Twitter has rolled out several initiatives alongside the 2019 FIFA Women’s World Cup, aiming to drive further awareness to women’s sports.
The social networking service is now launching its latest effort, which will celebrate the best tweets about the best female soccer players in the world.
That will come via the #GoldenTweet Awards, which will see members of Twitter’s analytics team identify the best tweets about the tournament by users in a variety of countries, including Argentina, Australia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, France, Germany, Japan, Mexico, Spain, South Korea, and the UK. Following the final, the most popular tweets across multiple categories will be crowned #GoldenTweet winners. Each of those winners will be presented a limited-edition trophy that features the Twitter bird.
“Women’s sports lack the visibility they deserve and we hope the #GoldenTweet Awards are one way to change that,” said Jay Bavishi, senior manager and global lead on quadrennial events at Twitter. “By amplifying the conversation around the #FIFAWWC on Twitter, we’re hoping to bring more visibility and awareness to these incredible athletes.”
In the U.S., Twitter will hand out awards across four separate categories: athlete, brand, fan and journalist.
To find those best U.S. Tweets, Twitter has put together a panel of judges who have knowledge of both social media and soccer. The group includes Twitter Head of US Content Partnerships Laura Froelich, ESPN Senior Vice President of Marketing Laura Gentile, Colorado Rapids Goalkeeper and former U.S. Men’s National Team Player Tim Howard, and Karina LeBlanc, head of women’s football for Concacaf and a FOX Sports’ FIFA Women’s World Cup analyst.
“We’re witnessing greatness on the pitch, and the world is coming together to talk about it on Twitter,” Froelich said. “I’m looking forward to seeing the best of the best compete for the FIFA Women’s World Cup Winner’s trophy, as well as our #GoldenTweet honors!”
The idea was spawned following the success of a similar ‘Golden Tweet’ award that the Twitter UK office handed out following the 2018 FIFA World Cup last summer. Five awards were handed out to the tweets that had the most traction and retweets within the U.K. For example, The player award was given to Kyle Walker, whose usage of a meme that featured fellow English National Team Defender Harry Maguire has garnered more than 70,000 retweets and 270,000 likes to-date.
After the effort gained traction – even Walker’s Manchester City teammates joked about the award with him on Twitter – the company decided to expand it to even more countries during the Women’s World Cup this year.
It fits into Twitter’s larger strategy to elevate the level of conversation around women’s sports. For the Women’s World Cup in particular, Twitter has a wide-ranging partnership with Fox in the U.S. to post instant goal highlights as well as livestream a nightly recap show from Paris. Twitter is also creating individual pages for each match, curating the best content from publishers.
“I’m proud to be a part of this FIFA Women’s World Cup, as it is showing that women can play sports at the highest level and our game continues to grow and develop globally,” LeBlanc said.
While the Women’s World Cup has proven to be a boon for Twitter – during the final match of the 2015 Women’s World Cup between the United States and Japan, tweets about women’s soccer spiked 2,000% – Twitter is also hoping that these awards will encourage users to not only tweet about the on-field successes of the players, but issues that matter to the players off it as well, such as equality.
“Sports are a unifier, and supporting women’s sports – their growth and vital role in our society – is a must for girls everywhere,” Gentile said. “The #GoldenTweet campaign will help spotlight incredible athletes and drive change.”
Winners of the awards will be determined in the week or so following the Women’s World Cup Final, set to be played on July 7.
“Having always been a fan and a supporter of the USWNT, I’m proud to help amplify their already passionate fanbase with the #GoldenTweet campaign and celebrate these incredible women during their time in France as they compete for the FIFA Women’s World Cup,” Howard said.