The UEFA Cham­pi­ons League final, Europe’s biggest foot­ball tour­na­ment took place in Lis­bon over the week­end. The all-Spanish final between Real Madrid CF and ris­ing stars Club Atlético de Madrid gen­er­ated an enor­mous buzz on social media world­wide. After a thrilling match, head­ing into extra time, Real Madrid won their 10th Euro­pean Cup with a 4–1 win over Atlético Madrid.

Adobe Dig­i­tal Index (ADI) used Adobe Social to mon­i­tor 4.5 mil­lion men­tions of the final match on Twit­ter, Tum­blr, Face­book, Pin­ter­est, VK, Red­dit, Dis­qus, and blogs dur­ing May. Here are some of the fas­ci­nat­ing revelations:

      • 120 of the 196 coun­tries in the world con­tributed to the social buzz around the match.
      • Sur­pris­ingly, Indone­sian social media users topped the list of coun­tries talk­ing about the Cham­pi­ons League in the social space, account­ing for 22% of mentions.
      • Spain was sec­ond with 11%, the U.K. third with 9%, and then the U.S. and Venezuela with 5%.
      • Indone­sian social media users also fig­ure promi­nently in the dis­cus­sions of the two teams involved–further evi­dence of the mas­sive pop­u­lar­ity of Euro­pean foot­ball in a coun­try where a feud has split the domes­tic game into rival leagues. More men­tions of Atlético came from Indone­sia than any other coun­try (35%), fol­lowed by the U.K. (16%), Turkey (13%), and the U.S. (7%).
      • In con­trast, the Span­ish are using social media to talk about Real Madrid. Just over 1/3 of the men­tions of Real come from Spain, but, once again, Indone­sians are also enthu­si­as­tic, with 19% of men­tions of Real com­ing from there.
      • 43% of buzz about the UEFA Cham­pi­ons League final reflects ‘joy’ or ‘admi­ra­tion’ for the game, while 25% is related to ‘sadness.
      • Among the play­ers on show in the final, Real striker Cris­tiano Ronaldo fig­ures most promi­nently in social media, aver­ag­ing 36,425 men­tions a day, com­pared with Atlético’s Diego Costa’s 20,908 aver­age mentions.
          Fun fact: Ronaldo has the most Twit­ter fol­low­ers of any ath­lete in the world, at more than 26 mil­lion. In fact, foot­ballers com­prise eight of the top 10 most fol­lowed athletes.


Foot­ball is truly global, tran­scend­ing geo­graph­i­cal bound­aries, races, and cul­tures. Given the vast reach of foot­ball, there is a tremen­dous oppor­tu­nity pre­sented by foot­ball fans’ activ­ity on social and mobile.

The Champion’s League final and the upcom­ing World Cup offer mar­keters around the globe the chance to cap­i­talise on what is shap­ing up to be a record level of mobile video and social media activ­ity, as fans and foes pick up smart­phones to catch up and com­ment on the teams online. By ana­lyz­ing social media ‘buzz’ data, mar­keters can iden­tify new oppor­tu­ni­ties and quan­tify the huge world­wide appeal of what some mar­keters might just con­sider a regional event. This is a great jus­ti­fi­ca­tion for expand­ing the use of social and mobile mar­ket­ing in a busi­ness strategy.