3 Stars of the 2014 World Cup

When researchers and sociologists look back at the World Cup in Brazil, they will have a mountain of information (and blog posts like this one) to sift through. From the alleged FIFA corruption to Brazilian protests, there will be no shortage of topics to choose for discussions in years to come.

This World Cup, however, will be known for its star power. We had the Lionel Messi, Arjen Robben, Cristiano Ronaldo, Luis Suarez watch. Joining the crowd was Colombia’s James Rodriguez. All-Stars and stars in the making. All “starred” for their countries and made headlines in one way or another. BUT, that’s not the type of star power I’m referring to for this World Cup. I’m referring to the stars of social media and search.


1) Social Media: Like it or not, the #1 star in this year’s World Cup wasn’t on the pitch. It was on our desktops, laptops, phones and tablets on a daily basis. The #1 star could only be social media. A few highlights: 

Facebook: 350 million people with over 3 billion interactions centered around the World Cup. Sunday’s final alone had 280 million interactions among 88 million people. Brazil, U.S.A. and Mexico were the top countries in terms of people discussing the tournament. Neymar and Memphis Dupay led all players in terms of growth (raw, percent increase, respectively).

While I, myself, did not go to Facebook much during the tournament, I have no doubt that these numbers prove that Facebook can be a player when it comes to a live sporting event. Now, it helps that this is a world event. The “world” loves Facebook. Events like this draw in casual fans. And, of course, when national pride is at stake, well…you don’t mess with that. That said, Facebook has made some strides to be a player when it comes to sports events. While it is the #1 social network based on numbers, for me it pales in comparison for sports to…


Twitter: 672 million tweets were World Cup related, according to Twitter. Neymar and Messi led the way in terms of mentions on Twitter. 

One of the brilliant moves by Twitter was sharing their data like this…

[tweet https://twitter.com/TwitterData/statuses/488483433849438208 align=’center’]

and this:

Twitter has grown up fast. They’ve had to because of user demand (think: journalists). Demand for Twitter, and subsequent positive response to its usage, forced Facebook to change, adapt and become relevant in the world of sports. The numbers for Facebook seem to dwarf Twitter. However, as this Forbes article points out, “Twitter is where people go to talk about surprising, unexpected events as they’re unfolding. Facebook is where people go to record their feelings about big, shared milestones somewhat after the fact.”  

When it’s a “live event”, conversation happens on Twitter. I was hoping to take that to the next level on…


Google: Google+ to be exact. And, we’re not quite there yet on Google+. Real-time conversation can happen through Hangouts On Air, or rather Business Hangouts On Air, but that concept is not there yet. Where Google did excel is in Search. According to Google wth 64 matches having been played, there were over 2.1 billion (yes, BILLION) related searches. 

Google meme

Monitoring everything from most searched match to, well, player memes, Google’s prowess in Search is unmatched. Especially considering Google’s very own…


YouTube: While writing this post, I went to look for some stats on the World Cup and YouTube. Aside from the video below (which happened to be trending on YouTube this past week), I was unable to find current  data on anything post-World Cup related. 

Plenty of brands, teams, athletes, broadcast entities and the like utilized YouTube in creative and engaging ways. According to this AdNews article, views are there – subscribers are not. Views for non-World Cup sponsors were a hit. They outpaced the official sponsors of the tournament, according to AdAge.


Instagram: Picture sharing leader Instagram was a force to be reckoned with during the World Cup. At this point, you’ll just have to take my word for it as no official stats have been released yet. Some of the Facebook numbers could include Instagram posts. If they do or don’t, please let me know. 

Random Google search of anything related to Instagram stats for the World Cup doesn’t provide anything of substance. I did happen to stumble across a Tumblr page that documented IG numbers before the tournament, here.

Followers, well, that’s a different conversation. Athletes from nearly every sport have embraced the photo/video sharing platform. And, their fans have responded in kind. Bloomberg reports that “7 of the top 10” players,  with respect to follower numbers, hail from Brazil. Neymar and his library of selfies proved to be quite popular with fans…and maybe a few non-soccer types too. 

How popular is Neymar on Instagram? Note the number of Likes and Comments on his two highest posts over the past month.



