Journal

England vs Sweden – In-Depth Analysis

We take a look at the social media stats of the two teams

On the eve of the England-Sweden quarter-final, we thought it would be interesting to take an in-depth look at the social media stats of the players for each team to find out what’s happening for them during this tournament.

Let’s look at England first. Here’s their top 5 players by influence:

1. Raheem Sterling England 7.8m fans 932.1
2. Harry Kane England 11.2m fans 888.9
3. Marcus Rashford England 7.9m fans 877.9
4. Kyle Walker England 3.6m fans 877.2
5. Jesse Lingard England 7.2m fans 867.7

As you can see, in In terms of social media capital Kane is the clear winner (no surprises there), but the chasing pack are grouped together, with only 1.5m fans separating the next four. Who can’t we see? Well, Jamie Vardy is a surprise, given his exploits with Leicester and the positive engagement he gets suggests he is well liked. We’re also missing Dele Alli, who is actively followed by a large group of the 18-24 demographic.

As for Sweden, it a different story:

1. Victor Lindelöf Sweden 1.3m fans 730.6
2. John Guidetti Sweden 598.4k fans 567.1
3. Pontus Jansson Sweden 178.3k fans 428.2
4. Jimmy Durmaz Sweden 160.4k fans 410.6
5. Emil Forsberg Sweden 154.7k fans 404.0

Out in front is Victor Lindelof, no doubt boosted by his affiliation with Manchester United, and therefore his exposure is great than many of the others in the Sweden team. John Guidetti has a decent score and following because of his club side is in La Liga, but as for the rest, we can see the impact that playing for less well-known teams can have. Very few of the players are household names, and this is reflected in their stats.

So, how has playing at the World Cup helped the players’s profiles?

In terms of adding numbers of followers, the England team are reaping the rewards of getting to the quarter-finals. This table shows the number of fans that the top five players across both teams have added to their following across the top 3 social network since the tournament started:

Harry Kane England 734,205
Jesse Lingard England 395,193
Marcus Rashford England 264,454
Dele Alli England 198,103
Ruben Loftus-Cheek England 138,051

As we can see, Harry Kane is one again well out in front. As a potential winner of the Golden Boot, that’s probably correct. What has surprised us though is the increases for both Lingard and Loftus-Cheek. Whilst they have both played decently, their performance has not been outstanding on the level of Kane, or players such as Mbappe. Perhaps they are reaching new audiences, and their work off the ball is being appreciated as much as on it.

However, just numbers are not the only story. We took a look at percentage increases as well to see if there was a difference. Here, it shows a different picture:

Kristoffer Nordfledt Sweden 47%
Harry Maguire England 44%
Jordan Pickford England 40%
Gustva Svensson Sweden 14%
Ruben Loftus-Cheek England 13%

Of course, you need to understand the numbers to put this into perspective!

Kristoffer Nordfeldt’s percentage increase looks amazing but then he started from a very small base, and  that 47% uplift represents a relatively unimpressive 1100 additional followers across all 3 of the main social networks. Should we be unimpressed? If we bear in mind that he will have a very targeted fanbase, this increase provides a far greater and wider audience for him that are genuinely interested in who he is. For influencer marketing, this outliers are key, and knowing that they have grown their base is important.

The World Cup is interesting in terms of social fans. Day to day, it is the domestic leagues that primarily drive fan involvement in teams and in the players themselves and leads to personal loyalties – you might follow players just because they play at your club. But does that mean you respect them?

Perhaps when you capture fans through an international tournaments like the World Cup, the type of followers you gain are different – they are not just following you because of loyalty to a club team, but because of other reasons, maybe patriotic, maybe because they like you. That’s generally a tough sell in a sport rooted in rivalries. Perhaps these followers will fade away when the World Cup ends, once the emotion and excitement has died down.

Either way, the World Cup can be good for players that want to make themselves known to a wider audience and to gain further exposure in the future. Their brand can only get stronger.