The Union of European Football Associations (UEFA) Champions League Finals marked the end of the football season for men’s and women’s clubs. To find out how the games played out on social media, Ipsos Spain experts tracked thousands of online conversations using Synthesio’s AI-enabled consumer intelligence platform. Here’s what we learned:

1. Men’s football dominated online conversations by a landslide

Although women’s football has become more relevant than ever this year, online conversation volumes were only about 1/6th that of men’s football. However, the broader conversation about women’s sports is here to stay, and even grow (particularly in Spain if our teams keep up the major achievements). For brands, women’s football represents a growing opportunity to reach broader, more diverse audiences.

2. Social media users use different tones when talking about men’s and women’s football

Online conversations about the leagues, both men’s and women’s, consist primarily of game commentary: the best plays, goals, and fouls. But there are some key differences: as evidenced by the most-used emojis, we use a calmer tone when talking about women’s football and tend to share positive game highlights. In men’s football, it’s all about competition and more “aggressive” emojis.

3. The finals generated the highest peaks in social media activity, particularly on Twitter

If men’s and women’s football have one thing in common, it’s that the finals spurred the most online engagement. Conversation volumes spiked during the Liverpool vs. Real Madrid and Barcelona vs. Lyon matches as users live Tweeted their reactions. Twitter continues to be the most-used social media network for engagement with live events, and the UEFA Champions League Finals were no exception.

4. Social media gave sponsors infinite impact 

The importance of sponsorships is another commonality between men’s and women’s football. The logos of team sponsors and stadium advertisers appeared all over social with users, the media, and influencers sharing photos and game clips. For brands, being present (even in the background) of viral images and videos extends the impact of sponsorship deals and reinforces consumers’ associations between the brand and the event. Now, with logo recognition technology, brands can track and quantify the effect.

Want to know more about what social media users are saying about your brand and your competition? Or measure the impact of your next sponsorship?  Request a demo with our team!