Swiss Super League club FC Basel has a Facebook following more than 1 million strong, but only about 18,000 of them live in Basel. David Bauer and Moritz Stefaner created the FC Basel Social Media fan map at Tageswoche.ch to show how far the support for FC Basel reaches.
Due to FC Basel’s constant dominance in Swiss football and regular appearances in European competitions, such as the UEFA Champions League or the UEFA Europa League, interest in and sympathy for the club arose from many different angles of the world. In addition, Mohamed Salah‘s transfer-story, from Basel to Chelsea, received a decent amount of attention, especially in Egypt. And what easier and faster way to keep oneself updated with what happens at FC Basel than through social media?
Amount of likes from abroad
The Egyptian cities of Alexandria and Cairo record a collective 230,000 FC Basel Facebook fan page likes. Iraq and Saudi Arabia pass the 10,000 likes mark individually, and countries such as Kuwait, Sudan, Algeria, Morocco and Tunisia all fall in the 4-digit likes region. Brazil, Peru, Mexico, the USA and South-East Asia are all home of hundreds of FC Basel likers.
The research wasn’t as easy as one might think. Bauer and Stefaner explain the difficulty of the undertaking as follows:
We wanted to know more in detail, where 1 million FC Basel fans can be found. One would assume that it is easy to extract that information from Facebook’s database, since the majority of fans provide information about their domicile. However, Facebook only discloses the amount of fans from 40 cities; the cities with most fans.
Together with FC Basel, we have analyzed two years worth of data. Because the top 40 cities changed over time, we were able to record the amount of fans from more than 100 cities and towns. But that also means that we can’t identify fans of those places that have never appeared in the top 40.
A great way to do marketing research
I find this to be a great tool for clubs to find out which regions (domestic AND international) are interested in their brand. Such research can give insights into possible new merchandise distribution channels, co-operation opportunities, sponsorship deals etc. Definitely an opportunity clubs should not leave untapped.
Click here, if you’re a FC Basel supporter, to help Bauer and Stefaner collect more relevant information for their research.
I was wondering the definition of “fan”. Is it necessary that someone needs to be fan of only one club?
Legitimate question. Wikipedia defines a “fan” as ‘a person who is enthusiastically devoted to something, such as a band, a sports team or entertainer. Collectively, fans of a particular thing or person constitute its fanbase or fandom. They may show their enthusiasm by being members of a fan club, holding or participating in fan conventions, creating fanzines, writing fan mail, or by promoting the object of their interest and attention.’ In my opinion, a person can be a fan or supporter of different football clubs. Maybe she or he supports BVB in Germany, Chelsea in England, Avispa in Japan etc. However, I can imagine that many hardcore fans might put all their energy in supporting only one club.