The 2018 FIFA World Cup ended with France emerging victors, generating possibly the most eyeballs & reads ever for a sporting tournament. As the dust settles and soccer fans worldwide take a break till the football season kicks off in about 20 days from now, we at NativeAI towers decided to go over the data on how News Media covered the World Cup and how readers consumed it.
How we built this report:
We analyzed all news feeds that are available on News360, our personalized news reader which features over a 1000 publishers worldwide. Our data uses aggregated reporting, with no personally identifiable information or even individual publisher level information.
We used a mix of data from News360 and NativeAI, to maximize the base of publishers and audience available. We used our advanced NLP that can understand content to recognize and classify stories that referred to football teams and players.
Since the NativeAI / News360 NLP platform works best with English language content, the outcome might feature a source bias in favor of coverage in English language publications.
All analytics metrics such as Audience Interests / Topics, Engagement Quality, Volume of Traffic etc. were gathered using the NativeAI publisher analytics platform.
One last thing before we dive into the findings of this report:
At NativeAI, we provide a custom metric that helps you measure the value of a reader's interaction with a story in the form of Engagement Quality (EQ). EQ is a value that ranges from 0 to 1, with 1 representing maximum and best possible engagement. We define Engagement Quality as a function of Amount of Time spent on a story, Type of story (video, pictures, text) and the length of the article to arrive at a single number that lets you objectively compare different stories and their average engagement quality scores.
Findings from the FIFA World Cup 2018:
Onto the fun stuff! While we saw some very predictable statistics, such as Lionel Messi, Cristiano Ronaldo featuring in the top 3 players by mentions and coverage, England, Brazil and Germany winning the nations popularity contests etc. we also saw a few surprises.
One surprising fact was the prominence of some Coaches / Managers in the individual popularity stakes, especially Gareth Southgate, with his trademark waistcoat spurring a fashion trend in England! Another surprise was the high ranking by engagement quality that German star Mesut Ozil enjoyed. This perhaps best illustrates his assertion that he was made a lightning rod for criticism for Germany crashing out of the World Cup in the group stages. (this report uses data from news stories published only during the World Cup, so the latest news where Mesut Ozil accused some members of the German football association of racism and stepped down, does not feature in these reports).
These were some of the early findings as we trawled through the data, we will flag any new and interesting trends that stand out as we pore over more data for all you football fans. I'm a huge Arsenal fan myself, and have enough football news to go over and keep myself busy till the Premier League season kicks off!
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