Now that the 2010 World Cup is almost here, it important to think about how much opportunity people will have to be a part of the game. Social media allows everyone to be connected.
Social media and the World Cup of the past
In June of 2006, which is when the last World Cup took place, YouTube was the hottest game in town, so to speak, and approximately 100 million viewers were connected to YouTube. Now, in 2010, YouTube has approximately 6 billion viewers, by comparison. At the time, Facebook was being used exclusively by college students and Twitter didn’t even exist yet.
The social media explosion
Now that we are in 2010, the syndication of the World Cup will be totally different. The matches will be streamed live over the Internet. The potential number of people who might view the World Cup matches on the Web is astronomical. Americans will be viewing the matches just like the rest of the world. According to statistics from the Census Bureau, 11 of 32 teams that will be competing this year have United States-based population of at least 1 million people.
Many people are preparing for one of the highest activity levels of social media ever. There are sure to be record numbers of people tuning in and interacting. People have an extreme need for both entertainment and information.
It really stands to reason that many Americans will be taking an interest in the World Cup because so much of America’s population comes from other countries. When it comes to soccer, there is certainly enough passion to go around. All of this greatly affects how the matches are made available and how extensively they are made available.
Connecting to the World Cup online
Even though Americans are not traditionally avid soccer fans, it is anticipated that this could change with this year’s World Cup. It all depends on who defeats whom. In countries outside of the United States, there doesn’t seem to be any limit to how large the online viewing audience could be. Considering that in most countries around the world, it is totally acceptable for people to drop whatever they are doing (at work or otherwise) to watch the matches. The World Cup becomes the absolute top priority.
There are many countries that feel that the World Cup is important enough to broadcast in schools. It is part of the curriculum. The rationale is that it is an important learning experience for kids. The reality is that if the kids were not allowed to watch in school, they would probably be skipping school to watch the World Cup.
Not only will the matches be available over the Web but there will also be a great deal of videos after the games and updates through social media throughout the matches. You might ask what the return on investment (ROI) is for the World Cup being broadcast in the way that it will be. People would most likely be willing to pay to see the matches over the Internet. If that were to occur, a lot of money would be changing hands.
Many people are willing to pay for online sports events of all kinds. It doesn’t feel like anything unusual to the viewers, especially the younger ones. People love sports of all kinds and there are many who can’t get enough. Paying for viewing the events is nothing compared with the excitement and joy that they get out of being a part of everything.
Many of the sponsors of the World Cup (Coca Cola, Sony, Budweiser, Visa, for example) have released apps that will make it easy for fans around the world to connect to the event. The strength of the World Cup is a natural partner with social media and all that it can accomplish.
The combination of the 2010 World Cup and social media is a winning combination. The World Cup is an event where people interact with other people on a grand scale. Social media is all about interacting with other people. Because of the importance of the World Cup as a sports event to so many people, the impact that social media will have on the success of the event as well as spreading the interaction universally will far surpass the World Cup events of the past.
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Michael Cohn is the founder and Chief Technology Officer (CTO) of CompuKol Communications LLC. He has over 25 years of experience in IT and web technologies.
Mr. Cohn founded CompuKol Communications to help small businesses and entrepreneurs increase their exposure and reputation on the Internet. CompuKol consults, creates, and implements communication strategies for small businesses to monopolize their markets with a unique business voice, vision, and visibility.
Prior to that, Mr. Cohn spent a significant amount of time at a major telecommunications company, where his main focus was on initiating and leading synergy efforts across all business units by dramatically improving efficiency, online collaboration, and the company’s Intranet capabilities, which accelerated gains in business productivity. His expertise includes social media marketing strategies; internet marketing; web presence design; business analysis; project management; management of global cross-matrix teams; systems engineering and analysis, architecture, prototyping and integration; technology evaluation and assessment; systems development; performance evaluation; and management of off-shore development.
Mr. Cohn earned a Master’s degree in project management from George Washington University in Washington, DC; and a Master’s degree in computer science and a Bachelor of Science degree in electrical engineering from Fairleigh Dickinson University in Teaneck, NJ.
Mr. Cohn is a member of the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE).