BT Sport boosts social footprint by 1730% during Barcelona's historic Champions League comeback

The attention leading up to and after the last second winner helped BT Sport generate an unprecedented level of engagement

BT Sport successfully capitalised from FC Barcelona’s heroic comeback last night (Wednesday 8 March) with a massive 1730% surge in its average social interactions, according to research from social video intelligence company Burst Insights.

Since 1955 there has been a total of 213 European first-legs which have ended 4-0 and never has the losing team managed to overcome the deficit to go through to the next round.

Such was the narrative surrounding last night’s (8 March) last 16 tie in the Uefa Champions League between FC Barcelona and PSG with the Spanish club facing the task of overcoming one of their biggest defeats in recent memory following a poor performance in Paris last month.

With only three minutes of regular time remaining Barcelona still needed three goals to ensure their place in the next round of the competition and, despite the odds, the Catalonian club secured the vital third and final goal in the dying embers of the game, sending the Camp Nou stadium’s 90,000 plus fans into a state of euphoria and marking what is now widely regarded as the greatest comeback European football has ever seen.

BT sport tapped into the euphoria surrounding the occasion on social with 21 posts on Twitter relating to the game which generated more than 45,380 interactions, averaging 2160 interactions per post. Prior to last night the total average interactions across BT Sport’s Twitter was 118, meaning last night’s content relating to Barcelona vs PSG match saw a 1730% increase in interactions.

The posts consisted of a number of gifs featuring both the BT Sports pundits and action from the game itself. The clip showing the reaction of pundits Gary Lineker, Rio Ferdinand, Steven Gerrard and Michael Owen proved to be particularly popular with over 61,000 retweets.

The clip of the all-important goal was posted seconds after it was scored and has subsequently accumulated over 10,000 retweets.

The monumental occasion will serve as an example to broadcasters on how to capitalise on the attention surrounding live action and illustrates the effectiveness of sharing content on social to generate engagement with audiences.

Earlier this week it was revealed that BT had outbid Sky to retain the exclusive broadcast rights to the Uefa Champions League and the Europa League until 2021 in a new deal worth a reported #1.82bn.

Tony Connelly

I cover media, marketing and sponsorship news within the sports industry. This includes breaking news as well as writing feature pieces with insights from experts in the sports marketing world.

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