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How Brazil won the World Cup 2014 Social Media Match

While Germany won the World Cup 2014 today, Brazil was the clear winner in the Social Media Match fueled by passionate fans. And this social media surge was clearly energized by ESPN, whose ratings were up 46% percent after 48 matches compared to the quarterfinals in 2010 (according to Deadline.com).

Loyal Brazil Fans cheer World Cup 2014 home team at Bella Vista Brazilian Gourmet Pizza in Los Angeles, CA
Loyal Brazil Fans cheer World Cup 2014 home team at Bella Vista Brazilian Gourmet Pizza in Los Angeles, CAby Liz H Kelly
Neymar was #1 World Cup Player on Instagram for Followers
Neymar was #1 World Cup Player on Instagram for Followersby Liz H Kelly

After Brazil’s blowout loss to Germany on July 8, the World Cup 2014 broke all social media records by surpassing the Super Bowl and Olympics in total social mentions, according to a study by Adobe Systems. Brazil's win online was clearly pushed by their passionate fans, who cheered consistently via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram and YouTube.

Some might say the Brazil vs. Germany social media records were caused by disbelief or anger over a humbling defeat, but we believe it was loyal fans! On Facebook, approximately 66 million people created more than 200 million interactions during this historic game, which exceeded the 2014 Super Bowl.

Twitter reported Brazil's surprising loss to Germany in the semi-finals was their most tweeted single sports event ever. According to USA Today, The record-setting 35.6 million tweets beat the previous record of 24.9 million set by Super Bowl 2014.

Beyond this defeat, what pushed Brazil over the top in the World Cup Social Media Match was Instagram. 7 out of 10 of the Most Followed Players on Instagram were from Brazil's National Football Team, with Neymar as #1. These team players received 60 million Likes and comments on Instagram during the World Cup, more than every other World Cup player combined, according to Instagram. And what’s even more fascinating is the photos provide a universal language that everyone can follow.

Top 10 World Cup Players on Instagram*
1. Brazil – Neymar – 8.8 million followers
2. Portugal – Cristiano Ronaldo – 6.2 million followers
3. Argentina – Messi – 4.3 million followers
4. Brazil – David Luiz – 2.3 million followers
5. Brazil – Alves – 2.3 million followers
6. Brazil – Marcelo – 1.9 million followers
7. Brazil – Thiago Silva – 1.8 million followers
8. Spain – Casillas – 1.8 million followers
9. Brazil – Hulk – 1.6 million followers
10. Brazil – Oscar – 1.5 million followers

*Source: Instagram

We were also fortunate to meet PASSIONATE Brazil fans in Los Angeles at Bella Vista Brazilian Gourmet Pizza. After tweeting their cheers via photos and video during the Brazil vs. Chile Shootout and on 4th of July in Brazil vs. Columbia wins, it was sad to see their elimination to Germany. However, these loyal Brazilian fans came back to watch the Third Place Match yesterday, and did not leave until the end, despite a crushing 0-3 loss to the Netherlands

What was even more exciting to see was Brazil fans supporting love.fútbol, a US and Brazil-based nonprofit charity who builds soccer fields for kids in need. Several Brazil National Football Team players supported this cause online and offline. Anderson Hernanes, David Luiz, and Willian Borges posted love.fútbol photos on Instagram. When the Goody Awards (full disclosure, my company) recognized Hernanes with a Golden Goody Award (aka Oscar for social good), fans cheered from around the global on Twitter and Instagram. Hernanes raised over $57,000 for love.futbol via a Prizeo campaign. The winner received a trip to the World Cup to meet Hernanes and the team, and the money raised will help over 1,000 kids to have a safe place to play soccer.

According to the Adobe Systems study, the phrase “World Cup” alone generated 19 million social mentions since June so far in 196 countries, scoring wider reach than the Super Bowl or Olympics.

Congratulations to Brazil for winning the World Cup Social Media Match, and thank you for hosting a month of global PASSION. FIFA World Cup, and we look forward to seeing you back in 4 more years!

© Liz H Kelly @LizHKelly, National Digital Entertainment Columnist and Goody Awards Founder