  • SnapChat angers users with their “Story” from Rio
  • Tumblr part of the social media conversation too


2) The numbers are in and it’s allllllll gooooood for ESPN and Univision. Viewership (live-streaming) earns the runner-up spot in my unscientific list of World Cup stars. Rather than quoting the numbers, here are a few selected links on this subject:

  • Ken Fang of fangsbites.com: Univision goes out from the World Cup on top
  • Jonathan Tannenwald of philly.com: Discussing the records and near misses in the World Cup final and tournament overall
  • SI.com’s Noise Report: Breaking down the numbers and markets

Not breaking any earth-shattering news here, but numbers were up. Way up in some cases compared to South Africa in 2010. There were a couple of scenarios that played into ESPN and Univision’s hand for this level of soccer viewership. One is a known quantity. The other, an unmeasurable one. Sort of. 

  • Time difference. For those of us on the West Coast of the United States, this is a big deal. Watching a game at 9 am is a heck of a lot easier than 4 am! Noon on the East Coast? Piece of cake to plan a lunch (long lunch) to watch a game, right? Early morning when you’re just getting to work? Maybe not. So yes, a manageable time difference allows for more eyeballs, even casual eyeballs, to watch the tournament. And, if your friends are talking about it on social media (see #1 above), you might just tune in yourself. 
  • Rise of the Hispanic/Latino population in America. This is more of a theory on my part, but one I firmly believe in. Soccer (futbol) is popular, the #1 sport, in many Hispanic/Latino countries. It rivals and even surpasses what the NFL is here in America. Those who come or who have come to this country don’t just stop being fans of the game. They bring that passion and love of it with them. Add in a World Cup component and you have yourself a huge demographic tuning in to the tournament. But, if the Univision numbers are any indication, “my” demographic brought it, and brought it LARGE to the World Cup.

Keep in mind, these are only based on America’s viewing audience. This does not take into account any numbers from around the world. My guess is that from England to India to Australia to Japan, numbers were equivalent or up compared to 2010, depending upon location, of course. Time difference could very well come into play. But, the deeper the run by a country’s team, the guess here is, the higher the viewership. 


3) Bringing up the rear in my Star Power list is mobile. Part of mobile includes the live streaming as discussed above (WatchESPN and Univision apps). But, there’s more to it than that. Much like we do in our daily lives, our mobile devices became nearly essential to our staying connected to the World Cup. The CBC alone had their World Cup apps downloaded over one million times. FIFA too saw a rise in their app for the tournament – downloaded over 10 million times as of July 7th.

During the Olympics, talk began centering on the rise of dating apps like Tinderr. According to this article last month, dating apps were seeing a 50% increase. Not just in downloads either. That is in usage too. Surprising or perhaps not in this day & age, some “dates” are turning into relationships.

RELATED: USA-Ghana match sees apps in demandGottaBeMobile


FINAL THOUGHTS: So there you have it. The 3 stars of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil for me are: Social Media, Viewership and Mobile. I did not mention compelling games, but there are always compelling games to some degree or another during the World Cup. Compelling games lead to higher social media activity, increased viewership and a need for apps, apps & more apps on our devices. 

There can be no question of social media’s impact in sports. It supplements events and sometimes drives engagement either in posts/tweets or actual views. Mobile continues to grow. And grow. And grow. That is and will be a key component for any sporting event in the future — making it work for mobile. 

But, what will you remember about this World Cup? Will it be the social media records that were broken? Or, will you remember the breakout tournament for young Mr. James Rodriguez? Or the flying Van Persie? Late game heroics from USA’s John Brooks? Surprising Costa Rica? The bite heard, seen, shared around the world from Luis Suarez? Germany’s pasting of Brazil? Algeria’s never-give-up attitude? Nigeria playing despite unrest back home? Brand engagement? Perhaps it’s the less popular stories of Brazilian protests? 

What will you remember? What stood out to you? 

While we all reflect on it over the next four years, or (PLEASE) simply leave your comments below, let me leave you with this gem of a video from KickTV. 


CadChica Sports

Google+ Hangouts are only going to grow in 2014. Learn from the Master, Ronnie Bincer, and his Hangout Mastery group – join through my affiliate link.

