World Cup Final Shows Strong App Engagement

As the FIFA 2014 World Cup wrapped up with the final match between Germany and Argentina, millions of football fans tuned in. As reported by Localytics during the opening match, fans are voting with their fingers and using apps to supplement their television experience.

Localytics has partnered with Onefootball to analyze the role of mobile apps in World Cup viewership. Onefootball provides live scores and updates from more than 100 international football leagues in over 200 countries. Their Onefootball Brasil app is dedicated to providing live World Cup scores and updates.

The World Cup final showed peak app usage during critical moments of the match, as was the case during the opening match. Most of these moments were during stoppages of the game such as the opening kickoff, halftime, and the end of regulation. However, the moment that saw the greatest usage was during Germany’s game-winning goal in the 113th minute, primarily with social media sharing. The second highest peak was during the opening kickoff, where 90% of users checked the app for last second analysis and commentary before the game started.

World Cup Final App Usage chart

These critical moments, which resulted in short breaks in the action, allowed users to check their mobile devices without missing any moments of live gameplay. While the match is on commercial or replay, this gives the user a few moments to check their apps for in-game analysis or commentary that isn’t provided to them through their television experience. In addition, most sports apps (including Onefootball Brasil) allow the user to share their excitement through social media or by voting for their favorite player.

Allowing fans to vote for their favorite player is an excellent way to increase interaction with apps. The Onefootball Brasil app allows fans to vote for their most valuable player in each match. This feature gives the user an extra reason to check their apps during the match, as well as providing some interesting results!

Most Popular World Cup 2014 players

As voted by US fans over the course of the 2014 World Cup, Brasil’s Neymar finished 1st, accumulating almost 12% of all total votes during the 2014 World Cup. 2nd place was US superstar keeper Tim Howard, while 3rd was Mexican keeper Guillermo Ochoa, once again hinting at a strong Mexican fanbase in the United States. By allowing this voting function, sports apps are able to increase user engagement, especially at key stoppage points throughout the match.

Today, the experience of watching a sporting event is not limited to just the television. Using their mobile devices, fans can access real-time analysis, commentary, and reactions to crucial moments in the match. Sports apps can better engage their users by offering these features and content. In fact, understanding and acting on this insight may be the difference between success and failure – as Sports apps suffer from the highest app abandonment rate of all app categories.

As the 2014 World Cup demonstrated, fans are using mobile apps to complement their TV sporting experience, and the apps that capture fans’ attention throughout a match are scoring highly in customer engagement.



For this study, Localytics partnered with Onefootball and analyzed their Onefootball Brasil apps across Android, iOS and Windows Phone. For app usage, Localytics examined the number of unique users during each minute on the final match of the 2014 FIFA World Cup on July 13, as well as the total number of players votes over the course of the entire World Cup.

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