According to recent research by Twitter, football is the most popular sport on the platform in Saudi Arabia, with fans taking to the platform to celebrate victories, watch live tournament analysis or cheer for their teams. In fact, there were 91 million Tweets around the 2019-20 Saudi Professional League (SPL) season.
As the much anticipated 2020-21 season of SPL kicked off, a campaign took place on Twitter to celebrate the return of football in a light hearted way.
Launched on 19 October, 2020 under the hashtag #The League’s Spirit, the first day of the campaign saw Twitter’s account in the Middle East (@TwitterMENA) invite the comedians to share their takes on their best SPL commentary moments. These were shared through voice Tweets, which add a more human experience to conversations and allowed the comedians to add their own personal style to the commentary. Currently being tested with people on iOS, everyone on Twitter is able to hear voice Tweets and reply to them, regardless if the feature is available to them or not.
“Fans have always turned to Twitter to be part of the action in real time. We’re seeing the passion and energy of the football stadium now surging online. Twitter is where fans, players, experts and leagues weigh in with a range of viewpoints. With humor being a key element of Twitter conversation in Saudi, the campaign brought levity to a much anticipated event in the Kingdom,” stated Kinda Ibrahim, Director of Media Partnerships, Middle East and North Africa, Twitter.
The focus of the second day of the campaign was around the much talked about Video Assistant Referee (VAR) technology. Throughout the last SPL season alone, there were more than 160,000 Tweets around VAR. The comedians created their own VAR moments through humorous video content shared on the platform.
The final day of the campaign will highlight some feel good football Tweets, through the participation of the comedians and the general public.
As per the 2020 research done by GroupM in Saudi Arabia 73% of people on Twitter are football fans and 85% of them use Twitter to follow along while watching a game on TV. The respondents also said that they use Twitter to follow the official accounts of players (27%), to check out the latest video clips (38%) and to view pre-match news and post-match analysis (28%).