The Zlatan Effect Part 2: Herbalife For The Win
Yes, social media follower growth was significant for the MLS and LA Galaxy because of Zlatan Ibrahimović and the number of people engaged during El Tráfico. But, how did Ibrahimović’s star power and MLS debut affect both teams’ jersey sponsor exposure?
Since we spend countless hours every day looking at brands’ social media exposure — especially when it comes to soccer jerseys — we know the value that comes from huge rivalries, like Champions League rivalry Juventus vs Real Madrid (aka Jeep vs Emirates Airlines), or city rivalries like Manchester Derby with the Premier League’s Manchester City vs Manchester United (aka Etihad Airways vs Chevrolet).
While the fan following and popularity of the MLS, LA Galaxy, and Los Angeles FC is of a much smaller scale when compared to the Premier League, Manchester City, and Manchester United, El Tráfico brought engagement and excitement that resembled a European soccer match — and, the game changer was Zlatan.
El Tráfico & Herbalife: By The Jersey Numbers
The chart below shows the top 10 official partnerships (based on engagement) from the LA Galaxy’s social media posts dating back to January 1, 2018. Why the huge uptick in Herbalife’s brand exposure on the Galaxy’s social channels on Saturday, March 31? Ibrahimović’s first MLS game ever.
Because we were curious of Ibrahimović’s LA debut coupled with the city rivalry game, we set up a game-day event to track social media exposure as it related to Herbalife (LA Galaxy) and YouTube TV (Los Angeles FC) from the social handles of the LA Galaxy, Los Angeles FC, fans at StubHub Center, and fans using the game’s hashtags. The below chart shows brand engagement for Herbalife and YouTube TV from Friday, March 30 – Sunday, April 3.
For a comparison of game-day brand engagements, the Galaxy’s MLS season opener saw about 4,400 total engagements for Herbalife, while expansion team Los Angeles FC’s first-ever MLS game had almost 2,000 total engagements for YouTube TV. Those numbers are only a fraction of the total engagements both earned during El Tráfico.
Of the social media exposure for Herbalife and YouTube TV throughout El Tráfico, Herbalife accounted for 88% of the total earned media. As a refresher, earned media is Blinkfire’s social media equivalency method which is total engagements x baseline CPEs.
As the MLS season continues and Ibrahimović settles into the city of Los Angeles, we’ll definitely be watching to see how the Swede’s popularity and skills on the soccer field bring growth and engagement to the MLS and LA Galaxy as well as the team’s sponsors.