Monday, April 25, 2016

China Rising: tracking Sina Weibo and the Chinese Super League

The surprising transfer of Jackson Martínez a few months ago was probably the first time many of us heard about the Chinese Super League. The Colombian striker left Atlético de Madrid just six months after his arrival to Spain and headed to Chinese side Guangzhou Evergrande for 42 million euros.

Despite the huge figures, his deal was not the biggest one this season in the Chinese competition. It was beaten by the 50 million euros transfer of Alex Teixeira from Shakhtar Donetsk to Jiangsu Suning. Players such as Ramires (Chelsea), Gervinho (Roma), or Fredy Guarín (Inter) also left top-level European teams to set out on a new adventure in China.

The economic boost experienced by the league lately has much to do with big Chinese companies (every team is owned by one), powerful sponsors such as DHL, Red Bull or Nike and media companies like China Sports Media, who bought the league's TV rights for $1.3 billion dollars. The above-mentioned Guangzhou Evergrande is probably the best example of the fast growth of the Chinese Super League. They were relegated to the China League One in 2010, then the real state company Evergrande came along and bought the team. Their investment paid off: not only did they return to the top division but also won five league titles in a row and two AFC Champions League titles. On top of that it is rumored that they want to invest in both a Major League Soccer and a Premier League team in an attempt to replicate the City Football Group model, owners of Manchester City and New York City, in which Chinese fund CMC recently invested $400 million.

If this has piqued your interest, you will be glad to know that we have started tracking the Chinese Super League. You can now access all teams and players in our platform and we are working to fill in all their social channels.

Sina Weibo

Speaking of social channels, Facebook and Twitter are not the kings of social media in China. That role belongs to Tencent and Sina Weibo, which have hundreds of millions of users. We have been tracking Tencent for a long time, and now we have also added Sina Weibo, a social platform where 30% of China's Internet users can be found and where they post 100 million posts per day. Clubs such as Arsenal, Manchester United or NBA teams like the Cavs have their own Sina Weibo page.

The inclusion of Sina Weibo provides you with stats about your presence on this platform and the value your partners and sponsors are getting through them. Apart from this, now you can sign in into Blinkfire using Sina Weibo in addition to Twitter and Facebook.

This is just the tip of the iceberg, and we have just started tracking sponsorship trends in and from Chinese teams and sponsors.   As always, we will report back with interesting tidbits as we have them, especially on our Twitter and Facebook accounts - which we remind you to go follow now!

Remember our Comparison Tool? It's even better now!

Not long ago we introduced  our new comparison tool, which allowed our customers to compare the social presence and earned media valuations of sports entities. Back then we told you that we had some awesome ideas for this feature and the first one has already been implemented: now you can compare up to four teams, players or leagues at the same time.

That means that you can now compare, for example, the four semi-finalists of the UEFA Champions League (Real Madrid, Atlético de Madrid, FC Bayern München and Manchester City). We can then see that Real Madrid, with over 165 million followers is the most popular of the four teams when it comes to social media.

Remember that this tool can also show you how sports entities are sharing content online, what engagement are they getting from their posts, and how much value they generate for brands on their social channels. In short, a very useful and thorough tool that makes a fine addition to our analytics suite. Do you want to know more about the kind of data you can get from Blinkfire? Just get in touch.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

How do sponsors interact with each other?

Some time ago we wrote about the concept of accidental endorsement, that is, when teams or players give social exposure to brands which are not sponsoring them. Another usual ocurrence is when brands, whether by accident or design, give exposure to other brands.

We have a good example right here, in this post by Lacoste on Instagram about Roberto Bautista Agut, one of their athletes, which gives exposure to Peugeot, sponsor of the Miami Open.

From now on brands have a new section within their Blinkfire Analytics reports where they can see the engagement they have generated for other brands, and also the engagement other brands have generated for them.

All that information is offered, as always, in an easy to understand and visual way, so users can drill down from general data to the exact social media publications where that brand-to-brand interaction happened.

Get in touch if you want to know more about how Blinkfire is helping brands to measure the ROI of their sports sponsorships in social and digital channels.