World Cup Fans
The key demographics, attitudes &
digital behaviors of World Cup fans
GWI AUDIENCE REPORT
GWI Audience reports are designed to examine the digital behaviors and demographic
profiles of key interest groups.
With the buzz surrounding the World Cup increasing rapidly, this report places a
spotlight on those who say they’ll be tuning in for matches.
We divide this audience into two groups: Real-Time Fans, who claim they’ll watch as
many games live as possible; and Part-Time Fans, those who say that they’re either
mildly interested and will watch a few matches, or that they’ll be tuning in when
they can but won’t be following progress on a constant basis. We compare these
two groups to those who are Not Interested – whether because they simply don’t
like football or because they weren’t even aware that the World Cup was happening.
Drawing on our research program across 32 countries and nearly 90% of the global
internet audience, we look specifically at:
• The demographic breakdown of World Cup fans
• Their attitudes, interests and digital behaviors
• Usage of the mobile internet
• The ways in which World Cup viewers say they interact with brands
• Their favored social networking platforms and activities
Clients can explore the digital characteristics of this group further by building an
audience on the PRO Platform – tailoring any element of the definition as required.
Please note: all data is taken from our Q1 2014 wave of research. Fieldwork was
completed in March 2014, with a global sample size of 42,000 adults aged 16-64.
• Globally, an impressive 68% of online adults aged 16-64 say
they will be following at least some World Cup games – with
24% being Real-Time Fans (those who will watch as many games
live as they possibly can). This group is dominated by men and
25-34s, while people who are married, have children and come
from the top income group are also strongly represented.
• Attitudinally, Real-Time Fans are a highly attractive group for
advertisers; they over-index heavily when it comes to keeping
up with the latest trends, interacting with their favorite brands
and wanting to stand out from the crowd. They also perceive
themselves as being adventurous and affluent and have one of
the most positive outlooks about the global economy.
• Mobiles and tablets have special importance for Real-Time
Fans. 73% of this audience are going online via mobiles, and 38%
are accessing the internet via a tablet. These figures place them
considerably ahead of other groups.
• Second-screening is a prolific behavior among this audience.
Overall, 91% of Real-Time Fans say that they dual-screen while
watching television, with mobiles by far the most popular device
• The reasons underlying second-screening show why it’s such
a perfect accompaniment for the World Cup: nearly two thirds
(65%) of Real-Time Fans say they second-screen in order to chat
with friends. But this audience over-indexes the most for sharing
opinions related to what they’re watching as well as interacting
with related online content. Against this background, apps like
Twitter, mobile messaging services like WeChat and WhatsApp
as well as companion services like Squawka are all positioned
very strongly. Indeed, our research shows that 87% of UK Twitter
users will be watching the World Cup on live TV, with 1 in 6
saying that they’ve previously retweeted football-related content
• Real-Time Fans are highly social in nature. They have the highest
Klout scores, have the most people following them on platforms
like Twitter and are more likely to be using all of the major
social platforms. They also spend a longer period of time each
day devoted to networking and have a notable lead for behaviors
such as sharing photos and posting comments about their
daily activities. Outside of China, Facebook is the most popular
service of all: 88% of Real-Time Fans have an account and 52%
use it actively each month. Google+, YouTube and Twitter come
next, all being regularly used by about 30% of Real-Time Fans.
• Members of this audience are more likely than others to
“like” a brand (37%) or visit a brand’s social networking page
(31%). Significantly, they have the biggest lead when it comes to
interacting with brands on micro-blogs like Twitter and sharing
content inside branded communities.
At a global level, more than two thirds (68%) of adults say that they plan to follow the World Cup in some form.
Real-Time Fans – who plan to watch as many games live as they can – represent 24% overall.
Following behind are the Part-Time Fans, comprising 24% who will be watching as and when they can and a further 20% who have a slight
interest and will view at least some matches.
That leaves just 32% in the Not Interested group; half of these people have little or no interest in the tournament while the other half were
unaware that the World Cup was happening at the time they were surveyed.
WORLD CUP FANS
Question: Can you please indicate how interested you are in the upcoming 2014 FIFA World Cup in Brazil? ///
Source: GlobalWebIndex Q1 2014 /// Base: Internet users aged 16-64
As we might expect, Real-Time Fans form the biggest share of the audience in Latin
America (40%) – a region where the local interest combined with the absence of
significant time differences makes it most tempting to watch matches live. In contrast,
it is the North American audience – where other sports remain much more popular –
which is the least enthused.
