UPDATE: May 16, 2015
Cristiano Ronaldo climbed to the top yet another time, and became the Facebook king. He became to most Liked person in the world by overtaking #1 spot from singer/songwriter/dancer Shakira. According to Fan Page List, he now has over 107 million Facebook fans, or about 40,000 more than Shakira. The victory must be sweeter for him knowing that Colombian popstar is the wife of Gerard Pique from FC Barcelona, their greatest rival.
Ronaldo might not be scoring on the field (‘only’ 9 goals in 14 games in 2015), but he is definitely scoring off of it. And he is making his sponsors marketing duties so much easier.
Jan 27, 2015
Cristiano Ronaldo has the largest Facebook fan base. Bigger than any sports team or athlete. His Facebook fan page has 105,838,695 fans while his biggest “rival” Lionel Messi has 77,619,213 Facebook fans.
Ronaldo earns $22.5 million a year in endorsements, and his ‘digital footprint’ is essential when he (his team) negotiates with sponsors.
The Portuguese’s Facebook post is worth, on average, $143,750 of advertising for the brand he’s endorsing, twice the amount in comparison to four-time player of the year Messi, according to research by Cologne, a Germany-based consultancy Repucom that uses fan engagement and online advertising rates. Facebook posts by Messi are worth an average of $62,500, Repucom said. (Source: FORBES)
Ronaldo has 2,5 times more Facebook fans than NBA (27 million fans) and NFL (12 million fans) combined!
That makes Cristiano Ronaldo one of the most marketable athletes in the world,. It’s interesting to see that Ronaldo has a team of five or six people who are working on his social media presence.
Here is an interesting presentation by Luis Correia (Polaris Sport), whose team takes care of CR7’s social media activities.
It’s interesting that Ronaldo has his network called Viva Ronaldo with millions of fans. Viva Ronaldo has been available in beta since May 2013 and has already gathered a growing and vibrant user base.
Fans can follow all of Cristiano’s live matches, supporting and predicting his in-game actions, and play trivia challenges, to collect points and rewards. On Viva Ronaldo, fans can also interact with Cristiano Ronaldo himself and follow his social activity, among many other features – gaining access to exciting prizes such as match tickets, autographed memorabilia or the chance to meet the player.
Viva Superstars is a Portuguese joint-venture founded by Cristiano Ronaldo, Polaris Sports and bViva, responsible for the development and promotion of Viva Ronaldo – Cristiano Ronaldo’s Social Network.
LESSONS LEARNED FROM RONALDO’S SOCIAL MEDIA ACTIVITIES
Many people/athletes think that social media doesn’t mean much for them. I will try to highlight six things which show why it is the most important thing for athletes in today’s sports world!
1. SOCIAL MEDIA CAN BE USED FOR SMART PR
Many players don’t have Facebook accounts, and it’s a problem for them. For example, I have seen a situation with one Croatian football player without an official Facebook page, but he has many fake ‘official’ (and unofficial) pages. Why is that a problem? When false page admins write something, player’s fans see that as his opinion or statement. That can bring a lot of PR problems for players.
What do you think would happen if Ronaldo didn’t have such a large presence in social media? There would be a lot of fake pages, and people would post something on the fake pages and then, maybe, the media would take something from there and put it on the front pages… That would be bad for Ronaldo or any other athlete.
Ronaldo showed how social media can be used for situations like the one in the example below. Ronaldo has more fans on social media than CNN and New York Times together!
EXAMPLE: The Sun published an interview with Real Madrid’s Cristiano Ronaldo on Thursday, titled ‘Ronaldo: Every goal is dedicated to my dad’. They put more personal quotes: ‘My dad would want me to play, he always did everything in life for me to play football. When I win something, I always think about him. I know he’s around. He’s always looking at me and out for me. He sends me messages in my dreams because what I am today is thanks to him and to my mother.’
The interview takes a look into Cristiano’s personal life. But Ronaldo used Twitter and Facebook that evening to state that he did not have an interview with The Sun and that it was all “pure fiction”.
Today, the Sun published an interview with me that I never gave. So its content is pure fiction.
— Cristiano Ronaldo (@Cristiano) May 29, 2014
2. SOCIAL MEDIA CAN BE USED FOR FINANCIAL GAIN
Like I said in the introduction, Ronaldo has a significant revenue from social media. His post on Facebook is worth , on average, $143,750 for the brand he is endorsing, twice of what Messi’s, the four-time player of the year, posts are worth. Cristiano Ronaldo’s social media team try to make a balance between his own and commercial posts. EXAMPLE: Nike didn’t miss out on a chance to put a swoosh on the cover photo and to promote football boots on his profile photo. What do you think, how much does it cost? Below you can find more examples from his Facebook fan page.
3. ACTIVATED AUDIENCE THAT LISTENS TO EVERY WORD
Probably 90% of the people that liked this page love Ronaldo, and they listen to every word he says. If he says that they must buy Nike, or do something for him, they would probably do it. Ok, not 90% of them, but only 1% of 105,838,695 fans is enough to put a smile on his sponsors faces.
As it’s important for Ronaldo, it’s also important for other athletes. They must know that people who follow them also like them and their opinion is crucial to them. Ant that’s why it’s important to be active on social media.
4. BETTER TRANSFER CHANCES
Ok, Ronaldo doesn’t need transfers or anything else for now… but if he decides to leave Madrid, every club would like to have him, and one of the many reasons is his social media presence & marketing potential. With so many fans on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, he can achieve (and communicate) a lot of different topics.
At a SPORTO Conference in November, Adidas marketing boss Thomas van Schaik said that strategic and well-organised social media presence opens doors for better transfer chances and sponsorships.
If clubs or sponsors choose between two players who are on the same level, and one of them has more people on social media, they will choose the other one. Even if the player without social media plays better, the player with organised and professional social media has an advantage!
5. AFTER HIS PRO CAREER – HIS OPINION WILL MATTER
Cristiano Ronaldo will end his playing career one day. But his opinion will always be noticed, and he will be an opinion maker for football all around the world.
More than 100 million fans on Facebook is a big advantage for him. Fan numbers even put’s him in front of FIFA or UEFA.
6. HE CAN USE IT FOR PROMOTION OR MERCHANDISE
After their careers players have followers that love them. They will be interested in buying something from him or “about” him, i.e. a biography book or a piece of clothing. That will give a player additional income even after ending his playing career.
Cristiano already has his line CR7, and he sells his product trough social media channels.
Cristiano Ronaldo showed other players how important it is to have organised social media presence. His example shows how important it is to have a professional team behind the player. Such situations help players concentrate on training and matches. Also, players can have their privacy taken care of and ability to have private communication (with family & friends) through their private accounts.
PHOTO: Jan Solo / FLICKR
SOURCE: Fan Page List