Newsjacking The #WorldCup: Pizza, Burgers … And ‘Your Lucky Panties’?

The 2014 FIFA World Cup, which some predict will be the biggest social media sporting event of all time, had its U.S. kickoff today and it didn’t disappoint. An exciting game, with a dramatic 2-1 U.S. victory over Ghana, it generated 4.9 million tweets according to Twitter’s data.

So how did the real-time marketers do? Surprisingly, there was less action than I had expected. Perhaps that’s because soccer is still considered a niche sport in the United States, or perhaps most brand managers were sitting back and nervously watching the game, but there wasn’t much in-the-moment commentary from brands or businesses. No one who tried came anywhere close to hitting an Arby’s-at-the-Grammy’s jackpot.

When brands did chime in, it was mostly words of encouragement for the U.S. team, like this from Sierra Nevada beer:

DiGiorno Pizza, a regular on the newsjacking circuit, joined in several times with tweets that seemed, shall we say, pre-baked:


At least, fast food chain Whataburger appeared to be watching the game, sending a timely tweet immediately after John Brooks scored the tiebreaking goal late:


Humor and sports blog, reacting to U.S. forward Clint Dempsey getting kicked in the nose, also scored:


College Town Life, a user generated guide to campus lifestyle, was following closely:


HBO’s Game of Thrones took the opportunity for a little trash talk about the series finale’s search advantage over the soccer match:


Then there was Victoria’s Secret, which authored : “This game [face screaming in fear emoji] hope you’re all wearing your lucky panties!! #WorldCup #USAvsGhana”

And considering the game’s finish, perhaps that’s the kind of luck the U.S. needed.


What do you think? Are these efforts worth the marketing effort? Did I miss any attempts that hit the mark or fell flat?

Postscript: After the game, the Twitter account of Delta airlines flubbed a congratulatory tweet, by including a picture of a giraffe to represent Ghana, next to a photo of the Statue of Liberty (see screen grab below). The trouble is giraffes aren’t typically found in Ghana. After receiving many complaints, Delta deleted the tweet and apologized.


Postscript II: This post was updated to adjust the total number of tweets about the U.S.-Ghana match.

Related Topics: Channel: Social Media Marketing | Events | Social Media Marketing | Top News | Twitter | World Cup


About The Author: is Third Door Media's Social Media Correspondent, reporting on the latest news for Marketing Land and Search Engine Land. He spent 24 years with the Los Angeles Times, serving as social media and reader engagement editor from 2010-2014. A graduate of UC Irvine and the University of Missouri journalism school, Beck started started his career at the Times as a sportswriter and copy editor. Follow Martin on Twitter (@MartinBeck), Facebook and/or Google+.

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