These trends are reflected in the figures at a national level; adults in Argentina, Brazil
and Mexico are some of the most likely of all to be watching in real-time.
However, it’s important to understand the
implications that these percentages have in terms
of overall audience sizes. Although a relatively
low 21% in China might say that they’ll watch
matches as they happen, the sheer size of the
country means that – if we convert these figures
to millions of people – then China represents by
far the biggest single country in terms of World
Cup viewers (with close to 100 million adults aged
16-64 tuning in live). Due to its huge population,
APAC is in fact the dominant region here.
As our graphic makes clear, there is
a strong gender effect at work here:
globally, men are more than twice as
likely as women to say they’ll view
matches live. That means 73% of all
those watching games in real-time
will be male.
By age, interest is strongest among
25-34s (29%), with the 35 to 44s and
then 45-54s following closely behind.
Perhaps somewhat surprisingly, only
19% of 16-24s say they’ll watch as
many matches live as possible.
The impact of this becomes clearest if
we isolate the Real-Time Fans, convert
these figures to millions of people and
of real-time World Cup viewers will be
from the 25-34 bracket, compared to
just 22% from the 16-24 group. But
it’s 55-64s who will represent by far
the smallest group; only 6% of the live
audience will be from this age group.
Elsewhere, it’s clear that top income
respondents are the most likely to
watch the World Cup in real-time,
while the figures are also high among
those who are married with children.
THE DEMOGRAPHICS OF REAL-TIME WORLD CUP FANS
GWI’s survey tracks 50+ attitudinal statements, allowing us to see where World Cup fans stand apart from other audiences.
When we analyze this, it’s clear that Real-Time Fans are an attractive audience for advertisers: they place particularly strong premiums
on keeping up with trends, interacting with brands and being part a community. They’re also highly individual – they like to stand out in
the crowd, take risks and have others perceive them as being adventurous.
Attitudes where World Cup Fans over-index the most:
(Numbers in brackets represent the % of fans who agree)
• I would buy a product/service simply for the experience of
being part of the community built around it (41%)
• I feel positive about the global economy (54%)
• I like to keep up with the latest fashions (53%)
• I would consider myself to be much more affluent than
the average person (45%)
• My favorite brand plays an integral part in my online life
and experience (53%)
• I like to stand out in the crowd (49%)
• I am a risk taker (58%)
• I am a brand conscious person (59%)
• I feel positive about the future of the environment (51%)
• Other people view me as adventurous (55%)
• I tend to buy brands I see advertised (40%)
• I am very career orientated (63%)
• I am a brand conscious person (46%)
• I would pay more for sustainable/eco-friendly products (56%)
• My favorite brand plays an integral part in my online life
and experience (40%)
• Having the latest technological products is very important
to me (50%)
• There is too much choice online (63%)
• It’s critical for me to be able to be contactable at all times (59%)
• I am interested in international events (61%)
• I feel positive about the global economy (39%)
GlobalWebIndex also monitors more than 20 different motivations for using the internet – an area where Real-Time fans once again show
some interesting peaks. Overall, they’re most likely to see the internet as a place to keep up-to-date with news/events and stay in touch
with friends (95% each). Compared to others though, they are much more likely to turn to the internet as a way to take on a different
personality, influence others, meet new people and express themselves.
Internet usage motivations where Real-Time Fans over-index the most:
• Take on a different personality (60%)
• Change other people’s opinions (67%)
• Meet new people (78%)
• Express myself (77%)
• Share content (82%)
Finally, our survey includes more than 30 different topics of interest. Predictably, Real-Time Fans over-index the most strongly for anything
related to sport. But looking at the other most important options for this audience gives a sense of their broader profile: compared to other
audiences, Real-Time Fans are also particularly interested in business, cars, the economy, politics and gaming.
ATTITUDES AND INTERESTS OF WORLD CUP FANS
By segmenting internet users into our three World Cup audiences, we can track their Twitter behaviors via the GlobalWebIndex Real-Time
Panel – giving us a measure of their social influence online.
