Which football clubs are top of the league in social and responsive design?

James is editor in chief of TechForge Media, with a passion for how technologies influence business and several Mobile World Congress events under his belt. James has interviewed a variety of leading figures in his career, from former Mafia boss Michael Franzese, to Steve Wozniak, and Jean Michel Jarre. James can be found tweeting at @James_T_Bourne.

With the FIFA World Cup just two days away, new research from Brand Perfect has revealed that Real Madrid, Manchester United and Barcelona are among the best football clubs in social media and website optimisation.

The research, which analysed the top football leagues in Brazil, England, Germany and Spain, found that only 18% of the clubs examined had online presences to work responsively across both smartphones and tablets, with 36% having separate mobile domains.

In England, only Arsenal and Sunderland had sites which were separate for desktop, mobile and tablet and were responsive. There were five Spanish clubs which had attained this (Atletico Madrid, Barcelona, Real Madrid, Real Valladolid, Valencia), alongside three German clubs (Bayern Munich, Borussia Dortmund, Nurnberg) and four Brazilian clubs (Atletico PR, Flamengo, Goias, Santos), leaving the Premier League trailing.

Barcelona and Real Madrid were the most popular clubs on Twitter and Facebook, with 85m and 72m global followers and likes respectively. To put this in perspective Manchester United came third with 47m. Bayern Munich is an interesting case here – even though the Bavaria club trailed behind with nearly 15m social followers, the club has its own social network, called myFCB.

This global appeal can be noticed in the various languages the clubs transmit their message across. Chelsea maintains Twitter profiles in 13 different languages, adding almost 10% of its followers to its 3.5m-strong current feed. Manchester City have language support for 11 languages other than English, whilst Barcelona have nine.

Similarly, some clubs prefer to target a specific market. Everton has a Thai-optimised site, although this can be readily explained by the club’s long-running sponsorship with Thai beer firm Chang.

Overall however, La Liga has 42 instances of other languages aside from Spanish being offered across the league, followed by the Premier League (31) and the Bundesliga (30), with Brazil (14) trailing.

According to Forbes’ latest rankings, Real Madrid, Barcelona and Manchester United are the wealthiest clubs, with Bayern Munich and Arsenal completing the top five. However, Deloitte reported in January that Manchester United had dropped out of the top three for the first time in the company’s rich list, with Bayern Munich taking third spot and French club PSG stealing fifth.

What are your thoughts on these results? You can find the full report here.

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