Social Media is quickly becoming one of the biggest tools for communication between an organization and its customers, nowhere is this more evident in the sports world. The ultimate customer, a fan, is constantly out for new updates to the product they spend their hard earned money on, and try to get a ‘behind the scenes’ look at their favourite sports franchise.
I honestly think that Twitter will become more popular than Facebook when it comes to the tool of choice for social interaction. Yes, there’s Facebook, and their giant IPO offering, but Facebook has become a bit of a juggernaut that’s more about revenue and advertising than the customer experience. Twitter with its’ 140 character limitation ensures that everyone plays by the same rules, no matter who or what you are, you have 140 characters to capture your audiences attention.
Here’s the Top Ten of the most followed sports franchises on Twitter.
1. FC Barcelona – 5,731,957 followers
This one shouldn’t be a surprise. One of the most unique, and storied sports franchises in the world, tops the list, and is really in a class of their own. Many of the players from Spain’s world champion squad call FC Barcelona homw, and if that wasn’t enough, the man who is in constant debate for best footballer in the world- Lionel Messi, also plays for the team.
2. Real Madrid CF – 5,008,072 followers
It’s fitting that the club that Barcelona are constantly compared with, rank second in this list. Real Madrid has just over five million followers on Twitter. A club that has been around for more than a 100 years, and has won an insane number of championships, is also home to two of the best footballers in the world, Kaka, and Cristiano Ronaldo. Those two are no slouches in the twitterverse themselves. Kaka ranks as the 16th most followed person on Twitter, while Ronaldo is the 20th, both have more than eleven million followers!
3. Los Angeles Lakers – 2,592,375 followers
It’s the first American squad on the list, and it’s not the Yankees. It’s the premier team of the NBA, it doesn’t matter who wins the NBA Championship year to year, the Lakers contending are a guarantee, and their popularity never seems to waning. It doesn’t hurt when guys like Kareem, Magic, Shaq, and Kobe have all called LA home.
4. Arsenal – 1,603,532 followers
Yeah, there’s been a couple of football clubs on the list so far, but, it’s in number 4 that the first English Premier League team pops up, and, don’t be surprised that it’s not Manchester United. As a matter of fact, United don’t even have an official Twitter account. Instead, its’ the Gunners that are tops in the league when it comes to twitter followers. They have just over a cool 1.6 million followers.
5. Chelsea FC – 1,145,160 followers
The Blues aren’t too far off Arsenal’s trail. The folks at Stamford Bridge enjoy being the 5th most followed sports franchise on twitter in the world. Of course, they’d like to do better than that in the standings, a club that has enjoyed a number of years of big game success , finished a disappointing 6th in their league last season.
6. Galatasaray SK – 1,418,634 followers
Who would’ve guessed a Turkish football club would finish 6th in the world, Galatasaray SK which makes for a rather long twitter handle boasts just under 1.5 million followers, and would be considered the LA Lakers of the Turkish Super League. They have after all, won 18 titles. They’re also one of just three European teams to have achieved a ‘quadruple’, by winning the UEFA cup, the UEFA Super Cup, the Turkish Super League Championship and the Turkish Club all in one year.
7. Orlando Magic – 1,078,335 followers
If you thought the Orlando Magic placed on this list when reading the title, then, you can pat yourself on the back, or minimize this window before your boss sees. What’s even more impressive about the Magic’s strong twitter following? They’re one of the teams that have tweeted the least on this list. They also have never won a championship in their league. Talk about a fan base that deserves more.
8. Liverpool FC – 1,015,223 followers
It’s been a few years since the team that calls Anfield home has had any real success in their league, but their fan base is often considered one of the most loyal, and it shows in their twitter numbers. Liverpool FC also seem to follow back, following 310, 933 tweeters themselves. You will never walk alone indeed.
9. Fenerbahce SK – 980,143 followers
Fenerbahce is a sports club based in Istanbul that participates in several sports, the club is one of the major contributors of Turkish representatives to the Olympic Games. As of this year, the club has a paid membership of more than 300, 000 members. Not bad for a team nicknames the Angry Birds.
Apparently, Lebron taking his talents to South Beach had more of an impact than the team just winning their second championship this year. The Miami Heat have a pretty strong Twitter presence, which shouldn’t come as a huge surprise as the ‘Big Three’ of Lebron, Wade and Bosh all are pretty active on Twitter.
Philadelphia Phillies – 697,318
New York Yankees – 646,615