An X-ray of a Football Game – The Power of Cristiano Ronaldo ’s Image

By Pedro Almeida
Edited by Ana Jovanoski [2021 stats update]

Building on the experience we are gaining from monitoring live sports such as F1 or MotoGP, this time we turned our attention to football and in a partnership with Eleven Sports.  

The Champions League is one of the most valuable football championships in the world, transacting billions of euros in media rights alone. The emotions of football fans are a new currency that should be treasured by leagues, sponsors, advertisers, and broadcasters.  

Understanding when fans are truly engaged and what drives their emotion in the game allows companies to transform emotion into revenue. Insights allow them to bet on key moments, the right editing choices, and the most engaging sports leagues and players – Cristiano Ronaldo.

The first match we X-rayed was the Juventus vs Atlético de Madrid Champions League match.

And what a match it was!  

Goal, goal, goooooal! 

What do people want when they buy a ticket or a PPV to a match? Feel emotion, passion, and adrenaline. And nothing drives emotion like goals!  

Goals are considered golden opportunities for sponsor appearance and are the right moments to launch banner advertisements or ad insertion.  

This might be obvious. But now have data to back this up.  

Successful advertising should capture the high emotional states produced by goals, but don’t wait long! Do it immediately before the replay, when the arousal levels are still high.  

MindProber legacy dashboardGoals, golden opportunities for sponsor appearance 

Replays and best editing options 

Detecting and analyzing replays also allows a focus on the best editing options:  

  • How many 
  • Which ones 
  • At which moments.  

One key insight for sponsors: goal replays across the game are the runner-up as the most engaging event. These are key opportunities for sponsoring referrals. 

Goal replays – key opportunities for sponsoring referrals

Cristiano Ronaldo, Cristiano Ronaldo, Cristiano Ronaldo! 

He is one of the MVPs in the world.  Let’s start with the following – Cristiano Ronaldo is the 3rd best-paid athlete in the world (and the 10th highest-paid celebrity in 2018), the most influential soccer player in social media (159 million followers on Instagram and 77 million on Twitter), and the man of the League (121 goals). 

[2021 Update:
Ronaldo continues to be the 3rd highest-paid athlete in the world and also the 1st person to reach 500 million followers across social media! Also, CR7’s earnings from endorsement deals reached $50 million in 2021!]

Through timeline tagging, we were able to detect each moment each player touches the ball. And Ronaldo stole everyone’s hearts!  

Whenever he holds the ball, the crowd’s emotions light up. Again, an interesting metric for sponsors!  

It gets more impressive when we compare Ronaldo with other players. 

Fans’ emotional response to Cristiano Ronaldo compared to other players

No doubt CR7 was crucial in this game as he scored the three goals (plus one annulled) that won Juventus the qualifying round. Judging from this, Cristiano Ronaldo seems to be worth every penny his sponsors invest. 

Monitoring the reactions of fans to live events is a new and revolutionary way to measure football impact. These impact metrics allow advertisers, sponsors, and media rights holders to move beyond hunches when producing events that fans love, and to complement audience ratings when assessing the value of sports as the ultimate vehicle for brand promotion. 

Want to boost your media and ad impact? Learn more about MindProber.

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