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Umbro Leads the Charge With World Cup-Related Social Media Engagement per Dollar

The Beau Jeu soccer ball by Adidas.

SOCCER’S CLEAN SHEET: There may be only two teams ready to battle Sunday for this year’s World Cup but a handful of brands are still fighting for engagement per dollar.

With 3.4 billion fans tuning in to catch some of the tournament in Russia, there is a lot at stake for athletic companies. is one of the event’s seven leading sponsors, but ’s Swoosh will be all over the field during Sunday’s finals. The Portland, Ore.-based company suits up the French and Croatian teams. Its leading rival will be well-represented with every kick, though, since its vector is stamped on the official match ball and other equipment.

What kind of weight World Cup sponsorship dollars have in terms of engagement per dollar is the focus of a report by Talkwalker. Drawing from social analytics and visual analytics, the company is trying to relay a better sense of how sports brands are perceived via . With 4.7 million engagements per dollar, Umbro is leading the field, according to Talkwalker. In terms of other brands, Adidas has shelled out $311 million per year, or $850,000 a day. As the sponsor of the Golden Boot, the Golden Ball and the Golden Glove, the company had gained 38,508 mentions for World Cup awards prior to the semifinals. In total, the brand has racked up 67,191 mentions, more than 3 million in engagements and a ROI at 32 cents per dollar, which was slightly lower than Nike’s ROI of 34 cents per dollar.

As the sponsor of 10 World Cup teams, Nike spends about $195 million annually, or $530,000 per day, the report stated. The company amassed 69,012 mentions and engagement of more than 2 million. Consumers might associate New Balance more with world-class running than soccer, but the company tried to dispel that by shelling out about $960,000 a year, or $2,630 a day. Chasing the influencer route, the Boston-based brand created a “Make it to Moscow” docu-series with YouTubers Theo Baker, Charlie Morley and Jemel One Five, as well as Russian vlogger Alex Zhuravlev. Posted on Facebook instead of YouTube, the videos hadn’t generated a huge amount of buzz by Wednesday. At that point, by Talkwalker’s estimates, New Balance had 2,290 mentions, engagement of 5,284 and an ROI of 18 cents per dollar.

One World Cup competitor, Cristiano Ronaldo, broke the bank even though his efforts for Portugal weren’t enough for his team to advance. On Tuesday, it was revealed the 33-year-old was exiting Real Madrid for a four-year $110 million deal with the Agnelli family-owned Juventus.

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