European football social media report, August – Premier League is the most mentioned league during the opening weekend
It has been, by any standard, a sensational summer of sport. While we still bask in the golden glow that Team GB provided in Rio, we can reflect on a strong summer for British sport in general with Andy Murray winning his second Wimbledon title, Chris Froome bringing home his third maillot jaune and even Lewis Hamilton reeling in Nico Rosberg to sit atop of the F1 drivers’ standings heading into the summer break. However, the arrival of August means attention switches back to the Europe’s favourite sport and the UK’s largest sporting export, the newly re-branded Premier League.
Kantar Media has looked at the social media buzz around the top 5 European leagues to get a feel for who could get the job done on a wet Tuesday night in Stoke and who would do all the hard work but still slide the ball agonisingly wide of the far post.
On the back of the mammoth TV deal negotiated by the Premier League both domestically and internationally highlighting its global popularity, it is perhaps unsurprising that over the first few weeks of the domestic season the Premier League has already generated a huge amount of interest across social media in every country. Tracking Twitter mentions, we can see that the Premier League casts a huge shadow over its continental cousins, with its profile raised even further throughout the summer with new, high profile managerial appointments, world class arrivals and even a world record transfer fee thrown in for good measure.
Top 10 hashtags
When we examine some of the hashtags that are being used by those talking about football across Europe, the strength of the Premier League brand becomes evident. The hashtag #PL appears prominently in the discussion around different leagues and given some of their summer transfer activity and their strong global brand, it is perhaps unsurprising to see Manchester United (#mufc) appearing consistently throughout each top 10 list as well.
The majority of the leagues show strong brand presence in their own markets with the exception of Spain, with both the Premier League and Real Madrid having a stronger presence than the #laliga hashtag which could suggest that in Spain, the brands of the their top two clubs (Real Madrid and Barcelona) overshadow the rest of the league.
Examining the word cloud highlights the unique character of each domestic competition but obvious similarities present themselves. While focusing heavily on the excitement of the new season, followers of football in England seem to be more likely to focus on the superstar teams and players at this stage (e.g. Ibrahimovic and Chelsea). However, the season is young – Kantar Media will track this throughout the 2016/17 season to provide a complete picture of the social media space across Europe’s top 5 leagues.
 Source: SportScope 2016
 Word clouds are a visual representation of text data, typically used to visualize free form text