As we work with the Sportstar Influencer data, we come across interesting facts and figures, and we post them here for you to enjoy.
It’s perhaps no surprise that Lewis Hamilton is clearly out in front at the top of the driver rankings.
Along with Sebastian Vettel and Fernando Alonso, Hamilton is one of the most recognisable figures in F1, being a four-time winner and the most high-profile British driver in the past two decades.
His social following is currently over 2x as high as his nearest rival, and equally split over the three main networks – Facebook (4.1m), Twitter (5.4m) and Instagram (6.6m). His profile also spikes in online news because of how he interacts with the media to talk about his fellow drivers. Never known to hold back with inflammatory comments, it means more column inches are written about him than his peers.
You would have thought that Mercedes would top the team charts given their social following, but that’s not the case.
From a team perspective, our algorithm also looks at the rankings of the drivers in each team. Whilst Lewis Hamilton is clearly far and away the most-followed driver on social media and has a high level of engagement with fans, Valteri Bottas scores much lower and this has an impact.
Red Bull though have two drivers that are popular and engaging on social media in Daniel Riccardo and Max Verstappen – their high rankings in the drivers table means that Red Bull sneak into first place.
He’s one of the most successful racing drivers on the planet, but Seb scores low on the Influencer Index.
The problem is that Sebastian Vettel doesn’t use social media. Amazingly, the four-time world champion has fans all over the world, but he doesn’t talk to them via the channels that other drivers do. Instead, he is happy to use his own website for promotional purposes. He’s not the only one to eschew social media, but given the sponsorship opportunities available, it must be a decision that dents his wallet.
Whilst performance is not always tied to social media following, in the case of Saudi Arabia’s players, it isn’t helping.
Saudia Arabia came to the World Cup with a decent overall social media following for their players – far from being the team with the least followers, they were ahead of teams such as South Korea and Sweden, which surprised a few people.
However, since the World Cup started, they have picked up less new followers than any other team, and it’s hard to see that this is not linked to their poor showing so far. A mere 4,976 fans pales into shadow when you compare it to pretty much everyone else.
England have 63,971,167 fans overall (increase of 561,353 since tournament start), whereas Panama have just 1,970,357 (increase of 13,413 since tournament start), making them the clear winners.
This also means that:
a) Panama’s social following is 55% of their total population (3.46m)
b) Harry Kane’s following is 4.4 times that of the whole Panama squad
c) The England Team’s following is 32 times that of the whole Panama squad
d) Eric Dier and Ruben Loftus-Cheek together (2.1m) have more followers than the whole Panama team
3) Panama’s squad has the fourth lowest social following at the World Cup
Iceland and Morocco players have seen the greatest & increase in follower counts on social media overall.
After the first game of England’s World Cup, we saw that the players all increased their social followings.
Here are the most interesting levels of increases that we saw:
Harry Maguire – 10,457 new followers (11%)
Harry Kane – 184,982 new followers (2%)
Jordan Pickford – 7,071 new followers (4%)
Kieran Trippier – 4,406 new followers (3%)
To see the whole squad, click here.
Cristiano Ronaldo is the most followed player in the world on social media. It’s surprising what else you can get for him.
1 Ronaldo = 40 x Harry Kane
1 Ronaldo = 200 x Tunisia
1 Ronaldo = 750 x Ferjani Sassi – Tunisia’s top player
It’s probably a bit early to be completely sure of this rule but the Russian team have amassed an additional 50,000 social followers over the weekend.
Hold on a minute though, Saudi Arabia have picked up 30,000 followers over the same period, and that’s just for turning up. Ah, hold on again. You might have thought that anyone who already wanted to follow Ronaldo would have worked out how to do so but he has picked up over a million new followers since the tournament begun.
No surprise that Group B has a big social following. Spain and Portugal combine to give group B about the same number of followers as there are people living in Europe
Looking at the other groups we can see that Belgium, maybe punching a little beneath their weight in terms of influence as opposed to performance, help keep Group G a relatively un-threatening place for England to be right now – they have 40% of the followers of the whole group and if that translates into performance they’ll be clear winners and on their way to the knockout stages with little drama. Is that likely?