Feeling the impacts of the World Cup, socially and locally

In a little over a week of games, Facebook saw more than 141 million people interact around the World Cup. That’s more engagement than the social media platform experienced during the Sochi Olympics (45 million), the Super Bowl (50 million), and the last Academy Awards (11.3 million) combined.

All told, there have been over 459 million interactions around the World Cup on Facebook. Much of the chatter on the site is coming from abroad, with 85% of interactions being international. Then again, about 80% of the site’s 1.28 billion users live outside the US.

Twitter has also been lighting up with World Cup fever. The image below shows how many users were “live tweeting” duringSunday night’s USA vs. Portugal game. Facebook has been teeing up to compete with the micro-blogging site, by promoting hashtags surrounding this summer’s biggest storyline.

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The tournament in Brazil is having a significant impact locally as well. Miami businesses are scoring big from Downtown to Doral.

tV1EG.Em.56More Brazil-bound travelers will pass through Miami than any other US city, spelling big business for local hotels capturing overnight stays during stop-overs. Miami is the top US gateway for South American flights, and proving to be the busiest hub for south-bound flights originating in the US — with a 30% expected increase throughout the summer.

At the InterContinental Miami, occupancy has been north of 90 percent during the event’s opening round – a number more typical of mid-January than mid-June.

American Airlines is offering 48-hour stop-overs in Miami at no additional cost for passengers traveling to the tournament, and the Greater Miami Convention & Visitors Bureau has launched a “Miami Soccer Summer” campaign, encouraging visitors in transit to spend more time here before, during or after the event.

FBL-USA-MLS-ENG-BECKHAM-MIAMIIt’s safe to say World Cup fever has hit Miami; more people will tune into the tournament in South Florida than in any other US city. All of this sets up perfectly for the arrival of a David Beckham-led Major League Soccer franchise right here in downtown.

You can read more about how the World Cup is lighting up Facebook here, and about its impact on local businesses in this Miami Herald story.