Tuesday Ten: Lauren Teague

TTCCS Banner 7-15-14


Tuesday Ten is a quick 10-minute chat with leaders and up-and-comers in the world of sports in: media/broadcasting, business/marketing, social media and more. Today I was joined by Lauren Teague, Social Media Manager of the PGA Tour. 


“I am a young professional in Jacksonville, Florida, well versed in social media and fostering relationships between brands, athletes and fans on- and offline. I joined the PGA TOUR in 2008 as the first in a dedicated role for social media, and have fostered the network of social media channels from their infancy, including branded presences on Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram, Google+ and more. I also consult with PGA TOUR players & agents, partners and tournaments to get them active and productive in creating one-to-one relationships using social media tools.

I had come across Lauren on Twitter during a social media conference she was speaking at. Seeing her and the PGA Tour was the next step in recognizing what the tour was doing on social media. Google Hangouts were a part of their strategy so I knew Lauren was someone I needed to have on the show. Lauren has a strong grasp of social media and what the PGA Tour strategy is. She also is well aware of the social media landscape and how it applies to their audience. I’ll go out on a limb and say it’s that Northern Arizona education…and her Pacific Northwest roots. 


Lauren is one of the bright stars in the world of sports and social media. She is smart, knowledgeable and she just gets it. Don’t believe me? Listen to the show. 


  • 1:42 — What led the PGA Tour to start using Google+. Utilizing Hangouts On Air 
  • 4:48 — Community for PGA fans on Google+; a new venture. 
  • 6:30 — So many choices. How the PGA Tour goes about choosing a social media platform for their strategy. Making our fans better fans
  • 8:43 — The PGA Tour Social Media Hub (see below)

PGA Tour Social Hub

  • 10:28 — Volunteers and Community
  • 11:33 — Giving back. Important for both Lauren and the PGA Tour. (Link mentioned during the show)

My thanks to Lauren for taking the time to join the show. 



With Lauren 

With the PGA Tour


On the next Tuesday Ten Show, I’ll be joined by Mike Freeman, NFL Lead Writer for Bleacher Report. Freeman is also an author who recently worked with the family of Roberto Clemente to write the book “Clemente“. Join me at the same “Chica-location” on Google+ on July 22 at 5pm PT/8pm ET.


CadChica Sports

Google+ Hangouts are only going to grow in 2014. Learn from the Master, Ronnie Bincer, and his Hangout Mastery group – join through my affiliate link.

NBA Draft Crashing, Google+ Style

Upside. Reach. Solid. Crafty. 

Stop me if you heard those terms during last night’s NBA Draft. But, I wonder how many times those words were uttered during the “Draft Crashes” held by the NBA last night. As I wrote previously, the NBA was following along the lines of the NFLPA utilizing the Google+ Hangouts feature to connect their future stars in a unique way. Where the NFLPA structured theirs for media only, the NBA was allowing fans to create their own Hangout “Video Calls” with friends and one of the draft picks could crash their call. 

I was checking Twitter and Google+ to see how well the hashtags that you see below were doing. The early results were disappointing. An opportunity to talk to the future star of an NBA team didn’t seem to attract people just quite yet. Or, as pointed out to me by Hangout Master, Ronnie Bincer, the idea of sharing the link to the Hangout Video Call publicly may have deterred some people too. But, I did find someone who was extremely excited about the proceedings tonight according to this series of tweets:

Draft Crash

How many links are there? I kid, I kid. You get the sense that Rivera is a huge basketball fan with the number of links he provided. If I’m the NBA, that’s exactly the type of excitement you want surrounding the draft.


The waiting. Ahh, yes, the waiting. 

On draft night in any sport, there is a swirl of media action surrounding draft picks. Media obligations can range from national to local, tv to radio, newspapers to magazines. They get pulled in many different directions. Although the first pick was made before 8pm ET, it took quite some time before the first Hangout took place. 

I attempted to contact Ian Rivera for this story, but participants in the Hangouts have agreed to not speak with media about their “crash”. Fortunately, the fans are allowed to take pictures. Pictures that become memories. Memories like the one above or these:

Just now adding via Rivera — looks like the NBA was recording these Crashes:

I wonder if anyone used the word “upside” during these crashes. 