Overall, it’s clear that Real-Time Fans are the most visible and active: they have a higher Klout score than the other two groups – which is
positioned as an aggregate of their influence across eight online platforms – and have the highest average number of Twitters followers.
Real-Time fans are also tweeting the most frequently.
AVERAGE KLOUT SCORE BY WORLD CUP SEGMENT
In fact, there’s a key difference between the segments here: while Real-Time fans typically have the most people following them on Twitter,
it’s the Not Interested group who are the most likely to be following others. In a sense, then, Real-Time Fans are bigger talkers and those
in the Not Interested group are bigger listeners.
THE INFLUENCE OF WORLD CUP FANS
• Real-Time Fans are highly active mobile users; nearly
three quarters are accessing the internet via these
devices, and they also have a lead over others for all of
the online activities tracked by GWI.
nearly two thirds dual-screen via mobiles, with chatting
to friends being the most popular reason (65%).
• App usage is extremely strong among Real-Time
Fans: over 90% of those who use the mobile internet
are interacting with apps each month. Facebook is the
most popular service outside of China (72%) but this
audience has a particularly notable lead on Twitter and
Real-Time Fans are highly engaged with the
internet; they are the most likely group to
be going online via all of the devices we
track and have especially strong leads on
mobiles (73%, vs 59% for the Not Interested
group) and tablets (38% vs 24%).
Although still something of a niche behavior,
Real-Time Fans are also the biggest users
of the internet via smart televisions (15%);
they are more than twice as likely to be
connecting via TVs as non-World Cup
viewers. In fact, this group is extremely keen
to try new devices and gadgets; 75% of Real-
Time Fan say that they have used wearable
tech already or are interested in doing this
in the future. That compares to 67% among
Part-Time Fans and just 48% within the Not
MOBILE AND TABLET
Chart 1: Devices Used to Access the Internet
Question: In the past month, from which of the following devices have you accessed the internet either through a
web browser or an application? ///Source: GlobalWebIndex Q1 2014 /// Base: Internet Users aged 16-64
Second- or dual-screening is a widespread
activity in all groups but has special appeal
for Real-Time Fans. Overall, just 9% of this
group say they have not used an additional
device while watching television, compared
to 12% of Part-Time Fans and a more sizable
20% of the Not Interested segment.
Chart 2: Second-Screening by Device
Question: Which of the following devices have you used while watching TV? /// Source: GlobalWebIndex Q1 2014 ///
Base: Internet Users aged 16-64
By device, it’s clear that mobiles are the most popular; nearly two thirds (63%) of real-
time fans have used their mobile to dual-screen as they watch TV. Tablets also play
an important role here: Real-Time fans are nearly twice as likely to be using them as a
second-screen device (32%).
If we examine the reasons for this behavior, it’s clear why it’s a perfect accompaniment
for watching live sports games. Nearly two thirds (65%) of Real-Time Fans say they
dual-screen in order to chat with friends and close to 60% say they’re looking for new
Chart 3: Top Reasons for TV Second-Screening
Question: The last time you were watching TV and using the internet, which of the following did you do? /// Source:
GlobalWebIndex Q1 2014 /// Base: Internet Users aged 16-64
Arguably, though, the trend of most significance here is that Real-Time Fans over-index
the most for sharing opinions related to what they’re watching as well as interacting
with online content connected to the show (23% and 15% respectively). Although these
are clearly quite niche behaviors, football fans are notably ahead of average – suggesting
that Twitter and other social platforms will be big beneficiaries and that companion
mobile apps will enjoy a strong positioning.
Android is the top mobile operating system among Real-Time Fans: two thirds of this audiences are using the OS, compared to just over
a fifth (22%) who are on Apple’s iOS. All other operating systems account for small shares of the audience only, including Windows Phone
(8%), BlackBerry (7%) and Symbian (5%). Differences between the three World Cup audiences are minimal here, although Real-Time Fans
are slightly more likely to be using an iPhone.
In terms of handsets, Samsung is the most popular brand: 41% of Real-Time Fans say they own one, compared to 35% of Part-Time fans
and 29% of the Not Interested group. The iPhone comes second (22%), followed by Sony (11%).
Across the board, it’s clear that Real-Time Fans are some of the most active in terms of what they do on their mobile phone each month:
they’re more likely than other groups to have installed apps, played games, recorded videos and taken photos. And, despite remaining
a niche activity, Real-Time and Part-Time Fans are 10% more likely to have scanned a QR code – a behavior which is strongest in APAC.
