• ListenFirst tracked both absolute and relative growth.
First, it monitored each brand's average social-community growth
before the World Cup to establish as a baseline. Then the
ListenFirst team measured how brands grew their social followings
during the tournament relative to their usual, pre-World Cup growth
rate to arrive at the weighted scores you see in our chart.
• Notably, non-sponsor Nike -- which, as noted above,
crashed the World Cup conversation with highly viral YouTube videos
-- outdid all but Adidas in social-community growth.
• Among the breakthrough campaigns: Adidas' @brazuca
Twitter account ("I'm @brazuca. The official match ball of the 2014
FIFA #WorldCup. I tweet in English & Portuguese. Love me or
lose me! Oh, and follow me. #ballin"), which closed out the
tournament with nearly 3.5 million followers -- 2.8 million of them
coming on board only after the World Cup kicked off on June 12.
• Adidas ended up being the
most talked-about brand on Twitter during the World Cup, and,
according to ListenFirst's analysis, it far outpaced its fellow
tournament sponsors in cross-platform community growth -- with
Coca-Cola, Sony, Visa and McDonald's rounding out the top five, in
• "More than ever before," says ListenFirst co-founder and
Co-CEO Jason Klein, "this year's World Cup forced brands to think
beyond a single platform and instead take a cross-channel approach
to engaging fans throughout the tournament. And while it was hard
to stand out in a slew of hashtags, promoted posts and custom-built
microsites, there were hallmark campaigns on each channel that
really rose above the noise."
• The endgame? "For brands that poured millions of dollars
into reaching fans during this year's FIFA World Cup," says Klein,
"social-community growth is an important barometer for success.
After all, long after the last goal was scored, brands that gained
a significant number of new fans in the 31-day tournament now have
the ability to tap into this audience year-round."
Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" columnist for Advertising
Age. You can follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.