World Cup Digital
If you’re a fan, I don’t have to tell you what’s coming up in South Africa starting Saturday June 11th.
If you’re not a fan, you probably don’t care, anyhow.
But you should.
Because I expect this is going to be the largest demonstration of global social media in the history of mankind.
I’m talking, of course, about the World Cup futbol championship being hosted this year in the great country of South Africa.
Once again, my tickets didn’t show up in the mail, but that’s okay, because back to my previous point, this will be the most covered sporting event, or event of any kind, ever when it comes to the social media.
Hyperbole, dear Turbo, you say?
Well, let’s start with the estimated 1B+ expected “watchers” around the globe (I suspect that number is too conservative, but it’s a good starting point).
The World Cup is, after all, the biggest sporting event in the world, bar none.
In 2010, there will be 32 teams from countries around the globe competing for the World Cup championship. In 2006, during the last World Cup (it’s hosted every four years), social media as we know it today was nascent.
There was no Twitter until about the time the tournament started, and only in September of that year did Facebook open up fully to the public. YouTube was still a wee lad.
Facebook now has over 400M users, Twitter over 150M, and who knows how many YouTubers are out there.
So, what’s my recipe for following the action?
Well, in these United States, for starters get yourself a big screen TV, access to ESPN, and a DVR. Some games will logically appear in U.S. primetime, but for others you’ll want to watch the DVR replay at your convenience.
Which means you’re going to have to carefully watch and possibly hedge your social media habits.
The last thing you want to do is find out the U.S. beat England in the opening round of Group C (Hey, it happened in 1950 in Brazil, and I can certainly wish it to happen again!). Or, whomever your favorite team might be.
Which means you’ll need to carefully keep track of the schedule, so you know which of your teams is playing when, and instigating your own self-propelled social media blackout until such time as you can watch that replay without some Twit ruining it for you!
For my money, the World Cup Schedule iPhone/iPad app (V. 1.1) was key. I think it cost me $.99 U.S. cents and gives me a full view of the groups and playing calendar (up through currently scheduled games, as well as mid-tourney games the teams for which will be decided in the first two weeks).
I also downloaded the 2010 FIFA World Cup application from ESPN (see screenshot below), which also provides schedules, as well as team and venue overviews and a countdown clock (as of this writing, we’re 8 days, 19 hours, 55 minutes, and 28…27…26…seconds away from the first kick).
If you are a highlights junkie, your iPhone or iPad won’t be complete without the “100 Best Soccer Goals” application (also $.99 U.S. cents).
Once downloaded, don’t forget to watch Roberto Carlos’ “Best Goal Ever” during a France/Brazil Tournoi de France match in 1997, a free kick in which the ball bends it into the net way beyond David Beckham.
Of course, let’s also not forget the official FIFA Web site, fifa.com, which is also intending to interact with a number of key social media sites, including Twitter and Facebook.
And I’m sure there are a gazillion other resources that I don’t yet know about.
The key is this: Find the ones that work for you, get them ready in advance of the tournament, and be prepared to talk trash to your friends around the world throughout the tournament.
As to who the winner is…well, the U.S. is generally given around 80-1 odds to win.
Though I’ll certainly be rooting for them (and give it up, we do have one of the world’s greatest goalkeepers in Tim Howard), I have a feeling the winners this year are going to be either Brazil or Spain.
But why should you listen to me, I’m an American!
What in the world do I know about soccer???
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