Research on the digital behaviour of football fans shows that 65 per cent of UK football followers use their mobile phones to keep tabs on World Cup happenings.
The study, from mobile sports betting platform BETFUZE, reveals that nearly half will also watch games in pubs across the country, with England supporters backing their team financially. Betting operator Coral predicts that over 1 billion pounds’ worth of bets will be placed during the tournament, and over 66 per cent of punters will wager using their mobiles, with inplay bets accounting for up to 70 per cent of all bets placed.
That would be a 750 per cent increase compared to the World Cup in South Africa four years previous, when 9 per cent of bets were placed on mobile.
The provider believes 2014 will see more fans using their mobile devices to find information, access games and updates, share views, place bets and look at results. Social media will be at the core of the World Cup experience, and further research shows that nearly 75 per cent of football fans will be active on social media while watching the game, with 45 per cent saying they will use Facebook and 35 per cent, Twitter.
BETFUZE’s analytic tool, known as the ‘Sentimeter’, allows fans to tap into opinions offered on social media to help predict the outcome of sports events.
However, social media isn’t the only area of increased consumption, with British fans the most likely to watch games in the pub, meaning 32 million extra pints will be consumed before the quarter finals.
CEO Paul McNea says: “Since the last World Cup, we’ve seen a huge increase in fans using their smartphones to follow and bet on sports events. At the last World Cup in 2010 around 9% of bets were placed using a mobile device while this World Cup will see bookmakers like Coral taking up to 66% via mobile. Up to three quarters of all fans will be in pubs and bars to watch the games and will be keeping up to date using social media while they follow the match. Using predictive tools such as the Sentimeter will give them a better experience and will open up sports betting to a new generation of fans, no matter how England perform.”
Despite being the most pessimistic supporters in the World, 90 per cent said they would have taken the day off had Roy Hodgson’s charges won the tournament. FIFA has also revealed that television coverage broke a host of viewing records during the first round matches. 42.9 million watched Brazil and Croatia on Brazilian channel TV Globo, the highest sports broadcast of 2014.
“These record-breaking figures show just how popular football and the FIFA World Cup is across the world, from Japan to Argentina,” said Niclas Ericson, Director of FIFA TV. “We are seeing highly encouraging growth in interest in markets such as the United States and Australia.
“The FIFA broadcast production of all World Cup matches makes this competition truly global and accessible for fans all over the world. It therefore plays a crucial role in supporting FIFA’s core mission to develop football everywhere, and for all.”