LaLiga is home to some of the most valuable brands in sports. From legendary clubs like FC Barcelona and Real Madrid to the league itself, the concentration of brand power is rare in the sports landscape. But while LaLiga and the clubs are powerful properties, another group drives the most value on social media — the players.
LaLiga players’ collective audience and engagement outrank that of their clubs and the league itself. But their impact could be even more significant.
We analyzed Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram data from LaLiga’s owned channels, the clubs, and every active player throughout the past year (9/9/18 – 9/9/19). Below, we show how the players collectively performed, and how they could just be realizing their potential to dominate on social.
Download The Full Report
With over 1.3 billion collective followers, LaLiga players more than double the audience size of their clubs and the league combined.
With 490 active players and just 20 teams and one league, the athletes drastically outnumber the properties in terms of total channels.
Still, the players average about 2.65 million social media followers each. Clubs average 24 million followers, while LaLiga itself claims over 82 million followers across its Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram channels.
It comes as no surprise that players also top social media engagement. With over 3.1 billion total engagements, LaLiga players outpace teams by over one billion engagements. Additionally, nearly all the player-driven engagements (2.9 billion) were achieved on Instagram, with the fewest (87.4 million) occurring on Twitter.
Engagement rate is where the real story begins to take shape. Posts from LaLiga players earn an engagement rate of 3.11% while the clubs and LaLiga itself lag far behind.
LaLiga players engage their fans at a 20X higher rate than their clubs a 12X higher clip than the league.
This disparity shows that when athletes share content, their audience takes notice. They’re 20-times more likely to consume and interact with an athlete-driven post than a post from a club. This trend stretches across all three platforms and is consistently seen throughout professional sports.
Here’s the problem. LaLiga players should be sharing more.
Yes, the players collectively dominate their clubs on social in terms of engagements and audience buy-in. But players averaged just over 100 posts each over the past year. Comparatively, the clubs shared an average of 8,800 posts apiece.
In an average week, LaLiga players share just two posts, while their clubs post an average of 169 times and the league posts over 286 times.
Meanwhile, athletes earn 46 thousand more engagements per post than their clubs.
LaLiga and its clubs are performing at an incredibly high level. They have reached peak distribution in their owned channels. They have access to incredible content and are sharing it with a hungry audience.
But what if players could be part of the marketing mix? The players create the moments on the pitch, but rarely have access to share them. While a select few elite athletes have social support teams, most have to act as their own marketer.
Their social channels are irrefutably the most powerful in sports. When they post, their audience listens and takes action. And they want more content. They just need the right tools and a little help from their partner properties to make it happen.