Chart 4: Mobile Behaviors
Question: Which of the following have you done on your mobile phone in the past month?
/// Source: GlobalWebIndex Q1 2014 /// Base: Internet Users aged 16-64
High levels of mobile engagement among Real-Time Fans are reflected in their usage of the mobile internet; if we look at the top behaviors
undertaken via mobile devices, this audience is consistently ahead of the other groups.
As we might expect with this group, they over-index the most when it comes to watching sport-related content; nearly 50% report
having done this via their mobile within the last month (nearly three times higher than the figure among the Not Interested group). But
they’re highly social too: close to three quarters of Real-Time Fans who use the mobile internet are connecting to social platforms,
with just under half visiting micro-blogs. In both instances, this puts them a little ahead of the Part-Time Fans and gives them a notable
lead over the Not Interested segment.
Chart 5: Mobile Internet Behaviors: Top 25
Question: Which of the following have you done online in the past month on your mobile/smartphone?
/// Source: GlobalWebIndex Q1 2014 /// Base: Internet Users aged 16-64
Real-Time Fans are heavy app users; only
8% who use the mobile internet say they do
not use apps on a monthly basis – less than
half the equivalent figure for Not Interested
Overall, gaming (63%) and social networking (56%) tools are the most popular.
However, Real-Time Fans over-index extremely strongly for some of the more
niche app types with strong relevance for the World Cup – including location-based
services, apps relating to live events and, as is to be expected, sports apps. And
while augmented reality tools are the least used type overall (15%), Real-Time Fans
are three times as likely to use them as the Not Interested segment.
This enthusiasm is in evidence once more if we look at monthly usage of specific
social apps (outside of China). Here, Real-Time Fans are more likely to be using all of
the services included in our chart – and typically by quite some distance.
APP USAGE Chart 6: App Types Used Each Month
Question: Which of the following apps have you used in the past month? ///
Source: GlobalWebIndex Q1 2014 /// Base: Internet Users aged 16-64
Clearly, Facebook is the most popular social app overall; nearly three quarters of Real-Time Fans who use the mobile internet are
engaging with it each month.
But it’s in relation to some of the other apps that we see strong differences between our three audiences. Real-Time Fans have particularly
pronounced leads on most of the messaging tools, including WeChat and WhatsApp. They’re also around 20% more likely than the Not
Interested group to use Twitter’s app and are twice as likely to engage with Foursquare. For World Cup Fans, the importance of instant,
real-time communication as well as location-based services is thus plain to see.
Chart 7: Specific Apps
Question: Which of the following mobile / tablet applications have you used in the
past month? (on any device) /// Source: GlobalWebIndex Q1 2014 /// Base: Mobile
internet Users aged 16-64, exc. China
• Internet Device Access
• Multitasking While Watching TV
• Second Screen Behaviors
• Operating Systems (Mobile)
• Operating Systems (Tablets)
• Handset Brand Ownership
• Mobile Actions
• Mobile Activities: All Activities
• Mobile App Types (Downloaded)
• Mobile App Types (Used)
• Mobile Apps Active Usage: Named Apps
To explore the themes covered in this chapter in more detail, please see our GWI Device report and download the following datapacks from our
• Real-Time Fans are highly social in character: they devote
a longer period of time each day to social networking, they
are more likely to have accounts on the top platforms and
they are visiting networks the most frequently.
• Overall, Facebook is still the most popular service outside
of China; over 50% of Real-Time Fans are actively using it
each month. Three platforms share the honors for second-
place: Google+, Twitter and YouTube.
• This audience is more likely to be carrying out a wide range
of behaviors on Facebook, including photo sharing (90%)
and clicking the “like” button (69%).
• Over 50% of Real-Time Fans are “following” their favorite
brands. They over-index the most for following sports stars
but are also notably ahead in relation to TV presenters and
As we saw in the previous chapter, Real-
Time Fans are big users of social apps –
something which reflects high levels of
enthusiasm for social networking more
This manifests itself through the daily
time that people say they typically
spend on social platforms; Real-Time
Fans are the most likely to say they are
networking for more than 2 hours and
the least likely to report spending no time
at all on these services.
