The world’s premier rugby event would see New Zealand take out the title if the competition was based on social audiences, with the All Blacks’ online following dwarfing every other competing nation.
Going into the tournament, New Zealand’s 4.51 million social followers is almost equal to the country’s entire population of 4.6m, and nearly double that of nearest rival England’s 2.26 million fans.
South Africa (1.38 million) and Ireland (0.89 million) come in third and fourth respectively with Australia ranking in fifth overall.
Social advertising company RadiumOne’s “social score” calculates each team competing in the Rugby World Cup’s total audience across leading global social networks Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Google+.
RadiumOne director of strategic accounts, Adam Furness, said the social score shows the relative reach of each nation’s team and reflects the potential audience it can unlock for teams, sponsors and commercial partners.
“Australians are hugely passionate about sport and highly engaged with sports content across all digital channels. Technology is enabling rights holders and marketers to harness this passion in real time to drive improved commercial outcomes,” said Furness.
“The merging of sharing data with real-time media delivery means brands can now align their messaging with the ‘right now’ moods and passions of sports fans,” he added.
Research conducted by RadiumOne and TPoll prior to the World Cup also found:
- Rugby fans expect to deliver a 27 per cent increase in their online sharing activity with 34 per cent saying they’ll be consuming a lot more rugby content
- One fifth of rugby fans chat with friends on instant messenger (21 per cent) about a game whilst watching rugby on TV, and 19 per cent like to post comments about it on social media
- Fans who share Rugby content will share it 2.8 times a day on average
- Fans who consume Rugby content will do so 2.4 times a day on average
In terms of social platforms, Japan is the most reliant on Facebook (accounting for 92 per cent of its social media followers), Uruguay is most reliant on Twitter (42 per cent – just ahead of England), the USA on Google+ (63 per cent), Canada on Instagram (22 per cent).