Social support for football teams correlates to performance in the league

There is a ‘strong’ correlation between the support teams have on social media and their league position after 10 games, research from RadiumOne has found.

The rankings were calculated by the number of stories shared about each team on popular sports news websites combined with how effectively each club had been interacting with its fans in the 30 days leading up to the 10th game of the season.

The research placed Arsenal – which yesterday celebrated hitting three million Twitter fans – top of the league, followed by Manchester United, Chelsea, Liverpool and Tottenham.

Abeed Janmohamed, commercial director at RadiumOne, said: “We often hear managers talking about the impact of the fans as the ‘12th man’ and nowhere is this more apparent than in the results of our research. The correlation between the levels of support we’re seeing for teams and the results they are getting suggests there is a lot of power in fan support. Fans shouldn’t underestimate the impact that they can have on their teams.

“For the clubs, there is an opportunity here to really make the most of the social engagement that they are seeing. The trick is turning support via social networks into increased match-day attendances and club shop revenues with shrewd advertising campaigns. If clubs know who their fans are and who these fans are connected to online, there’s an opportunity for clubs to make use of this intelligence to market themselves more effectively to passive and would-be fans. Given the clear impact that these fans can have on a club’s performance, there’s a compelling reason to engage.”

Since the same research was carried out before the season began, Chelsea and Manchester City have both improved their social performances dramatically following fairly quiet pre-seasons and as fans have begun to focus on the football instead, while Norwich and Crystal Palace plummeted 13 and 11 places respectively.

Join us, it's free.

Become a member to get access to:

  • Exclusive Content
  • Daily and specialised newsletters
  • Research and analysis

Join us, it’s free.

Want to read this article and others just like it? All you need to do is become a member of The Drum. Basic membership is quick, free and you will be able to receive daily news updates.