2018: The Year In Sports
We set aside our Christmas presents to take a walk down 2018’s memory lane of sports on social media. Before we say “See ya later to 2018” to the year that was, we’ve put together some of the best moments in sports and their impact across social media.
The first Super Bowl for Philadelphia Eagles
Over 100 million people watched the Eagles win their first Super Bowl (after losing in their first two appearances). On February 5, the Eagles, led by Quarterback and Super Bowl MVP Nick Foles posted their most engaging social media post of the year on Instagram, earning more than 390,000 engagements.
The New England Patriots also published their most popular post of the year following the game. The post earned nearly 415,000 engagements — where the Patriots give thanks to fans for the support throughout the season.
Real Madrid and Champions League, the perfect bundle
It was the perfect story line: No team had managed to win the UEFA Champions League two years in a row and Real Madrid did it for the third consecutive season. It’s no surprise that this score graphic post by the Spanish club was the most valuable branded post from a team (with exposure for Emirates, in this case) during the past 12 months.
Cristiano Ronaldo’s unexpected move
One of the stars of Real Madrid’s successful season, Cristiano Ronaldo, suddenly decided to transfer to Serie A Juventus. His move was one of the biggest stories of the summer — in both traditional media companies and across social networks. 433, one of the largest sports social communities, posted this Instagram image following Cristiano’s signing was the most engaged post of the year from one of the hundreds of media companies Blinkfire tracks. Jeep and Adidas received more than $1 million in social exposure thanks to this post.
LA has a new king
Cristiano Ronaldo’s signing with Juve rocked the world of soccer, but LeBron James leaving Cleveland to head to the Lakers had the same effect on basketball. Number 23 is in 9 of the 10 most engaging posts by the Lakers in 2018. With more than 950,000 engagements, the below post was published to announce King James’ signing.
The game of 2018
While it might not be on the same level as Cristiano or Lebron, but Fortnite was one of the stars of 2018. The game is now a part of pop culture. The video game’s success has spanned from esports, celebrities, and Coachella to social media. Four posts from Fortnite’s Instagram account earned more than $1 million in media value, and they grew their social channel to more than 18 million new social followers, with 8 million just on Instagram.
Nadal in Paris
Yes, another year, another Roland Garros victory for Rafa Nadal. It was the eleventh time the Spanish tennis player made history in Paris and social networks were flooded with congratulatory messages. We’ve picked three from some world famous athletes: Iker Casillas, Paulo Dybala, and Pau Gasol.
First Female Ballon d’Or Winner
Paris not only crowned Rafa Nadal this year. The City of Lights was also center stage to the Ballon d’Or awards — and for the first time ever, the best female soccer player of the year was awarded. Olympique Lyonnais‘ Ada Hegerberg won the inaugural women’s Ballon d’Or — she’s a three-time Women’s Champion League winner with the French club and scored a tournament-record 15 times last season.
Russia 2018: the greatest sports event of the year
One month of competition, 32 participants, 167 goals…The greatness of the World Cup in just four posts. Trust us: it wasn’t easy.
This Instagram post by Leo Messi earned more than 10 million engagements. The FC Barcelona star shared this post with his then 95 million followers on Instagram (over 103 million as of December 27, 2018) showcasing his excitement after scoring the first goal of the game and reaching the knockout phase of the tournament.
Brazil desperately needed to beat Costa Rica. That victory took more effort than expected, but Coutinho and Neymar became the heroes of the canarinha with their late game goals. The tears of the PSG striker at the end of the game were shared with his legion of followers. This Instagram post earned more than 7.7 million engagements and gave Nike valuable exposure.
Kylian Mbappé becomes a star
Among the hundreds of players that played in the World Cup, a 19-year-old managed to steal the spotlight: Kylian Mbappé. His performance during the tournament confirmed that he’s no longer just a promising youngster, but a full-fledged star. Nike, the brand that sponsors Mbappé as well as PSG and France’s national team, shared this post on the day of the final announcing that a star was born. It earned more than 1.4 million engagements for the brand.
Luka Modrić, best player of the tournament
Luka Modrić led Croatia to the big final of the World Cup and was selected as the best player of the tournament. The Real Madrid midfielder was selected three times as Man of the Match. Budweiser’s Man of the Match campaign throughout the World Cup earned the millions of engagements through the month-long event.
And here ends our review of 2018. Here’s to more magical sports moments in 2019!