The Barcelona Effect
Here at Blinkfire Analytics we are always surrounded by graphs and data. That makes us discover interesting or curious trends quite often. For instance, a few weeks ago we noticed the effect that FC Barcelona has over the social channels of the teams they play against.
The blaugranas are the most followed team of both La Liga and the UEFA Champions League. They’ve got 87 million fans on Facebook, 21 million followers on Instagram and over 31 million Twitter follower among their several accounts. Only country rivals Real Madrid is close to those figures.
From the beginning of this season we have noticed how the teams playing against Barcelona in La Liga have seen their social followers rise, no matter if they win or lose. Athletic Club gained 1,855 new fans on August 23rd, the day they faced Barcelona. Do you see those huge spikes in the previous days? That’s when both teams played against each other in the Spanish Supercup. Athletic got 8,945 and 11,212 new fans those days.
|Athletic Club (0-1) FC Barcelona|
Málaga lost 1-0 when they visited the Camp Nou, but they got 2,602 fans. They are usually below 1,000. The other spike in their graph corresponds with their mastch against Real Madrid.
|FC Barcelona (1-0) Málaga|
History repeated when Barcelona visited the Vicente Calderón stadium to play Atlético de Madrid on September 12th. Atleti, the third most popular team in Spain, got 37,234 new fans. This time that positive trend lasted for a few more days because of the first game of the Champions League.
|Atlético de Madrid (1-2) FC Barcelona|
The same thing happened during the following weeks against Levante, Celta de Vigo or Las Palmas, with significant follower growths for those teams.
|FC Barcelona (4-1) Levante UD|
|Celta de Vigo (4-1) FC Barcelona|
|FC Barcelona (2-1) Las Palmas|
Sevilla FC gained over 4,000 new Facebook fans when they played (and won) against FC Barcelona, but that spike is clearly overshadowed by the one on August 12th and 13th. On August 12th they fought for the UEFA Supercup against… guess who? That’s right! FC Barcelona.
|Sevilla FC (2-1) FC Barcelona|
However, what is really interesting about this ‘Barcelona Effect’ are not all these new followers, but the exposure earned by the sponsors of those teams. Last Sunday Barcelona faced SD Eibar at the Camp Nou. The modest basque outfit has right now about 99,000 social followers, while FC Barcelona is close to 155 million.
With that in mind it’s easy to conclude that the social exposure earned by Avia Energías, Eibar’s main sponsor, is way, way lower when compared to that of Qatar Airways, Barça’s jersey sponsor. So what happens when FC Barcelona shares photographs where their rival’s sponsors get a visual mention, such as in the example below?
The above photograph was shared by FC Barcelona on Instagram last Sunday and has got 354,254 likes and 586 comments so far. If Avia had had to pay for all that social exposure they would have needed to spend €160,000 approximately. This is just a very small sample of the insights that brands and teams using Blinkfire Analytics can benefit from.