Brazil’s favourite son, Neymar Jr, is one of the most followed footballers in the world on social media. With over 48m followers on Twitter, 140m on Instagram, 60m on Facebook, 6.8m on TikTok and 2m on YouTube – he is a global superstar.
Last week, ahead of their quarter-final UEFA Champions League tie with Atalanta something strange happened.
From seemingly nowhere there were more than 3 million mentions of Neymar in the lead up to the game.
But where did it all start?
According to RT it originated with the Brazilian fans, and one of the first players to highlight it was Neymar’s international teammate and Everton striker Richarlison, who added the Everton kit – something fans of the club would love to happen in real life!
Paris Saint-Germain joined in the fun and posted a picture of Neymar in his current kit along with the hashtag #NeyDeMoicanoNaChampions – becoming one of the most engaged with tweets ever from their Brazilian account.
Other teams, brands, players and even politicians joined this new ‘movement’ as the game drew closer. With Santos adding their own support, as did Orlando Magic from the NBA.
The posts didn’t go unnoticed by the player either – according to his website…
The PSG player decided to answer his fans’ request and went into the pitch with his famous mohican cut which was a success when Neymar Jr. played in Brazil. He even addressed the fans that he was aware of the campaign. “Mohican done, juliete taken and music box charging up”, he wrote before the quarterfinal duel.neymarjr.com
It definitely did the trick as PSG not only went on to win and secure their place in the semi-finals of Europe’s most prestigious tournament. But Neymar produced an outstanding display and was named man-of-the-match afterwards.
According to Decode, there were more than 2,200 articles produced using #NeyDay and a reach of over 240 million. In total there were more than 3.5 million tweets using the attackers name or #NeyDay.
Here is a deeper dive from the analytics company on the football super-trend of the day.