Barcelona-Chelsea and Kaka break Twitter marks

By Paul Kennedy

Barcelona and Real Madrid were knocked out of the UEFA Champions League this week, but both clubs had roles in breaking two records in the Twittersphere.

Tuesday's UEFA Champions League game between Barcelona and Chelsea broke the tweets-per-second record for a sporting event, peaking at 13,684 messages per second. The old record: 12,233 tweets per second during the climax of the 2012 Super Bowl. The world record? Last year's airing of the movie "Castle in the Sky" in Japan, which peaked at 25,088 tweets a second.

Real Madrid midfielder Kaka became the first athlete to total 10 million followers on Twitter. He ranks 18th in the Twitter world. The top three are Lady Gaga, Justin Bieber and Katy Perry. Kaka's Real Madrid teammate, Cristiano Ronaldo, ranks 21st with 9 million-plus followers.

DANES SHUT DOWN. The Danish soccer federation banned Danish national team players from using private social media during the European Championship in June. As DBU spokesperson Lars Behrendt put it, Coach Morten Olsen wants players to focus on the tournament and for "the 24-7 open microphone" to be shut down.

TELEVISION NUMBERS. The first leg of the Chelsea-Barcelona Champions League series set a soccer viewing record on FX as 592,000 watched the game. An additional 566,000 viewers watched on FOX Deportes.

BARCA INVASION. Spanish club Barcelona is licensing its name to summer soccer camps to take place at venues across the country. All American Sports Enterprises Inc. will operate the camps in the United States. Barcelona's educational arm, Escola, will oversee the camps, an expansion of the program that will reach nine countries in 2012.

SPONSORSHIP FRONT. Sports daily Marca reports that Real Madrid is close to reaching a deal with Dubai-based airline Emirates to make it the Spanish club's jersey sponsor for five years beginning in July 2013. The agreement to replace betting agency Bwin will be worth a minimum of $29 million a year, making it the third richest deal in the world behind Barcelona’s deal with the Qatar Foundation ($40 million a year) and Manchester United deal with the Aon Corporation ($32 million a year). Real Madrid's ties with the UAE extend to its proposed $1 billion theme park. Other clubs with Emirates deals: AC Milan, Arsenal and Paris Saint-Germain.

BUSCH GEAR. Jon Busch, the starting goalie for the Western Conference-leading San Jose Earthquakes, has launched his own line of gloves, glove bags and pants. Busch Gear is distributed by HPG.

VIEWING PARTY. FC Dallas will hold the second Party at the Pubs Saturday at Trinity Hall in Dallas. The Galaxy-FCD match begins at 9:30, but the festivities begin at 8 p.m. with a Rock, Paper, Scissors Tournament. Each participant must make a $5 donation to the FC Dallas Foundation to participate. Prizes: 1st Place -- Suite Deck at FC Dallas Stadium, 2nd Place -- 10 Club Seats, 3rd Place -- field table for 4.
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