The FIFA World Cup has come out on top in a YouGov Sport SMG Insight report that aims to highlight the sporting events and teams that generated the most positive discussion amongst the UK public in 2018.
Considered a powerful tool for sports marketers, the sixth edition of the annual SportsIndex Buzz Report found the World Cup rose from a position of 56th in 2017, to the top of the charts last year.
YouGov Sport (SMG Insight), the sports arm of YouGov, is a global sport, sponsorship and entertainment insight company and is the Category Partner for International Campaign of the Year at the 2019 BT Sport Industry Awards.
Its SportsIndex product operates in 38 markets globally and tracks 200 properties across 30 sports.
Each property’s ‘Buzz score’ is the difference between the percentage of respondents hearing positive news and the percentage hearing negative news about the event.
The SportsIndex Buzz Report subsequently reports on peak Buzz, the highest (four-week average) Buzz score each event or sports property recorded over the calendar year of 2018.
Following a strong showing at the tournament in Russia, the England national side also returned a record score and positioned inside the top ten for the very first time, placing fourth.
Completing the top three positions, the Winter Olympic Games finished just behind the FIFA World Cup, having risen 53 places over the past year.
The Wimbledon Championships proved the best-placed domestic property in third position, having been top of the report in 2017.
The report revealed strong showings for a number of major international sporting events, with the Commonwealth Games and Six Nations joining the Winter Olympics in the top ten, positioned fifth and sixth respectively.
The success of the international events came at the expense of a number of domestic properties, with the FA Cup (11th) and Premier League (13th) falling slightly down the rankings, akin to the Wimbledon Championships.
Free-to-air events make up all of the top seven spots, highlighting the correlation between accessibility and positive chatter.
When calculating an average score over a four-year cycle for each event, the Summer Paralympic Games scored the most highly, beating the Summer Olympics into second place.
Frank Saez, Founder and Managing Director of YouGov Sport (SMG Insight), said: “In the short term, we see the domination of big global quadrennial events but over the term of a four-year cycle, it’s the annual events which record the highest average scores and perhaps offer the better value to partners.
“A golden thread runs through the reliably highest scoring international and overseas events. It’s British success.
“Sky’s wins have seen the Tour de France put itself in our top ten, people love the Ryder Cup when Europe wins and tennis events always score more highly if British players do well at them.
“The best investment we can make in our sports events is in our athletes. If they win, the events win.”
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