Before beginning his adventure as a content creator, Jero Freixas (known for his viral videos of The World Cup Couple) “was very unhappy.” For several years he worked in an office and had already resigned himself to giving up his acting career. But like many professional players, soccer changed his life.
Although Freixas does not consider himself an influencer, he is aware that social networks gave him and his wife, Jose de Cabo, the opportunity to resume their acting career.
“Social networks, specifically YouTube, gave us the possibility of self-managing our work and not waiting for the call or having a contact to enter television or the movies. They gave us the opportunity to live from what we are passionate about: the theater”, he mentions.
The couple of the World Cup -a sketch where a conflict was established in a marriage in the middle of the matches of the 2018 World Cup in Russia- was a phenomenon in Latin America. Although Freixas already had several videos before, this one made his account explode, receiving 3.4 million views. Additionally, he partnered with a brand to produce a series of six videos averaging one million views each.
And it is that soccer is the sport that not only moves passions in the stadiums or the fields, but also in social networks. According to YouTube data, in 2018 more than 5,000 million contents related to the World Cup were uploaded. This made it clear to the company that this is the most popular sport on the platform, just like on Twitter, where 94% of users are fans of the sport and the international tournament.
In addition, the platforms know that each World Cup becomes more digital. On the video platform, for example, in 2018, 108% more interest was generated on the subject than in 2014, while on Twitter 18 million posts were made about it during the month that the tournament lasted and it is expected that the amount increases considerably in this edition.
Manu Bravo, founder of the sports news channel Cracks, already had experience in traditional media, but in 2015 he saw a niche in European football and started uploading videos about it.
Now, the project that he started in his room, with a small camera, is one of the 15 most important sports channels worldwide on YouTube, where he has 5.61 million subscribers, and which has allowed him to play matches with world soccer stars. such as Roberto Carlos or Kaká, in addition to witnessing a Champions League final.
“The taste for soccer does not give you anything, sometimes joys or frustrations, but when you do it professionally from the media, it can give you experiences that you would never have been able to live”, he mentions about his trips, interviews and chronicles about soccer European.
In the World Cup, interest in football is not usually the main thing
On YouTube they have identified an arc regarding the interest of fans in soccer, which ranges from those who are not interested to the fanatic. However, three types of viewers stand out in the middle: those who are curious, those who are occasional and those who are constant but do not reach the level of a fan.
This triad is where 70% of the content in the World Cup is concentrated on the social network, since it is about videos that do not have to do with the results or goals, but with the things that happen around the sport, from culture to products. of comedy and that is where creators like Jero Freixas come in.
Although Freixas’ productions are enjoyed to a greater extent by fans, since they understand the references to teams or players, anyone can identify with them, since they appeal to common feelings and passions for anyone.
“We started making couple videos and people really enjoyed seeing the tension between us. There I began to understand that people like to feel identified, I understood social networks”, he highlights.
In Mexico, the most popular creator related to soccer is Werevertumorro, who started out as a youtuber and later oriented his content towards soccer. He currently has a channel and podcast where he interviews soccer players or people related to sports.
In addition, the phenomenon has also reached the players themselves and now it is common to see videos of Javier “Chicharito” Hernández broadcasting his Call of Duty games or Jesús “Canelo” Angulo making vlogs of his experience as a Chivas player.
In countries like Spain, creators have taken advantage of the momentum of platforms like Twitch to expose their sports content. Examples of this are Ibai Llanos, who even interviewed Lionel Messi, or the streamers DjMariio and TheGrefg, who presented their team’s kits for Qatar 2022 during a live broadcast.
On the second screen of the World Cup, quality content is needed
The role of social media platforms will be closely linked to competition, since they will be used as a second screen in these periods, that is, while fans watch the games, they will also be using a social network to continue consuming content around the games.
In this regard, Bravo, who once had the dream of being a professional soccer player, emphasizes that communicating also carries a responsibility. “There are a lot of people waiting for you to give a piece of news or a piece of information, and great responsibility is also required in digital media. We have fun doing it, but we don’t leave that part aside at a time when there is so much information overload”, he highlights.
Saori Rodríguez, who is also part of the Cracks team and played soccer for several years during her childhood, points out that this responsibility also translates to showing the opportunities that now exist in women’s soccer, since she is fulfilling her dream of working around the sport, in addition to seeing the growth of the women’s league and the impact that players can have to inspire girls and boys.