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Barça-United, the global final

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24.05.2011 14:05

The most global Champions League Final, from television to social networks

Miquel Pellicer

The grand Final of the UEFA Champions League has already been playing on the internet networks. In fact, Barça and Manchester are the two sports clubs with the greatest impact on the internet.

The most global Champions League Final, from television to social networks

Catalan Tags for everybody
The intensive use of hashtags to promote events has become a common dynamic that has been well received by the Barça fans. Tags like #graciesequip, # animsabidal, or #wembleyfcb for example, have been trending topic (TT), positioning Catalan as a language with universal dimensions. It should be stressed that in the case of #campionsFCB, this tag in Catalan became the first TT in Catalan in Barça’s history. Thousands of Barcelona fans around the world celebrated Barcelona’s third consecutive League title with the word proposed by the Club through the social networks.
On May 28th at Wembley not only the Champions League Final will be played but also the battle between the two sets of fans with most followers on the social networks. Barcelona, world leader, has in United one of its main rivals in the field of new technologies.

In the case of Barcelona, this area is a key strategy in the field of communication. It is not just to inform but also so that Barça supporters worldwide can have their say and participate in everything that happens at the Club, 365 days a year.

The final of the Champions 2009, when FC Barcelona won their third continental crown, against United, was watched by an average of 109 million people worldwide, and a cumulative audience of 145.1 million viewers, beating the Super Bowl American Football Final. This year, social networks will play a key role as an exponential factor for a phenomenon that transcends the purely sporting arena, and it’s expected that 113 media companies will broadcast the final in over 200 countries. The potential audience is 160 million viewers on average, reaching a maximum quota of 300 million people.

Beyond television, Barça followers participate in social networks (in the Anglo-Saxon world known as 'social media'), via several channels, primarily through Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Barça Fans, the official on-line community. In the latter area, the fans participate in voting on the best players in the game, in sweepstakes, to win exclusive prizes and enjoy all kinds of merchandising deals, tickets, contests and promotions.

More than 15 million on Facebook

Manchester United and FC Barcelona are two great powers on Facebook. Barça happens to be clearly dominant on this network as it is in the number 1 position in the ranking of sports clubs around the world and 59th in the total number of pages. Manchester also has some pretty impressive figures. Today it’s the second club in Europe in number of fans and represents the 64th page with more fans around the world. The result, today, is 14,154,713 for the English team, to 15,045,346 and the gap continues at around one million fans.

Barça has 3 accounts on Twitter

Over and above the numbers, Barçaa and the 'Red Devils' manage their communities very differently, as evidenced by taking a look at Twitter. Barça translated the participatory and democratic culture of the Club on the network, offering 3 different accounts that respond to the cultural richness of the Club: Catalan, Castilian and English are the languages that are used. Manchester United, by contrast, has no official twitter account.

On a personal level, Carles Puyol, Andrés Iniesta, Gerard Piqué, Víctor Valdés, Adriano, Dani Alves and Thiago Alcántara have their own accounts on Twitter, in addition to the Barcelona President Sandro Rosell. The 'Red Devils' are represented by Wayne Rooney, Michael Owen, Gary Neville, Chris Smalling, Nani, Antonio Valencia and Rio Ferdinand.

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