Top 30 Sailing Brands on Facebook – Update at August 1.
There are some statistics that might be flawed, but nevertheless when applied across time in a consistent manner, provide valuable insights. While the number of Facebook likes a particular brand or athlete has is not a rigorous test of popularity or marketing success, it provides a good proxy for who is managing to engage what one might call – the Facebook generation.
There has been no change in the top 10 yacht racing brands for whom we monitor Facebook likes. Average monthly growth for the properties monitored was 6.02%. The fastest growing property in percentage terms was once again Oman Sail (18.57%).
With 100 days to go, the Volvo Ocean Race continues to grow its Facebook fanbase at about 4% per month. With about 7 days until the first America’s Cup World Series event, the America’s Cup is growing at 11% a month, but off a low base. The real numbers are more interesting than the percentages.
In January, the Volvo Ocean Race had 35,187 likes. The America’s Cup had 3,521. The Cup has a stated aim to make Facebook a fundamental piece of the communications platform for the new format and have invested heavily in marketing and communications for a specific audience. However since January, the Volvo Ocean Race has acquired 9,832 new likes, while the America’s Cup has managed just 6,901. In the same period, Alex Thomson Racing, which also has a stated preference for developing social media, acquired 9,767 likes.
Last week, Grant Dalton said that Emirates Team New Zealand would “live in social”, as a result of the America’s Cup protocol forcing the team to redirect their URL to the official page. The team has partnered withDELL to get their heads around Facebook and Twitter. Last month, the team’s Facebook likes grew at 12% to 2,903, but there is a long way to go to rival ORACLE Racing’s 15,329. In fact, Emirates Team NZ still have to overtake Alinghi and Mascalzone Latino yet.
If the future of the America’s Cup is the Facebook Generation, then marketing people need to get a lot better at talking to them. If the America’s Cup is the F1 of sailing, then Teams like ORACLE need to find another 340,000 or so likes to rival a team like McLaren.
Elsewhere in sailing, smaller events show how different strategies for Social Media are working out with that audience. In April, the Audi Med Cup had 1,681 likes. The World Match Racing Tour had 2,389. At the end of July, the Audi Med Cup has passed the World Match Racing Tour and now has 3,398 likes versus the WMRT with 3,247. The Audi Med Cup grew at 16.13% in July while the World Match Racing Tour grew at 9.47%. Again – the World Match Racing Tour has a stated aim of making Social Media a large part of their communications platform, while the Audi Med Cup is growing more organically.
The phrase – lies, damn lies and statistics should be kept in mind when reading these things. Of course there are other factors and at the end of the day, Facebook is only one media platform. However, all things being equal, it does provide a baseline measure to compare how different marketing folks are performing.
So with months still to run until the Volvo Ocean Race, their fans like what they see. Oman Sail is showing that having strong national ties is also a good way to get people to like you andAlex Thomson Racing has shown that if you actually employ people who know what they are doing, you can get great results.