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Surprising Sentiment of the Champions League Final

Taking advantage of big moments shared by large audiences is a great way to put your brand out there. But before you can take part in the conversation, you need to understand what it is, and what’s driving the sentiment behind it.

As we head into (at press time) the final match of the UEFA Champions League, let’s explore the sentiment surprises brands could use to connect with social audiences.

The Lay of the Land

First, a few non-surprises… Like the overall high sentiment for the topic, as every match from the past season culminates in one last match – between Liverpool and Tottenham. The number of posts is relatively small – in the grand scheme – but look at the impressions. With nearly 4 million, this topic is getting out there.

Exploring things like Top Hashtags, Top Terms, Top Brands, and Top People give us a sense of what people are talking about the most – like “Champions League,” and the two teams. But there are also other terms breaking through, like “Jose Mourinho and Arsene Wenger.”

When we look at Top People we see Mourinho’s name is the most prominent.

What’s driving this discussion? Remember, we’ve got to understand sentiment to know if talking about Mourinho is wise – or if we should steer clear. Following the sentiment trail, we see a big spike in positive sentiment on May 28…

…This coincides with the announcement that “The former Manchester United and Arsenal managers will be pundits on beIN SPORTS for the Champions League final on June 1.”

Whether the two engage as hostile co-commentators, or as grudgingly respectful peers, it will probably be great television. People are as excited for this match-up as they are for the two teams competing in the final.

Who Will Win in the Match for Social Sentiment?

Speaking of Liverpool and Tottenham… Which team has the more passionate fan base? Liverpool has the slight sentiment edge here, with 45% positive:

Looking at Attributes lets you understand which conversations social audiences are focused on, whether positive or negative. Investigate the ones that make sense for your brand, and engage!

Here’s a look at Emotions for Liverpool as well:

As for Tottenham, they’ve earned 41% positive sentiment, so they’re right behind Liverpool in that regard:

And just like “Liverpool fan” above, “Tottenham fan” is the most prominent Emotions term for Tottenham:

As for Behaviors, more people are talking about watching and supporting Liverpool, though there are still plenty planning to do both for Tottenham – as well as “celebrate” if they win:

Ghosts of Champions League Past

While awaiting the final match, there’s a lot of talk about the past. Nostalgia is a common sports theme, so maybe this isn’t a surprise. Then again, it depends on your expectations and assumptions of what the social conversation would be. And assumptions are never helpful when making brand decisions about social interactions – or anything else.

Looking at Sentiment Attributes in our search on “Champions League Final” we see the bulk of the conversation is centered on the “best goal”:

This references Gareth Bale’s match-winning goal that won the 2018 final for Real Madrid:

But why stop at going back a year when you can go back eight? People are still talking about Lionel Messi’s (Barcelona) amazing performance back when he was merely 23:

Nostalgia is a powerful emotion, so these conversations are great entry points for brands who can authentically and organically join in.

Who Do They Love?

Sometimes you need a little help bridging the gap between your audience and your brand – especially if you don’t have an obvious tie-in, like being a sports apparel company, for example.

In that case, look for influencers whose audience and interests bring your brand and the trends you hope to leverage together.

For example, one of the top authors in the Champions League Final topic is Indian singer and actress Parineeti Chopra.

Given that the Champions League audience is predominantly male…

…Chopra could be an influencer that helps bring more women to the sport. Or she could appeal to the men you hope to capture for your brand’s audience.

You’d have to vet her carefully to be sure, but her influential power is certainly worth exploring.

You’d want to know where her audience hails from, for example, given the top locations of those following the Champions League are the UK, US and Nigeria:

And you’d want to know whether they actively engage with her on this topic – and what other topics they engage with her about – as well.

And what of the teams’ official sponsors? Those relationships should be mutually beneficial, right?

Tottenham and global principal partner AIA are shouting each other out, as they should:

It certainly doesn’t hurt that David Beckham, who showed up at a Tottenham training session, is an AIA ambassador.

Meanwhile, if AIA is paying attention, they have a huge opportunity to wow some “lifelong fans” – and everyone watching on social:

Liverpool main club sponsor Standard Chartered, on the other hand, is doing just fine engaging their sponsor’s fans:

Liverpool is also doing their part to recognize the partnership:

Liverpool is seeing a bit more as far as social results of their partnership – but since we don’t know either brand’s goals overall, it’s hard to say AIA is not doing as well. As long as they’re meeting or exceeding whatever benchmarks they set, that’s all that matters.

Follow Trends and Sentiment in Real-Time

Social sentiment is an adventure that can be as unpredictable and exciting as a UEFA football championship. Especially when following social audiences during such global events, you don’t want to blink for fear of missing something.

However the Champions League Final turns out, brands will win if they monitor trends and sentiment in real-time, as well as after the fact, to be ready for whatever comes next.

Whatever you already know is certainly important when it comes to making campaign and other decisions. Just remember to look out for the sentiment surprises – they might be able to offer you the opening you need to score that winning goal for your brand.

Not sure how our AI-supported sentiment analysis tools work? We’ll gladly show you – with a customized demo!

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