GWI’s survey tracks the numbers who say they have accounts on more than 40
social platforms as well as those who are actively using them on a monthly basis.
In both cases, Real-Time Fans post strong figures.
Chart 8: Time Spent Social Networking
Chart 9: Usage of Social Networks: The Top 10
Question: Roughly how many hours do you spend on social networking during a typical day? ///
Source: Source: GlobalWebIndex Q1 2014 /// Base: Internet Users aged 16-64
Question: On which of the following services do you
have an account? Which of the following services have
you used or contributed to in the past month using any
type of device? e.g. PC/Laptop, Mobile phone, Tablet, etc
/// Source: Source: GlobalWebIndex Q1 2014 /// Base:
Internet Users aged 16-64 , exc. China
Outside of China, Facebook is the clear leader once more; nearly 90% of Real-Time Fans have an account, with just over 50% saying that
they have contributed to or used the service within the last month. It’s also worth noting that 54% of active Facebook users within the
Real-Time group say that they visit the service more than once a day. This is higher than the equivalent figures for Part-Time Fans or the
Not Interested group. So, Real-Time Fans are not just more likely to be using Facebook, they’re also using it more frequently than others.
Three platforms compete for second position behind Facebook: Google+, YouTube and Twitter, all used by about 30% of Real-Time Fans
each month. Usage among this audience is typically about 10% higher than among the Not Interested group, rising to 15% in the case of
Google+. This trend is in fact pretty consistent throughout the whole of the top 10; Real-Time Fans are uniformly more likely to be active
users on all of the biggest global platforms. The only exception to this is Pinterest; this a platform on which women consistently over-
index, and hence their greater representation in the Not Interested group is the reason behind this.
If we turn our attention to China (excluded from the figures above), a slightly different picture emerges.
Here, global platforms such as Google+ and
Facebook fall to the lower half of the top ten (with
large numbers accessing them via VPNs: see our
Market Report on China for more information), to
be replaced by names such as Sina Weibo, Qzone
and Tencent Weibo.
For the global services, we see can see that
Real-Time Fans are once more ahead in terms of
membership and usage (over 50% of Real-Time
Fans have a Google+ account, compared to just
30% in the Not Interested group). But this pattern
is less pronounced, and slightly less consistent,
on the local Chinese platforms; Real-Time Fans
might lead on Sina Weibo and Tencent Weibo, for
example, but they lag a little on Qzone.
Nevertheless, the socially engaged nature of Real-
Time Fans is still evident here: while just 15% of
this audience say they haven’t used or contributed
to any service within the last month, this jumps to
33% among those who are Not Interested in the
Chart 10: Usage of Social Networks in China: The Top 10
Question: On which of the following services do you have an account? Which of the following services
have you used or contributed to in the past month using any type of device? e.g. PC/Laptop, Mobile phone,
Tablet, etc /// Source: GlobalWebIndex Q1 2014 /// Base: Internet Users aged 16-64 in China
Real-Time Fans are not just more
likely to be using networks in the
first place, they are more likely to be
carrying out a range of key behaviors.
If we take the top ten actions on
Facebook as an example, Real-Time
Fans have a consistent lead over the
other groups – whether in relation
to uploading photos (90%) and
messaging friends (78%) or to some
of the most commercially relevant
behaviors such as clicking the “like”
button (69%) or following branded
pages and groups (64%). In fact, the
latter action is where this audience
over-indexes the most – showing just
how amenable they are to branded
interactions inside social spaces.
With the exception of people known in
line with other groups – this audience
is also more likely to be “following” all
of the categories tracked in our chart.
It’s hardly surprising to see them
over-indexing the most for following
sports stars – something that nearly
50% of this group are doing – but they
are also notably ahead in relation to
journalists and TV presenters.
Chart 11: Top 10 Activities
Question: Which of the following types of people or organizations do you prefer to follow online via
social media services (i.e. Facebook, Twitter, etc.)? /// Source: GlobalWebIndex Q1 2014 /// Base:
Internet Users aged 16-64
Chart 12: Social Following
• Time Spent on Social Networks
• Social Platform Usage Frequency
• Account Ownership, Social Platforms
• Active Usage, Social Platforms
• Facebook Behaviors (PC, Mobile, Tablet)
• Types of People & Organizations Followed
To explore the themes covered in this chapter in more detail, please see our GWI Social report and download the following data packs from our
Question: Thinking about Facebook, which of the following activites have you done in the last month?
