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Rafa vs Roger via Facebook

1/08/2011Rafaholics ™

Rafael Nadal catching up Roger Federer in battle for social media number one



WaveMetrix show that the top two tennis players in the world use social media to engage fans with their tennis matches and charity work. Consumers “love” Federer and Nadal as they are “wonderful”, “inspirational” people who do “great work for charity”.
Rafael Nadal has just passed the 5 million fan mark on Facebook. However, he is still trailing Roger Federer who has 5.7 million Facebook fans. The two tennis stars are in the top 5 of world athletes who have the most Facebook fans
However, they are still a long way behind Cristiano Ronaldo, who is number one with over 17 million fans. WaveMetrix compared consumer discussion on the Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal Facebook pages to see what engages consumers and how they are so successful at attracting fans.
WaveMetrix social media monitoring shows that content on Federer and Nadal’s tennis matches and charity work are successful at engaging consumers on their Facebook pages. The consumer response is almost entirely positive, with fans praising the “great” and “inspirational” Federer and Nadal and wishing them “the best” for 2011 and the upcoming Australian Open. While Federer and Nadal use Facebook to promote their tennis and charity work, they do not use it to promote their sponsors.
Fans talk about Rafael Nadal’s tennis matches, charity work and personal qualities:



  •  Fans “wish luck” to Nadal for 2011 and upcoming matches: They respond to content posted by Nadal around his latest matches and say “well done” for the latest victories, “good luck” for “today’s match” and “hope you win the Doha title”. Fans wish Nadal a “great 2011” and are “looking forward” to the Australian Open where they hope to see a “Rafa Slam”

  • Consumers respond to the photos and features about the Nadal Federer charity matches: They “congratulate Rafa and Roger” on their “great work for the children” and say the “awesome” matches were a “great way to make money for your charity foundations”. They say “thanks” for “giving millions to charity” and a few say they have “put in an order” for a piece of the court where Nadal and Federer played one of the charity matches

  •  Fans say they “love” Nadal as he is a “wonderful” person: They say Nadal is a “great person” and “cute” and it is “great to see you and Roger get on so well”. A few say Nadal is the "best tennis player in the world"

Discussion for Federer is very similar in topic to that of Nadal, although fans are more likely to praise Federer’s tennis ability:


  • Fans hope Federer can “get his number one ranking back in 2011”: They wish Roger Federer an “amazing 2011” and say he “will do well this year”. They ask Roger to “show us you are still the best” by “beating Rafa” and “taking the number one ranking back”. A few say Roger will “win the Australian Open again”
  • Federer fans also praise both Roger and Rafa in response to the photos and content on their charity matches: They say Federer and Nadal are the “best combination” and they “loved” watching the “impressive” charity matches. They “thank” both for their “amazing work” for “Action in Africa” that is a “great cause”
  • Fans say Federer is an “inspiration” to people around the world: They say Federer is “great”, “amazing”, “inspirational” and “made tennis interesting”
  • Some say that Federer is the “best tennis player of all time”: They say he is “the best”, an “outstanding sportsman” and look forward to him “breaking more records”

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