Maximising Engagement in the Digital Age – Maximising Engagement in the Digital Age , There are many ways that brands can maximise engagement with their customers. Technology and social media play an important role in the process.

As a footballer, Cristiano Ronaldo is a player with extraordinary achievements. This is evident from his statistics as a professional footballer and national team player. He has appeared in more than 1,100 matches, while as a Portuguese national player, he has appeared in more than 200 matches. His individual and team achievements are also remarkable, judging by the number of goals scored or trophies won.

Despite being 38 years old, he still seems to be actively engaged in football matches. Because of this, many suspect that Ronaldo will continue to break the records he has achieved, both as a professional footballer and a Portugal national team player. Not just appearing in matches but also scoring goals.

The latest is what Ronaldo achieved in Saudi Arabia through the Al Nassr club. Apart from increasing the number of appearances in matches and winning the Arab Champion cup, Ronaldo also scored the winning goal. So Ronaldo’s reputation as the Greatest Of All Time (GOAT) is even stronger.

What is interesting and distinguishes Ronaldo from the GOATs of other periods is the achievement in the financial field. Pele did win three World Cups with the Brazilian national team in 3 different decades. He also became the first player to become a major endorser of football matches and has even been made into a biographical film.

But Pele lived in an era where data and statistics were just numbers. Although Pele’s achievements were great records in his day, but in terms of numbers, except for the three-time World Cup winner, they will be inferior to the current era. Starting from the number of spectators of football matches in stadiums or television.

What separates Ronaldo and Pele is the digital achievement. Ronaldo is the first person in the world to have more than 601 million followers on Instagram. Lionel Messi, who is currently also known as GOAT, is still far below Ronaldo because he only has 483 million followers.

Maximising Engagement in the Digital Age
Maximising Engagement in the Digital Age

Pele, despite having a large following for the size of his generation, is still far below him, at 17 million followers. So the leverage is also much more limited than Ronaldo for the endorsement rate. As of 2023 alone, when the number of followers is above 600 million, one endorsement post on Instagram is worth more than US$3.25 million.

That’s why Ronaldo is not only known as a sportsman with many achievements but also one of the richest sportsmen in the world with income above US$ 1 billion. And what distinguishes Ronaldo from other sportsmen who earn above US$ 1 billion is the role of engagement on social media. Although it must be noted that Ronaldo has more one-way communication than two-way communication, as Elon Musk does in a number of posts on Twitter or X.

In addition, Ronaldo is also inferior to Lionel Messi in posts that are liked/liked. Where Lionel Messi has far more number and type of posts that are clicked than Ronaldo. Especially after successfully bringing Argentina to win the World Cup for the third time in Qatar, December 2022. Although Ronaldo is superior to Messi in the number of likes, when simultaneously posting Louis Vuitton endorsements.

If you look at the list of the top 50 Instagram stars based on the number of followers, Ronaldo and Messi represent different characters compared to a number of artists or photo models who have large followers and can be an inspiration for companies. Most importantly, Ronaldo or Messi lack controversy and have positive associations. That is why, Ronaldo and Messi are also very dominant in the top 20 most liked posts in the world, because they have inspirational achievements or achievements.

This is not only done by ordinary people but even among big social media influencers, they are considered inspirational. That’s why many of the world’s major social media influencers were present to witness Lionel Messi’s first match for Inter Miami, such as Kim Kardashian, Lebron James and David Beckham. Incidentally, Messi scored a phenomenal goal that day.

Interestingly, it turns out that the list of the top 50 Instagram stars based on the number of followers is not only filled with popular individuals with various achievements, but also companies or organisations. Nike, a manufacturer of sportswear and equipment, for example, is in 11th place with over 303 million followers. Coincidentally, several Nike-endorsed sportsmen, such as Ronaldo, Neymar, Lebron James and Kylian Mbappe, are among the top 50 Instagram stars by follower count.

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    In fact, apart from these four people, Nike has a long list of famous sportsmen from various endorsed sports, such as Tiger Woods, Rafael Nadal, Kevin Durant and Naomi Osaka. This does not take into account retired sportsmen like Michael Jordan who actually even helped elevate a lesser-known brand to the phenomenal level it is today through co-branding Air Jordan shoes. It even became a cultural icon, including making basketball have far more fans.

    Nike’s achievement is phenomenal, because Adidas, Nike’s closest competitor in sportswear and equipment has far fewer Instagram followers at only 27 million. Even though Adidas also endorses sportsmen such as Lionel Messi and David Beckham who are in the top 50 Instagram stars based on the number of followers. In addition, Adidas also endorses other popular sportsmen such as Mohamed Salah or former big sportsmen such as Zinedine Zidane who also have phenomenal achievements.

    It’s just that when viewed in terms of gender, female athletes endorsed by Nike are far more popular than those endorsed by Adidas, even though they are not included in the top 50 Instagram stars based on the number of followers. From Serena Williams, Naomi Osaka to Australian women’s football player Samantha Kerr are examples of popular female athletes endorsed by Nike. Meanwhile, Adidas has female athletes like Danielle Kang.

    What’s interesting is that female athletes are not only popular in sports but also in other arenas. Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka were included in the special invitation to the Met Gala, an exclusive event that features personalities from various fields looking like no other. This certainly broadens the choice of engagement.

    Nike itself is seriously working on the women’s market. In addition to having a much larger percentage of products for the women’s market than Adidas, Nike also gathered a number of female athletes as part of a think tank for the development of Nike’s women’s products, which are considered Nike’s future market. In the think tank, Nike also included the first hijab-wearing female athlete, Ibtihaj Muhammad, as one of its members. The purpose is partly because Nike also wants to engage with the group of hijab-wearing women, which is a large number in the world and has an attractive market potential in terms of purchasing power and growth.

    In this way, Nike can show that it cares about diversity, one of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), not only in ethnic diversity but also in dress code. A number of world sports federations have also allowed hijab-wearing athletes to appear in world competitions. The latest is the appearance of Moroccan hijab-wearing female athlete, Nouhaila Benzina, in the Women’s World Cup taking place in Australia and New Zealand.

    Of course, Nike took these steps with data in mind. Of the top 50 Instagram stars by follower count, 27 are women and 15 are men. This means that the female market can be a more effective base for community building and has the flexibility to engage because it doesn’t have to be through phenomenal achievements.

    This can be seen from some of the top 50 Instagram stars on the list. Although they don’t have any achievements in competitive events, they have popular television shows like the Kardashians. Incidentally, Robert Kardashian started to attract attention because he was involved in the OJ Simpson trial that many people watched. Robert has daughters with lifestyles that people are curious about. This is evidenced by the popularity of TV shows that showcase the daily life of the Kardashian family.

    Because of its popularity, they easily reach the number of followers. It turns out that they understand how to monetise a large number of followers. They not only offer themselves for endorsement deals, but also sell their own products.

    So they are also known as female business practitioners. Cristiano Ronaldo is no different. Apart from earning money from endorsements, he also sells products under his own brand name.

    However, monetisation is not only possible for individuals, but also for companies like Nike, which dares to spend a lot of money on endorsement deals with top sportsmen. Nike is very strong on Instagram with a huge following. Apparently, investors also see this. That’s why, although in the market Adidas is Nike’s fierce competitor, but in terms of market capitalisation, Nike is much bigger than Adidas in implementing what is known as high budget big impact.

    What is interesting and differentiates Ronaldo with GOAT from other periods is the achievement in finance.

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