a video on YouTube to thank his country for their support and letting them know that the dream of winning the World Cup is alive for the next tournament. In hindsight, this was great advice considering the outcome of the Germany game.

On the brand front, social media was the main driver for brands like Nike, McDonalds and my personal favorite, Hyundai. The South Korean auto company stole the hearts of fans on social media with its #BecauseFutbol commercials.

The lifestyle-based content in the TV ads embraced the crazy inside every soccer fan. As a thank you for the reality check, the world took to the hashtag and started sharing their World Cup experiences on Twitter, Tumblr and Instagram. In addition to the outstanding social media campaign, Hyundai also ran a Because Futbol car cling promotion on their website. This offer gave fans a way to represent their team on the road in exchange for their e-mail and mailing address.

From the field, to the fans, to the Internet, the 2014 Rio World Cup has lived up to the much-anticipated hype. Unfortunately on Sunday, it will all come to an end after the championship match between Germany and Argentina and we'll have to wait another 4-years for futbol to take over the globe again.

Now that we've run through a few of the highlights, looking back on this year's FIFA World Cup, what were some of your favorite social media moments? Let us know in the comments section below or by tweeting us @BFMweb.

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