July 21, 2022
The UEFA Women’s EURO 2022 had a record-breaking group stage both on and off the pitch. From match attendance to website visits, audience figures have reached a new high for women’s football. As a result, the tournament has quadrupled its following across social channels. Engagement is also up, as fans both new and old take to social media to discuss matches, players and surrounding topics. With the quarter finals about to kick off, we analysed the online conversation from July 6th – 19th to uncover three key insights from what we’ve seen so far.
1. Beth Mead is the favourite
Since scoring the opening goal of the Women’s EURO 2022, Beth Mead has been trending. As the current top goal-scorer, is the most talked about player in this year’s games. After winning the first match, Mead went on to score a hat-trick against Norway, which ended in a remarkable 8-0 defeat. Finally, she scored in the second half against Northern Ireland, helping to England’s place in the quarter finals. Over the past nine months, Mead has bagged a total of four England hat-tricks. Her impressive football career has undoubtedly assisted in boosting exposure for the tournament. In fact, online conversation around the Women’s EURO spiked on every England match day so far. One particular comment reads, “I can definitely see Beth Mead challenging for the Golden Boot in this tournament, I would not bet against her due to her fantastic goal scoring record.”
2. Male users continue to dominate the conversation
Despite collective efforts to make football more inclusive, men continue to dominate the conversation around the sport. As a result, 65% of online mentions for UEFA Women’s Euro came from male users. This is perhaps unsurprising when considering the history of women’s football – did you know that it was banned by the FA for almost 50 years?! However, there is hope – #hopeunited to be exact. On July 4th, EE launched its Hope United campaign to tackle online sexist hate. Though it targets men specifically, female users have been more reactive to the movement. Since the launch, use of both hashtags #hopeunited and #notherproblem has been largely women-led. This shows us that actions to create a safer online environment have encouraged female engagement.
3. The BBC: an unpopular choice
Though the BBC offers accessible, AD-free viewing, the broadcaster has been met with criticism throughout the games. Negative sentiment is driven by complaints ranging from out-of-sync audio to political agenda. One Twitter user writes,“why have bbc got the rights to the women’s euros if they aren’t even going to do any pre match? stop waffling about the tories, give the england women a proper pre match – incredibly disrespectful.” Another tweet reads, “@bbcsport why oh why can the BBC not get the sound right on the women’s euros. Struggle to hear pundits or commentary most games in these Euros unlike previous mens matches. Get your act together.” It seems the BBC has failed to give the UEFA Women’s EURO its full attention, and it’s clear for the fans to see.
Though there’s still a long way to go, progress is certainly being made. One sure way to secure its path is to make sure the audience has plenty to talk about. We at Ten Bear are very much looking forward to what the next stages bring!
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