Newsjacking the #worldcup

By Mark Frary

If you are on Twitter, you won’t need any introduction to the concept of newsjacking. It is the, some say shameless, practice of jumping on board something that is happening in the news and generating some social coverage for your brand. The practice is particularly prevalent in sporting events, with one of the most memorable examples when chocolate and cream biscuit Oreo posted the following picture on its Twitter account when the lights went out during the 2013 Superbowl.

The phenomenon is closely linked to the idea of second-screen use – watching TV while simultaneously using another device, such as a smartphone or tablet. Research by Octagon into second screen usage showed that 76% of adults have used a second screen in the past year while watching a sports match on TV, up from 62% in 2011. the same research showed that 66% of women and 49% of men regularly use Facebook while watching sport while 32% of women and 26% of men regularly use Twitter.

This summer’s football World Cup is likely to be the most watched TV event ever – FIFA is predicting a total audience of 3.2 billion. In the UK, England’s first World Cup match averaged a TV audience of 11.51 million, reaching a peak of 15.65 million, despite not kicking off until 11pm. Other matches, such as Iran-Nigeria, are getting audiences of around 5 million.