As Rivera’s tweets show, the chance to talk with professional athletes is an exciting opportunity. Fans crave access. Fans want connection. Google+ Hangouts provide both. However, the idea of posting a public link to a Google+ Hangout Video Call? Well…

For those who do not understand how that works, let me explain. There are two different types of Hangouts. Those that are “On Air” (HOA) or available for broadcast via YouTube. And then there’s a “Video Call” (HVC). A HVC is similar to what you do on Skype. Chat with someone via video. In that context, would you post a public link to your Skype video call (if there was such a thing)? I don’t think so. If you think about it, anyone with that link could have crashed that Video Call. Strangers could have clicked those links and joined a Video Call. Not exactly a safe situation if you ask me. There are better ways to bring fans in to talk with players through Hangouts. Great concept in theory, but..

The draft and the crashes continue even as I type this. I applaud the NBA for trying something new. Here’s hoping they see the potential for future use.

Scratch that.

Here’s hoping more NBA teams see the potential of Google+ Hangouts On Air rather than just Hangout Video Calls. The Golden State Warriors’ Harrison Barnes has done a few HOAs with fans to great success. If it’s about access and connection, there is no platform that offers more than Google+. Where else can you get reactions like these for the #1 pick in a draft on the night he is drafted?

My Draft Crash grade for the NBA = B

UPDATED: The NBA has a YouTube Playlist for all of the “Crashes” available here.


CadChica Sports

Google+ Hangouts are only going to grow in 2014. Learn from the master, Ronnie Bincer, and his Hangout Mastery group – join through my affiliate link.

Tuesday Ten: Me

Event banner 6-24-14Tuesday Ten is a quick 10-minute chat with leaders and up-and-comers in the world of sports in: media/broadcasting, business/marketing, social media and more. 


Tonight’s show was a bit of a twist. My friend, Tariq Ahmad, called it the Google+ version of a Reddit AMA (Ask Me Anything). I allowed you, the viewers, to Ask Me (Almost) Anything via Google+. I wasn’t sure how well this would work. Or, if I would even get any questions. But, the audience came through in a big way. So much so that the show ran long. 17 minutes. GASP! I tried to keep it to 10 minutes for Tuesday Ten, but the audience wasn’t having any of that.

With questions ranging from where my sport passion comes from to the athlete I’d want to interview most to my favorite vacation spot, it was a fun yet challenging show. I make a far better host than I do a guest. So, for me, the focus shouldn’t ever be on me. I want this show to shine a spotlight on others. Bring their voice to the conversations in sports, social media, on Google+, on Twitter. That’s the focus. But, if people don’t know me, or connect with me, they might not want to tune in to the show. This was a show I knew I’d have to do at some point. 


I embraced the challenge and hopefully succeeded. But, I couldn’t do it without the help of the audience. The audience is what make any show. Their questions, comments and encouragement (both public & private) was extremely encouraging. If you missed the live conversation, you can see it on the Google+ Events page here. My thanks to:


  • 0:51 – The basis for this show
  • 1:45 – My passion for sports (Question 1 from Debi Davis & also Heather Kraafter)
  • 3:05 – Five favorite sports (Q2 from Debi Davis) …Side note: Not sure how I forgot about college basketball, but it’s in my top 5.
  • 3:45 – Follow non-team sports (Q3 from Debi Davis)
  • 4:02 – Being in charge of sports league…which one? (Question from Derrick Docket)
  • 4:56 – Highlighting a question to be answered later in the show
  • 5:13 – My mentors/role models (Question from John Martin)
  • 6:32 – Preferred social media channel (Question from Krishna De)
  • 7:36 – My favorite SM management tool (Q2 from Krishna De)
  • 8:18 – What team would I root for if I was stranded on a desert island? (Question from Heather Kraafter)
  • 9:06 – Sports I played as a child (Question from Sherrill Duce)
  • 9:32 – Sports in HS/College (Q2 from Sherrill Duce)
  • 9:44 – Football my favorite sport? (Q3 from Sherrill Duce)
  • 9:57 – Favorite color (Q4 from Sherrill Duce)
  • 10:22 – Happiest moment of my life (Q5 from Sherrill Duce)
  • 10:59 – Where do I want to vacation? (Q6 from Sherrill Duce)
  • 11:06 – What do I want to be remembered for? (Q7 from Sherrill Duce)
  • 11:28 – Any athlete or team I’d like to do social media for and why? (Question from Bob McKamey)
  • 12:45 – What’s wrong with cheerleaders? (Question from Debi Davis)
  • 13:10 – The Closer: Great question from William King on which athlete I’d like to interview (with a side question on the World Cup from Chris Syme)

Thanks for tuning in



Stay connected with me on these channels. Twitter is mostly for sports. Everything else is for…everything. 


