The world’s premier rugby event would see New Zealand beat England in the final if the competition was based on social media audiences, according to programmatic and social sharing experts, RadiumOne.
RadiumOne’s “Social Score” calculates each team’s total audience across leading global social networks Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, Instagram and Google+ (as of 10 September 2015).
New Zealand’s 4.51 million followers is nearly double that of England’s 2.26 million. South Africa (1.38 million) and Ireland (0.89 million) would be the losing semi-finalists.
“Former England coach, Sir Clive Woodward recently said social media was the teams’ “new enemy” in terms of squad harmony, but engaging the fan community socially is a hugely powerful ‘sixteenth man’ for any team and the brands supporting them,” says Rupert Staines, RadiumOne’s European MD. “The Social Score shows the relative reach of each nation’s team and reflects the potential audience it can unlock for the official bodies, teams, sponsors and commercial partners.”
The team punching most above its weight in social media compared to its world ranking is the USA – ranked 16th in the world on the pitch but 7th in social media – followed by Italy (world ranking 14th, social media 9th with 0.42 million followers).
Staines says: “Every tournament has a dark horse and this time it’s the USA – the home of social media – who’ve been making strong use of social platforms to engage with fans.”
In terms of social platforms, Japan is the most reliant on Facebook (accounting for 92% of its social media followers), Uruguay is most reliant on Twitter (42% – just ahead of England), the USA on Google+ (63%), Canada on Instagram (22%) and Georgia on YouTube (6%).
Social media followers per head of population
New Zealand would also win the tournament if it was decided by the number of social media followers in relation to the size of the country – for every head of population it has 1 social media follower.
Samoa (2.9 people per social media follower) and Fiji (3.9) follow next. Wales (4.1) would be the other semi-finalist.
England would only make the last quarter-final spot – ranking 8th with 24.1 head of population per social media follower. Japan fare worst with a huge 2,018 people for every social media follower.
The full results of the tournament, based on RadiumOne’s Social Score would be as follows:
Rugby World Cup result by social media followers: