Women's Football and the J-League Dominate Twitter in February 2020
Before running through the observations that can be drawn from the latest results, it is important to make note of the unprecedented times that the world currently finds itself in with the ongoing threat of Coronavirus, and the suspension of football in some regions during February that lead to some very interesting outcomes in terms of the movers and shakers in the top 25.
Although the professional game may currently be on hold, the interest and desire for content from fans the world over certainly isn’t and as challenging as these times are proving the world over, they do represent a new opportunity for rightsholders of all sizes to eke out a unique foothold through the creation and delivery of captivating content.
With the J-League being one of the first to be suspended as a result of COVID-19, the first observation we can draw is the progress made by clubs from this region during February. Japanese clubs have been able to capitalise on the increased demand for content by engaging effectively, even with the lack of match day activity. As such, this saw six Japanese teams climb into the top 25, with Vissel Kobe actually topping the list.
With recent high profile signings in the shape of Andres Iniesta, Thomas Vermaelen and the recently retired David Villa, Vissel Kobe have understandably attracted global interest, and it’s the utilisation of these legends in club content that has enabled them to grow their following during this period of uncertainty in which Japan’s professional league has been suspended.
Another key trend to we have identified from February’s activity is the progress made by Women’s leagues and clubs during this period. As with the Men’s, many of the major Women’s leagues have been suspended in recent weeks, and interestingly, it would appear that many of the Women’s teams have adapted better to the shift in demand for content than some of the Men’s teams.
In particular, the NWSL and teams within it have performed well, with Orlando Pride one of the biggest climbers moving up to second behind Vissel Kobe in the Top 25. Utilising star players such as Sydney Leroux, the partner of Orland City’s Dom Dwyer, has enabled fans to get an idea of what their favourite players are up to during in periods of isolation to prevent the spread of COVID-19.
Since the turn of the month, professional leagues across the world have followed the early example set by the likes of the J-League and NWSL by suspending play in an effort to contain and control the Coronavirus outbreak, so it will be interesting to see the key developments in best practice over the next few weeks, and ascertain who has been able to make the best of a bad situation.
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