/// Source: GlobalWebIndex Q1 2014 /// Base: Active Facebook Users aged 16-64
• Although branded websites are the biggest touchpoint
between Real-Time Fans and brands, social channels play
a comparatively important role in the process; about a third
of this audience say they’ve “liked” a brand or product in the
last month, and they over-index strongly for interactions via
• Online articles are the biggest source of information about
new products and brands. However, social networks and
micro-blogs are once again highly influential here.
• Real-Time Fans are highly susceptible to rewards and
incentives – both within the purchase journey and as a
reason to promote a brand online.
For Real-Time Fans, articles on online newspaper and magazine sites are the most
important source of information about new brands, products and services. Nearly 60%
of this audience cite it as a discovery channel (versus just 44% among the Not Interested
Compared to others, the Real-Time Fan audience is less slightly influenced by
recommendations from friends and in-store promotions/displays. In contrast, there are
a number of digital sources that have much greater sway. Real-Time Fans are nearly
twice as engaged with updates on a brand’s social network or micro-blog and also place
a much stronger than average premium on reviews written by experts.
Question: In which of the following ways are you most likely to find out about new brands, products, or services?
/// Source: GlobalWebIndex Q1 2014 /// Base: Internet Users aged 16-64
Chart 13: Brand Discovery
Overall, Real-Time Fans are
the most engaged group with
brands: just 10% say they have
not interacted with a brand in
any way over the last month,
noticeably below the 26% for the
Not Interested segment.
Branded websites remain the most important touchpoint; 60% of the Real-Time Fans say that they visit them on a monthly basis.
Once again, though, it’s social channels which play a significant role here. Real-Time Fans are more likely than others to “like” a brand
(37%) or visit its social networking page (31%). And, significantly, they over-index the most when it comes to asking questions to brands
on a micro-blog and sharing content inside branded communities. In each case, they are more than three times as likely to be doing this
as the Not Interested group. As we’ve seen elsewhere, it’s clear that this is a highly digitally savvy and social audience.
Chart 14: Brand Interactions
Question: Which of the following brand-related actions have you done in the past month?
/// Source: GlobalWebIndex Q1 2014 /// Base: Internet Users aged 16-64
Chart 15: Factors Influencing Purchase Decisions
It is financial rewards such as coupons and discounts which exert the biggest positive
impact over purchase journeys – a trend that holds true across all three of the audiences
in our chart. Customer reviews and feedback take second place; once again, influence
is equal in all groups here.
Further down the list, though, there are differences to be seen. Relative to other
groups, Real-Time Fans place an extremely high premium on being able to connect
with other fans of a brand. And, in line with their highly social nature overall, they
also over-index for socially integrated customer service and retail stores (the latter
having an especially strong impact in APAC, where social commerce is particularly well
Question: Which of the following online activities from a brand are most likely to positively influence your consideration
to purchase? /// Source: GlobalWebIndex Q1 2014 /// Base: Internet Users aged 16-64
Rewards and incentives are important
once more when we examine the factors
most likely to convince Real-Time Fans
to promote a brand online.
Over two thirds (67%) of this audience
list financial rewards or gifts as positive
influencers, making them (by far) the top
option. There’s little difference between
the groups here, though. This is also the
case for the second most popular option
– simple love of a brand.
Elsewhere, Real-Time Fans stand apart
from others for the value they attach
to things like a one-to-one relationship
with a brand (29%, vs. 13% among the Not
Interested group) or access to exclusive
content (25% vs. 13%). Status is also
important for Real-Time Fans: relative
to others, they see significant appeal
in boosts to their online reputation and
having insider knowledge.
Chart 16: Brand Advocacy
Question: What would most motivate you to promote your favorite brand online? /// Source: GlobalWebIndex Q1 2014
/// Base: Internet Users aged 16-64
• Brand Engagement Touchpoints
• Brand Discovery Touchpoints
• Brand Research Channels
• Communications Power (Online Channels)
• Motivations to Promote Brands
To explore the themes covered in this chapter in more detail, please see our GWI Brand report and download the following data packs from our
Head of Trends
E firstname.lastname@example.org /// T +44 20 7731 1614
A Bedford House, 69-79 Fulham High Street,
London, SW6 3JW, England