Still finalizing plans for next week’s Tuesday Ten. Tune in at the same time, same Chica-location on Google+.

To stay in the loop on all of the latest Tuesday Ten shows, SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel here 


CadChica Sports

Google+ Hangouts are only going to grow in 2014. Learn from the master, Ronnie Bincer, and his Hangout Mastery group – join through my affiliate link.

Wimbledon Expanding Its Social Reach


Wimbledon Day 1

Welcome back, Wimbledon.

The Championships are back and better than ever. A few minor upsets in court action today on Day 1, but nothing of consequence for the top seeds. With Wimbledon getting into full swing, let’s take a quick look at the social media centered around the grandest of tennis tournaments. 


According to Sophie Curtis from The Telegraph, Wimbledon is amping up its Twitter presence this year. Everything from digital photos for fans to in-tweet highlights to Henman Hill screen time for fan tweets, oh, and of course the infamous Twitter Mirror, are all a part of the package. 

The photo above was taken earlier this afternoon from Wimbledon’s “Social Hill“. The numbers in the lower right corner, “Tweets Today” and “Tweets Total”, will display as of the time its viewed. So, the 11k and 802k are as of the time I viewed it. Not bad numbers considering it was going up against the World Cup.



But, Twitter isn’t the only platform Wimbledon has taken greater interest in this year. As the tournament has drawn closer, they’re sharing more photos and video on their Instagram too.

FACEBOOK (Fantasy)

Something I noticed on Facebook was something called the Wimbledon Fantasy Game.

Wimbledon FB

How does the Wimbledon Fantasy Game work? According to their website:

  • Each user receives a budget of 1,000 stars.
  • Working within your budget, choose five different player attributes to build your ideal player, including at least one man and at least one woman.
  • For example, budget permitting, you might choose Roger Federer’s serve, Andy Murray’s returns, Serena Williams’ power, Richard Gasquet’s net play and Maria Sharapova’s mental strength.

Points are awarded in five different categories, like Serve or Return. Players can participate in individual leagues in addition to the overall competition in which a grand prize of tickets to the 2015 Championships will be awarded. 

A nice idea by Wimbledon, taking advantage of the huge popularity of fantasy games, especially here in the states. 


YouTube is right in the thick of things too for Wimbledon. There is already a large selection of videos, from highlights to post-match interviews, to choose from, like this one:


Not to be left out is Google+. Utilizing the hashtag, #mywimbledon, Wimbledon has created an Events Page where fans can share their Wimbledon-related photos. Specifically, where fans are watching: 


So there you have it. A quick social media peek into The Championships. How it fares this week will be interesting as it will continue to compete with the World Cup. Unless there are huge upsets or marathon 5-setters, the fun really begins in the second week, right? 

Did I miss anything they’re doing? Let me know in the comments.


CadChica Sports

Google+ Hangouts are only going to grow in 2014. Learn from the master, Ronnie Bincer, and his Hangout Mastery group – join through my affiliate link.


Klinsmann Drops the Donovan Bomb

The move was swift. 

[tweet https://twitter.com/ussoccer/status/469591998039863296 align=’center’]

And, just like that, the international career of one, Landon Donovan, seemingly was over. 


rgen Klinsmann, head coach of the U.S. Men’s Soccer Team, made his final cuts for the World Cup roster. Stalwart and clutch goal-scorer, Landon Donovan did not make the cut. The clue came through even earlier than U.S. Soccer’s tweet from ESPN’s Taylor Twellman:

[tweet https://twitter.com/TaylorTwellman/status/469591081773187073 align=’center’]

Suffice to say the move caught many by surprise. Was it fair? Let ESPN’s Alexi Lalas weigh in:

[tweet https://twitter.com/AlexiLalas/status/469596703750766592 align=’center’]

I’ll leave the arguments on the final roster and Donovan’s snub to others. I am more curious about the social media effect this news had.

