Also, see a cool interactive data visualization chart of 2014 World Cup data here.
As the month-long World Cup Tournament in Brazil is at an end, it is amazing to see that the biggest winner of the tourney is not the one who scored the most on the green field, but rather, the one who scored the most on social media.
The most watched sporting event on earth generates millions of social mentions and millions of viral video views produced by individuals as well as major brands for marketing and advertising.
— Brian A. Hernandez (@BAHjournalist) July 14, 2014
During the USA match against Belgium, for example, the US Goalkeeper, Tim Howard’s, name exploded all over the internet after his astonishing performance and his world record saves in the match. He was lauded greatly by his fans on different social networks and was even briefly named the U.S. Secretary of Defense on Wikipedia!
Neymar, the 22-year-old Brazilian striker with four crucial goals and successful pass rate, has been leading the World Cup social buzz as well. He is by far the most talked about player of the tournament with 33 million social mentions. He has 12.5M followers on Twitter and has been in the spotlight ever since his two goals scored in the first match, all the way until his last match in the tournament where he took a knock in the back from a Colombia defender, causing a fracture to his third lumbar vertebra.
Obviously, social mentions can correlate positively or negatively based on the performance of the players and their teams. In order to understand and analyze the online data generated by this social buzz, we need to marry that data with real-time offline data generated by the “feet” of the players.
To get the best of both worlds, detailed statistics were collected by the E-Nor consultants using Google Analytics (Universal Analytics) for every World Cup player, team and match, including:
- Pitch condition
- Goals scored
- Goals against
- Fouls committed
- Fouls suffered
- Attempts on target
- Attempts off target
- Games played
- Minutes played
- Yellow cards
- Red cards
Here are few other snapshots of the data in action:
Teamwork and Performance
The aspect that fascinates me the most in soccer is a team attempting play as one complete system intending to score one goal.
Although this year’s World Cup winner, Germany, may have no internationally recognized stars, such as Neymar, Messi, and Ronaldo, I enjoyed watching all their games in the tournament. The beauty of their team work definitely overcame the absence of entertainment from an individual superstar, and ultimately led them to true victory. Congratulations to Germany, very well deserving champions indeed!
Pitch Conditions and Performance
Poor pitch conditions could easily hurt the playing style and the performance of teams. A well-maintained playing surface helps players with running and quick-passing. According to data gathered, teams had a hard time scoring on wet and dry pitches, while scoring was above average on soft pitches.
Here is the same report based on the temperature during the match. Do you see any correlation?
Age and Performance
While the 36-year-old Ivory Coast striker, Didier Drogba, wasn’t directly involved in any goals, his presence was enough to energize his team and to worry the opponent’s defense! This is my response whenever someone criticizes the performance of players who pass the 35-year-old milestone. Maybe I am biased in my view, but that is why we need to look at data and what it says about players’ age and their performance.
History and Performance
While this is the first time for us to record World Cup data in Google Analytics, it was impossible for us to enjoy looking at trending event or to predict based on historical data. With this humble experiment that we conducted for the 2014 World Cup, we are hoping that we left the doors of possibilities wide open for other smart people to build on top of this and provide data and soccer lovers a more comprehensive coverage of the World Cup data all in GA 🙂
|National Team||Winners||Total Finals||Years Won|
|Brazil||5||7||1958 1962 1970 1994 2002|
|Germany||4||8||1954 1974 1990 2014|
|Italy||4||6||1934 1938 1982 2006|
It has been said that this World Cup will be the most social sporting event in history and it certainly was. All available data easily validates that assertion. World Cup data also provides major opportunities for brands and for marketing agencies. As you see in the experiment, Google’s Universal Analytics infrastructure can handle the marriage of the two worlds; offline and online activities. I believe with the new Google Analytics platform we will see many creative solutions built to answer real business needs that we failed or were unable to answer in the past.
Interested in our collected data? Send us your email address and we will grant you a temporary ready-only access to our 2014 World Cup GA reports.