Yacht Racing Facebook ‘League Table’. 20

Update: The Yacht Racing Facebook League Table will be updated here…

There is no doubt that digital technologies that allow sports fans to get closer to their favorite teams and players have changed the communications landscape. But for all the hype, all the self appointed social media gurus, has sailing got it right yet?

At the World Yacht Racing Forum in December, Richard Worth of the Americas Cup Event Authority suggested that social media would be the vehicle to bring the new deal cup to the masses – perhaps making a promise to deliver Russell coutts’ vision of sailing for the Facebook Generation.

At the same event Richard Hosford from Hugo Boss racing told the audience that the sponsor put a value on a Facebook fan – the reasoning, which makes sense, is that a Facebook fan is a known individual who can be communicated with personally over time.

For most sailing properties, the interactive nature of social media – at least on the platforms that are most recognisable – like Facebook and Twitter, is not utilised or embraced.

Most sailing communications departments are staffed by old-school PRs who have a broadcast mentality. Some have come around to an idea of ‘narrow-cast’ but few are comfortable with the ‘back-channel’ which invites praise and criticism alike, in real time to a mass audience. For example – the recent Zhik Moth Worlds, which delivered exciting sailing, amazing photos and thrilling video never provided me an answer to my Facebook question – “where is the best place for spectators to watch the action?”

If an event is going to put social media on its media plan, then they have to be prepared to respond to questions from fans. Pushing out tons of content on another channel is only half the job.

While pure numbers is not everything in social media, we thought it might be interesting to do a quick Facebook League Table for sailing… Sorry if we’ve missed some, we’ll continue to build this and maintain it if people find it useful.

Yacht Racing Facebook League Table

  1. Volvo Ocean Race – 35,187 fans
  2. Sailing Anarchy – 12,464 fans
  3. BMW ORACLE – 12,413 fans
  4. Giovanni Soldini – 7,093 fans
  5. Oman Sail – 5,989 fans
  6. Extreme Sailing Series – 4,155 fans
  7. US Sailing Team Alphagraphics – 3,949 fans
  8. Quantum Racing – 3,869 fans
  9. America’s Cup (Official) – 3,521 fans
  10. Barcelona World Race – 3,254 fans
  11. Scuttlebutt – 3,251 fans
  12. Alinghi – 3,088 fans
  13. Michel Desjoyeaux – 2,293 fans
  14. World Match Racing Tour – 2,257 fans
  15. Velux 5 Oceans – 2,196 fans
  16. Alex Thomson Racing – 2,000 fans
  17. Ben Ainslie – 1,896 fans
  18. Cammas Groupama – 1,789 fans
  19. Australian Sailing Team – 1,651 fans
  20. Loick Peyron – 1,486 fans
  21. Artemis Racing – 1,456 fans
  22. Paul Cayard – 1,296 fans
  23. St Francis Yacht Club – 1,113 fans
  24. Perth 2011 – 761 fans
  25. Zhik Moth Worlds – 746 fans

Comparitive numbers

  • Lance Armstrong (Cyclist) –  1,569,532 fans
  • Dale Earnhardt Jr (NASCAR) – 748,363 fans
  • Venus Williams – 654,805 fans
  • Jimmie Johnson (NASCAR) – 487,161
  • England Rugby – 169,647 fans
  • Jenson Button (F1) – 147,228 fans
  • Red Bull Racing (F1) – 117, 914 fans
  • Jessica Watson (Sailor)- 11,356 fans
  • Nicky Einthoven

    North Sails 20,994
    North Sails One Design 1726
    Bring the America’s Cup Sailing Venue Back Home to Newport Rhode Island! 8514
    US SAILING 7199
    33ACup 13,848
    Laser 7025
    Laser Performance Sailboats 3278
    ISAF Connect to Sailing 6646
    West Marine 4215
    Be Your Own Sailing Coach 3648
    Harken 2115
    Sailing World Cup 2407
    APS Annapolis Performance Sailing 1336
    KO Sailing 1099
    Team Tunnicliffe 1330
    Chesapeake Light Craft: Wooden Boat Kits 2412
    Wooden Boat Foundation 1066

  • Babay

    How can you compare sailing with tennis, Nascar or F1???? Sailing will NEVER become as popular as those sports.

    Within sailing though it is surprising to see how popular the VOR is compared to the AC!!

  • Guest

    PUMA Ocean Racing – 10.197, they’re doing an awesome job on FB!

  • Guest

    PUMA Ocean Racing – 10.197, they’re doing an awesome job on FB!

  • Some good one there. The first version was just an idea really, but it has taken off.
    We might split it out into brands v events.

    Bear in mind that YachtSponsorship.com is about racing and the pro end of the sport.

    We’ll add in North Sails (though a proportion of these fans will not be racers).
    The 33Acup is not a current account – not engaging with fans therefore not included.

  • Good spot. Will be added to the next edition of the list which now lives here: http://www.yachtsponsorship.com/yacht-racing-resources/yacht-racing-facebook-fan-chart/

  • Yachts and Yachting Magazine 5,856
    Seahorse Magazine 1221
    Royal Ocean Racing Club 1385

  • Thanks Luke: On the list for the update. Y&Y looks like a contender for ‘new entry’…

  • Paul Miller

    Antigua Sailing Week 1,585
    St Maarten Heineken Regatta 2,723

  • Guest

    I think Cammas has something like 19,000 !!

  • The Jessica Watson (Official) page actually has 27,718, I guess that shows how much mainstream press she managed to get. There has been no update since December, but the ‘fans’ remain.
    Meanwhile Dee Caffari has a lowly 419. Yet hers is the more active site…more work to do obviously.

  • Nicky Einthoven

    North Sails One – Design only has 150 or so. I find it interesting that the shorter, easier to remember name, is the one with the most members.
    West Marine, KO Sailing, and the two wooden boat ones are the only non-racing ones.
    Since you are the pro-end of the sport and are involved with sponsorship: after you become a good sailor, what are the events to participate in to potentially represent the US in the olympics?


    Royal Hong Kong Yacht Club (www.facebook.com/RHKYC) has 2,364

  • Think is good.. but LINK to the page with 19,000 would be even better.

  • PYL

    Trimaran Banque Populaire, currently sailing against the clock : http://www.facebook.com/pages/Maxi-Banque-Populaire-V/149056934235
    3 307 fans

  • PYL

    The good link : http://www.facebook.com/franck.cammas
    18,930 fans…

  • Thanks for the link – puts them in 2nd place on the table http://www.yachtsponsorship.com/yacht-racing-resources/yacht-racing-facebook-fan-chart/

  • I help companies manage their social media and set up Facebook Fan pages, happy to help if there are people our there who need some help.

  • charlesb

    Roland Jourdain – Canyousea Veolia : 2545


  • charlesb

    Roland Jourdain – Canyousea Veolia : 2545