Let’s face it. Americans care about soccer. American soccer, that is, at World Cup time. Some watch soccer only every four years (or two, if they tune in to the women’s World Cup). Those who watched in 2010 saw Landon Donovan’s goal against Algeria. A crucial goal to help the U.S. earn a much-needed three points. They know Donovan’s name. He is, for all intents and purposes, the face of American soccer. 

Well, he was. Which is what made this such a huge story on social media. The non-soccer fan that watches the World Cup knows Landon Donovan. For them, this was unfathomable. Who did Jurgen Klinsmann think he is leaving perhaps the greatest Team USA soccer player ever off of the World Cup roster? This news resonated with them.  

When a story of this magnitude breaks, social media is where you’ll find the reaction. Facebook, Twitter, Instagram. They all were a part of the news today. The tweet at the top generated nearly 7300 retweets and 2500 favorites, as of this writing. Normally, I’m not a fan of sharing the same exact post on all social media channels, but in this case, it does provide a level playing field for comparison. The U.S. Soccer social media team shared the same 23-man roster photo accordingly:

Facebook: Over 10k Likes and 7300 Shares

Instagram: Over 15k Likes and 1700 Comments

Google+: Over 180+1’s and 31 Reshares (with 62 Comments)USMNT coach Jurgen Klinsmann has selected the 23 man roster that will…

Just how big was the news?

[tweet https://twitter.com/mexicoworldcup/status/469606414462119936 align=’center’]

and in the UK

[tweet https://twitter.com/grahamruthven/status/469619984227110913 align=’center’]

and Worldwide too

[tweet https://twitter.com/beINSPORTSUSA/status/469602368250605568 align=’center’]

As of 10pm PT on May 22, he was still trending on Facebook:


To his credit, Landon Donovan took to his Facebook page to thank the fans (note the number of Likes and Shares):

How will this all play outing Brazil remains to be seen. Klinsmann will be second-guessed if the U.S. flames out in the group stage. [Although between you and me, the chances were already slim.] If the U.S. somehow moves through? Well, let’s just say, social media will be a fun place to be regardless. 

But, winning makes it fun. 

In the meantime, 


CadChica Sports

Google+ Hangouts are only going to grow in 2014. Learn from the Master, Ronnie Bincer, and his Hangout Mastery group – join through my affiliate link.










Tuesday Ten: Clair Wyant


Tuesday Ten is a quick 10-minute chat that features interviews with not just leaders in sports but up-and-comers too. On Tuesday, I was joined by Clair Wyant and my guest co-host, Tariq Ahmad.

Clair is an Internet Marketing Specialist from Phoenix, AZ.

Clair has had a long-time interest in technology, and launched his first website in the mid-1990s. He got the social media bug after participating in tweetups in the Boston area after joining Twitter. He moved back to his home state of Arizona in 2011, and used the opportunity as a career change from finance to Internet marketing.

Clair is a fan of the Arizona Diamondbacks, Boston Red Sox, New England Patriots, University of Arizona.


Clair, Tariq and I had a good, quick discussion on sports-social media. Highlights, along with the video, are below.

  • :43 – A guest co-host? Intro to Tariq Ahmad
  • 2:31 – Intro to Clair Wyant
  • 3:58 – Clair shares his thoughts on which social media platform is underutilized in sports
  • 5:30 – Sports, social media and ROI
  • 8:26 – What Clair would like to see on NFL Draft night on social media
  • 10:26 – Patriots fan that Clair is…what will they do in the draft?

Join me next Tuesday, May 13th, when my guest will be author, radio host and sports journalist Russ Cohen. Oh yeah, there will be hockey talk.

To stay in the loop on all of the latest Tuesday Ten shows, SUBSCRIBE to my YouTube channel here


CadChica Sports

Google+ Hangouts are only going to grow in 2014. Learn from the Master, Ronnie Bincer, and his Hangout Mastery group – join through my affiliate link.