Jimmy Fallon vs. Cristiano Ronaldo

kblack12    July 28, 2015

jimmy-fallon pic for the top of blog                       cristiano ronaldo pic for the top of blog

Companies: The Tonight Show Star vs. Real Madrid Club de Fútbol Star

Industries: Acting (Comedy) vs. Sports (Football/Soccer)

President & CEO’s: Jimmy Fallon (Actor) vs. Cristiano Ronaldo (Footballer)

Jimmy Fallon vs. Cristiano Ronaldo 

Why Jimmy Fallon & Cristiano Ronaldo you ask?  Well, I love to laugh and the first person that comes to mind that makes me laugh, besides my husband and kids, is Jimmy Fallon. Cristiano Ronaldo, because I love football and he is one of the greatest players of all time.  Not to mention, they are both easy on the eyes!

You’re probably thinking what could Jimmy Fallon & Cristiano Ronaldo possibly have in common?  They have more similarities than you might think.  They’re both tall, dark, handsome fathers who like to take centre stage…or show off on the pitch.

They are also both notorious for using social media to market themselves.  Collectively these social media gurus have about 26.4 million Instagram followers, 63.5 million Twitter followers, 8 million YouTube subscribers, 3.7 billion YouTube views and 249 million Google+ followers.

In true Fallon fashion I created a “Social Media Marketing Off” (SMMO) between Fallon and Rolando to showcase their success.  So let’s “kick” things off by comparing how many topless pictures they each have on the internet:

Cristiano Ronaldo     Topless Jimmy Fallon (1)

# of topless pics of Ronaldo                        # of topless pics of Jimmy
              10,567,489,412                                                            1

I cannot confirm the stats are accurate but it’s clear Cristiano Ronaldo is the winner of the topless pic comp.  Just Google Cristiano Ronaldo topless pics and enjoy!  Ok seriously, let’s get down to business and take a peek at the various social media channels Fallon and Ronaldo use to market themselves and compare their level of engagement and communication styles.

Jimmy Fallon

The Tonight Show host is one of the most social media savvy celebs out there, referred to by some as the #socialmediaking.  He has become a viral nightmare for his late night competitors, using social media both as a marketing tool and as material in the show to gain laughs, engage and grow his audience (i.e. Tuesday night #hashtag jokes and skits like the one below with Justin Timberlake taking jabs at the art of #hashtagging).

Tuesday Night #Hashtags Jokes

hastag pics

#Hashtag Video with Jimmy Fallon & Justin Timberlake – 29,603,504 Views

“Fallon, a veteran of “Saturday Night Live” took over from Leno in February 2014 and has turned “Tonight Show” into a viral video machine.” – Forbes

Fallon is the first late night talk show host to take social media seriously, and utilize it as a marketing tool to reinvent The Tonight Show.  It has certainly paid off in more ways than one.  He has been highly effective in gaining a large and diverse audience for both the show and his social media platforms, by posting fun and engaging clips of his silly antics from The Tonight Show.

“Fallon’s social media presence has transferred into high TV ratings catapulting The Tonight Show to the front of the late-night TV pack.” – Storify

Here are some of my fav clips:

Most watched Jimmy Fallon YouTube Video with 56,905,567 Views

Full History of Rap (Jimmy Fallon Ft. Justin 
Timberlake & The Roots)

Here’s are Fallon’s stats (as of Wednesday, July 8th, 2015) from some of the major social media platforms.  It is clear his marketing strategy is heavily video centric:

Instagram jimmyfallon: 3.4 Million Followers, Following 37 & 256 Posts

Facebook The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: 5.5 Million Followers (Likes)

Twitter @jimmyfallon: 26.9 Million Followers, Following 6,455 & 8,311 tweets

YouTube The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon: 7,657,520 Subscribers & 3,063,884,943 Views (Jimmy’s most successful platform)

Google+ Jimmy Fallon: 362,273 Followers & 3,420,839 views

“Through social media, Jimmy has been able to connect to an entirely different audience and broaden his fan base to include a whole new generation of Tonight Showviewers.  – Storify

Cristiano Ronaldo #7

Now onto Cristiano Ronaldo.  Is Ronaldo on top of the world?  Well, FIFA seems to think so, awarding him player of the year for the past two years…but who’s trusting them these days?  Joking aside, he is not only one of the best soccer players in the world but also the second highest paid athlete in the world, earning a total of $80 million a year!

Cristiano is also referred to by some as the “Facebook King”.  With over 105 million young girls (including a few soccer moms in disguise) following him on Facebook, he certainly delivers as one of the most marketable athletes in the world. His good looks and mad skills have landed him mega sponsorship deals with Nike, Tag Heuer, and his own underwear and shirt line, CR7 (to name a few).  He has been highly successful in using social media to attract fans and generate great ROI for his endorsement partners.


