A study conducted by Papadi Integrated Marketing on the 10th of April 2012 has revealed that Kaizer Chief’s currently occupy the lion’s share of Facebook fans with over 77% of the 426,312 total fans surveyed on Facebook.
The study was conducted by searching for each football club on Facebook combining the PSL and NFD teams. Where multiples pages (and groups) where found, the largest following per page/group was listed.
Facebook pages (with the new timeline format) are now becoming a popular form of posting useful information on SA football clubs and are replacing the older (now defunct) Facebook groups. Facebook pages contain a rich source of information for fans including club information, photos, events, next games, player profiles and lots more.
Household names such as Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates, Mamelodi Sundowns, Ajax Cape Town and Amazulu FC represent the "top five" PSL clubs, whereas FC Cape Town, Mpumalanga Black Aces and Maritzburg Utd occupy the top three NFD team pages. Black Aces currently need only 35 more "LIKES" to occupy the top spot and are currently tied with Maritzburg United. No doubt, they will be drumming up support soon to celebrate this milestone.
Football clubs such as Kaizer Chiefs are now going to great lengths to integrated content on Facebook, Twitter and their websites to increase the number of channels (mobile, web and social media) used to target fans and secure consumers. Chief’s though, still have a long way to reach the 23,850,070 "LIKES" held by Manchester United – that’s only 1.3%. FC Barcelona exceeds Manchester United though with 29 million "LIKES" and Real Madrid weighs in at 26 million fans.
Individual players are gaining even more support than clubs it would seem – Christiano Ronaldo leads the charge with 42M fans followed by Lionel Messi (34M) and David Beckham (17M). Kaka of Brazil, Andres Iniesta and Steven Gerrard follow suite. Michael Jordan, Reggie Bush, Roger Federer, Lewis Hamilton and Sachin Tendulkar all lead their respective categories. Other brand leaders in their respective categories include BMW, MacDonalds, Coca Cola, Disney, Converse, American Express, NBA, Facebook and Expedia - but soccer is clearly the leading sport brand in the world!