The 2018 World Cup may be over, but analysis of its importance in the world of online video certainly isn’t. If anything, we’re only just beginning to understand how much this major sports event has impacted brands and publishers around the world, particularly those which made the football (aka soccer to U.S. fans) playoffs and championship an integral part of their video marketing. Thanks to metrics in Tubular’s software such as view counts and engagement rates, we can see exactly which brands rose to the top of the charts during this year’s World Cup. Let’s get started with:
Top 10 Most Watched YouTube Sports Channels June 2018
Brands’ YouTube Channels Gain Massive Viewership from World Cup Coverage
Take a look at the global cross-platform sports leaderboard for June, and it’s obvious the World Cup helped multiple brands and publishers become the most-viewed around the world. For example, FIFATV became the #4 most-watched brand with almost 623 million views across its social channels, as well as the #2 most-watched on YouTube, while other brands clearly landed in the top 20 due to soccer-related content. However, the most growth and change in rankings we saw were without a doubt on brands’ YouTube channels, more than on any other platform.
Looking at the chart above, you can see that besides FIFATV, four other publishers all landed in the top ten thanks to the soccer craze in June. Mexico’s Televisa Deportes jumped a whopping 125 positions to land at #5 thanks to nearly 96 million views. Close behind was Japanese broadcasting network NHK with about 88 million views; we’ll hear more about these two brands later, thanks to their impressive growth this past month. Additionally, creators Wrrzer and Dan1s, who both create soccer-related content, increased their rankings to land in the top ten, as well.
We also have an astoundingly-high ER30 of 5.2x from FutParódias, a Brazilian-based parody channel which pulls content from football matches to create entertaining videos audiences clearly enjoy interacting with. This channel also claimed #1 in Brazil across all sports brands in June! Finally, when we expand our range on the leaderboard to the top 20, we see America’s FOX Soccer, Ukraine’s LIUBCHENKO, and Spain’s Golazo TV all increasing their viewership and therefore position rankings in June thanks to videos centered around football/soccer, the World Cup, or specific athletes (Madrid player Cristiano Ronaldo seems to be the top favorite across many of these channels).
Football Boosted Country-Specific Channels Across the World
If you haven’t already noticed, there’s a clear trend going on in the YouTube sports leaderboard from June: country-specific channels excelled at gaining viewers’ attention. Of course, with such a global event, viewership and engagement from around the world is to be expected, but our data indicate the brands and creators who pulled in the most views seemed to be those with a direct connection to the top-performing teams in the 2018 World Cup.
First of all, consider these most-watched match recaps in terms of their average 3-day (V3) view counts, based on the search term “world cup” in Tubular’s software:
- Portugal vs. Spain: 28.9 million V3
- Korea Republic vs. Germany: 20 million V3
- Uruguay vs. Portugal: 16.2 million V3
- France vs. Croatia (final match): 15.7 million V3
- Brazil vs. Mexico: 15.3 million V3
Based on these countries, we already saw Spain’s match and related coverage helped the previously-mentioned Golazo TV hit #1 on the sports leaderboard for that country across all YouTube creators in June with almost 55 million views. Likewise, Televisa Deportes landed at the top of the sports chart in Mexico with nearly 96 million views, which also gave it the #1 sports creator title in that country last month. Following the same pattern, we found FutParódias was #1 on YouTube in Brazil in the sports genre with almost 75 million views.
Tubular’s software is also about track the top video performers during the World Cup event from Germany and France, as well. The #1 most-watched German creator from June was (suprise!) a sports creator called freekickerz, which saw 32.2 million overall views while only uploading three World Cup-related clips. As for France, it’s #1 sports creator was actually the YouTube channel of the French Open, which occurs in late April and early June, but fear not — close behind Roland-Garros was Équipe de France de Football, the official YouTube channel of the French football teams which jumped five spots in June to hit more than 15 million views.
Finally, let’s not forget we were going to talk about NHK again! While Tubular’s software shows the most-viewed World Cup matches based on V3 didn’t include Japan, this creator followed in the same footsteps as many of those we just covered. Its YouTube channel hit #1 in the sports category on both the YouTube and cross-platform June leaderboards for Japan. Clearly, this regional channel was smart to take advantage of the opportunity to grow by covering the wildly popular World Cup event.
Really, that’s the key takeaway here for sports brands: pay close attention to tentpole events in your industry and capitalize on them in your online video strategies. You don’t even need to be in the sports genre, either; don’t forget you can help sponsor videos during these exciting events to get more eyeballs on your own content, all while showing your support for the teams or organizations involved. So while the World Cup may be over for this year, you have plenty to think about before next year’s event. Alternatively, you can pick your poison from the remainder of this year’s events; there are several Formula 1 races to look forward to, as well as the PGA Championship, the British Open, rugby matches, the UEFA Nations League launch, the return of the NFL season, and something called the World Series. Just a thought.