Cristiano Ronaldo Facebook Case Study

“Ronaldo might not be scoring on the field (‘only’ 9 goals in 14 games in 2015), but he is definitely scoring off of it. And he is making his sponsors marketing duties so much easier.” – 

His influence on social media is so great he had the 5th leading rank in the World of Social Media.  Social media has been a driving factor in Ronaldo scoring big for his sponsors.  No other footballer, let alone person in the word can command $143,750.00 for Nike by posting a picture of himself kissing a shoe on his Facebook or attract 118 million views of a Nike video promoting the sport of football and Nike products, of course.

Ronaldo kissing shoe

Nike Football: Winner Stays. ft. Ronaldo, Neymar Jr., Rooney, Ibrahimović, Iniesta & more – 118,367,641 Views (Winner of 10 Most Popular Ads in 2014)

Cristiano Ronaldo has been very successful in attracting a large presence via social media, for himself, his football club and the brands he endorses.  Here’s a peek at his stats from some of the major social media platforms.  He clearly dominates Facebook and Twitter:

Instagram cristiano: 23 Million Followers, 13 Following & 405 Posts

Facebook Cristiano Ronaldo: 104 Million Followers (Likes)

Twitter @Christiano: 36.6 Million Followers, Following 93 & 2,340 tweets

YouTube Cristiano Ronaldo: 330,645 Subscribers & 42,232,337 Views

Google+ Cristiano Ronaldo: 5,618,077 followers & 244,901,184 views

Ronaldo is so popular he has a fashion boutique named after him (CR7), specializing in shirts (CR7Shirts), shoes (CR7Footwear), and sexy undergarments for men (CR7Underwear).  He also has his own video game (Super Stars Ronaldo & Hugo), fragrance coming soon, and a song named after him featured below.

Cristiano Ronaldo – Suuuh (PUNYASO Mashup)

Cristiano Ronaldo’s incredible success with social media may help prolong his football career further by continuing to make him attractive to clubs and sponsors.  Even after his playing days are long over rest assured, his coiffed hair and sculpted abs will continue to dominate social media platforms, just as he has been known to dominate the pitch.

Most Watched Cristiano Ronaldo YouTube Video with 23,628,906 Views
(It may have to do with the fact he’s topless and in underwear)


Jimmy Fallon vs. Cristiano Ronaldo

Fun + Engagement = Superb Social Media Campaigns


Here’s a look at Fallon & Ronaldo’s “SMMO” stats, highlighting the winner via each category (please note: all stats as at Wednesday, July 8th, 2015):

Jimmy Fallon: 3.4 Million Followers, Following 37 & 256 Posts
Cristiano Ronaldo: 23 Million Followers, Following 13 & 405 Posts

Jimmy Fallon: 5.5 Million Followers (Likes)
Cristiano Ronaldo: 104 Million Followers (Likes)

Jimmy Fallon: 26.9 Million Followers, Following 6,455 & 8,311 tweets
Cristiano Ronaldo: 36.6 Million Followers, Following 93 & 2,340 tweets

Jimmy Fallon: 7,657,520 Subscribers & 3,063,884,943 Views

Cristiano Ronaldo: 330,645 Subscribers & 42,232,337 Views

Jimmy Fallon: 362,273 Followers & 3,420,839 views
Cristiano Ronaldo: 5,618,077 followers & 244,901,184 views

When I originally started researching Fallon and Ronaldo I was certain Fallon would be the winner of the “SMMO”, but as I dug deeper I quickly realized I was comparing apples to oranges.  Although the numbers show Cristiano Ronaldo as the winner of the popularity contest on most major social media platforms, with the exception of YouTube, they are both killing it on the social media marketing scene.

“Jimmy Fallon has solidified his spot as the social media king of late-night”

Cristiano Ronaldo – 5th Highest Social Media Rank in the World

They both have attention grabbing social media content that works to build awareness around their brands. Fallon’s campaign is centered around fun and engaging video clips showcasing what he does best, making people laugh, to grow his audience for the Tonight Show.  While Ronaldo focuses on attracting fans by posting photos of himself topless or donning the latest products and/or services he is endorsing.  His ultimate goal is to sell what he’s endorsing, resulting in great exposure and ROI for his partners. Whichever way you look at it, they are both winners of the “SMMO”, dominating the social media marketing scene in Hollywood and the sporting world, building a large brand presence and relationships with their fans.

Lessons Learned:

  1. Jimmy clearly needs to go topless more often for starters.  Sex definitely sells and seems to be a key to CR’s success in increasing his fan base, followers, likes, etc…
  2. It pays to invest in a social media marketing manager and or team.
  3. Fun, engaging, strategic video centric marketing campaigns are effective in building brand awareness and new audiences resulting in a great ROI.
  4. If you plan on implementing social media into your marketing strategy make sure you are set up to handle the content and two-way conversation to keep fans engaged.
  5. If you do not currently use social media as part of your marketing strategy, you should, and you may want to consider hiring Cristiano Ronaldo to endorse your products or services, he seems to generate a large ROI for his partners.

Web References:

Submitted By: KellyBlack, SMBP Student, University of Waterloo

To contact the author of this entry please email at: k8black@uwaterloo.ca

If you have concerns as to the accuracy of anything posted on this site please send your concerns to Peter Carr, Programme Director, Social Media for Business Performance.