Super Social Media Activity Kicks Off South Africa's World Cup

Kicking off on June 11 - described as the largest sporting event on the planet  - said to exceed the success of the Beijing and Vancouver Olympics - the 2010 FIFA World Cup looks to be one of world's largest social media gatheriings ever. In comparison to the tournaments of the past, this year's games are the first since the explosive expansion of Social Media marketing - and by all signs, brands and marketers seem to be using all the tools that space has to offer.

Combining the social media clout of Facebook, Twitter and YouTube, coupled with digital programming, augmented reality and the corporate sponsorships of Visa, Budweiser and Coca Cola  - you have the makings of one colossal social media extravaganza.


According to Irbtrax SEO Social Media Marketing, while Facebook fans are building hundreds of fan pages for the 32 teams that will be competing, in addition to a copious number of regional and national splinter groups, the most comprehensive page to date is probably the "2010 World Cup is on Facebook" account.  With over 32,000 fan as of this posting, it contains real time global RSS feeds, outbound links to news articles and YouTube videos.


Twitter, like Facebook has attracted a lot of World Cup accounts focused on teams, fans and players - but the one that will probably be delivering breaking news on a timely real-time basis is most likely the @fifaworldcuptm account. While not considered the "official" FIFA source, with just about 2 weeks to go, this Twitter page has attracted over 43,000 followers, as of this posting.

YouTube & Nike

Mainly used by corporate sponsors, YouTube presently has over a hundred videos dedicated to the 2010 games. Nike thoroughly understands the viral marketing firepower of YouTube and is once again tapping into that resource, with soccer superstars, the likes of Wayne Rooney, Cristiana Ronaldo and Fabio Cannavaro.

Nike's campaign titled, "Write the Future," describes the evolution of its "Next Level" soccer campaign that focuses on improving as an athlete. The ads highlight the impact of one's pass, shot and tackle and how each play could potentially change the life of a soccer player and the team and nation he represents.

In this 3-minute video, Nike spotlights several players under different circumstances to illustrate the intensity of the game. After only 6 days since this vid was posted on YouTube, the film has tallied over 5.4 million views.

Nike has also embedded an exclusive 10 minutes behind-the-scenes video on its Facebook page. However, in order to view this video, you have to “like” it, which demonstrates how Nike has learned to leverage Facebook's Open Graph to its advantage…

YouTube & Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola is celebrating the countdown to the games by encouraging people around the world to take part in the longest-ever online goal celebration, where fans can win a range of prizes including tickets to the World Cup matches. The digital campaign invites soccer enthusiasts from around the world to film and upload their own goal celebrations to Coke's YouTube or Celebrations Web sites.

Clips submitted online or through mobile phone uploads will be edited into a continuous 'loop' to create a non-stop celebration that will air on the Web site throughout 2010. The Longest Celebration YouTube channel is localized in more than 100 countries providing an experience in local languages and is the largest scale partnership between YouTube and any other company.

In the build-up to the 2010 FIFA World Cup, Coca-Cola will run a series of mini-competitions for people who upload their celebrations with categories including 'Most African Celebration', 'Happiest Celebration', 'Funniest Celebration' and many more.

Location-Based App & Visa

Other marketers attempting to link their activities to an overarching idea for the tournament is Visa.  As a top-level partner of the games, Visa is conducting all of its activities under the same "Go Fans" platform it used for the Olympics. However for the World Cup, it has launched a social media mobile app call "Visa Match Planner," that lets fans monitor the game schedule, track scores and standings, chat with each other and even connect with the FIFA store. 

Available in four languages - English, Japanese, Spanish and Portuguese, the app is available for download on VisaGoFans' Facebook page.

Budweiser turns World Cup into 'Big Brother'

Budweiser is setting up a worldwide digital casting call for 32 fans to represent their home team at the games. The twist is that once the lucky participants are selected they will be flown into Cape Town to live under one roof for the duration of the tournament, a la Big Brother. The No. 1 global brewer is said to be working with the producers of a major-network reality show to produce this digital online show. In addition to their Web site, Anheuser Busch has launched a Twitter feed for the casting call for "Bud House" as well. (If interested, I would suggest you send them a tweet, as it does look like the casting deadline occurred at the end of March.)

As we get closer, I will post an update to this blog, as to where viewers will be able to view the "Bud House" live feed online.

Augmented Reality & Wikitude World Cup

For sports fans that want to add a little augmented reality to the World Cup games, Wikitude, one of the leading innovators in mobile AR is launching a competition aptly named, the Wikitude World Cup. Starting on May 13th 2010, contestants can make submissions up till the end of the tournament on July 11th, for a chance to win one of 10 LG Smartphones.

Each submission is called a 'World' because it's based on what the contestant sees in their world. All Worlds submitted will be showcased on the Wikitude Web site and submissions can cover any subject matter. For instance, if you're a soccer fan, here are few suggestions:
  • A Wikitude World showing the stadiums where games are taking place. What would make the World fantastic is if information can be included on fixtures or even live scores
  • A Wikitude World that shows the location of all the countries that are taking part in the competition. Even better if the countries are removed as they become eliminated.
  • Fancy a beer? How about a Wikitude World of pubs/bars that are showing the games live on TV
For full terms and conditions and rules, take a look at the official site. Here is a short tutorial that will help get you started on Wikitude and its mobile application.

The epic nature of the World Cup games will certainly be enhanced by the use of the social media tools, apps and campaigns outlined here. And this list is only the tip of the iceberg. Adidas, McDonald's and others are using other social media tactics that tap into the 'wisdom of crowds' and the viral nature of social media to build brand awareness and loyalty for the various teams represented in the tournament.

Take a moment, if you know of another stand-out World Cup social media activity and provide us with your feedback in the Comment Section below.

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