Guide to Facebook Sports

Sports fans are some of the most avid users of social networks. They use sites to connect with fellow fans, share favorite sports moments with friends and participate in games that challenge the minds of the most fanatical sports hobbyists. After playing the one of the Facebook basketball games earlier today, I realized that there wasn’t a thorough guide to the best sports applications and most active sports pages on Facebook. As such, I’ve worked to create the following guide.

Top Sports Applications on Facebook
Soccer Ball ImagePremier Football – The Premier Football application is as close as it comes to a real “Fantasy Football” application. This isn’t NFL Football though, this is soccer. Given that the European Cup is going on right now, this application has been amazingly active over the past few days with over 120,000 daily active daily visitors making it the 43rd most popular application on Facebook. The main twist to this game? You play with your own friends as players, not real soccer players. The application then uses a top of the line simulation engine to challenge your team versus your friends’. I highly recommend checking out the Premier Football application.

Pool Balls ImagePool – I’ve played some pretty horrible pool games online and this one has to rank among them. The Facebook pool application has to have some of the worst design I have ever seen but for some reason it is highly addictive. Perhaps the reason this application has become so popular is that there are no alternatives. As of yet I have not been able to figure out how to put english on the pool cue but apparently that doesn’t matter. Over 15,000 people are playing this game daily and there are now numerous leagues set up within this application. If you are a fan of Pool go grab the Pool application or program a better application yourself!

Wrestler IconWrestler – Who doesn’t enjoy giving their friend a nice clothesline to the throat? I definitely do! This game is turn based and takes a significant amount of time. Why are there close to 35,000 people playing this game every day? Well, it’s probably because this application doesn’t give you anybody to challenge when you start off the game. Instead you need to invite your friends in turn forcing them to install the application if you want to play them. This is an old style of driving traffic and not encouraged but for those wrestling fans, all the trouble may be worth it. Personally, I get a little bit of pleasure knowing that I’ve body slammed one of my friends. If you want that same pleasure check out the Wrestler application.

Rockstar Cars LogoRockstar Cars – Yo, you should throw some Ds on that. If you didn’t know what throwing Ds on a car means, it’s about the rims. That’s why the developers of Rockstar Cars made an application where you can flaunt what you got. Unfortunately you start off with a beat up Mazda Bongo Friendee Van but if you play enough, you can eventually gain a Ferrari or a number of other luxury vehicles. So drop that van and race your friends on the Rockstar Cars application.

2008 Brackets Image2008 Brackets – It goes without saying that one of the most popular activities on Facebook each year is the March Madness brackets. Year after year we try to pick which team is going to win and year after year, I get it wrong. The most frequently used March Madness application on Facebook is the CBS Sports application but for the first time ever, there were alternatives to the official Facebook March Madness application. The team over at Watercooler developed a pretty slick application this year and I recommend checking it out.

20 Cricket LogoTWENTY20 Cricket – Cricket fans are among the most fanatical fans in the world. Thats why the TWENTY20 Cricket application has been an instant success since it’s launch. While I’d guess that there was also an ad campaign driving the new users to this application, this is the most active Cricket application on Facebook with no others coming close. Just like the Premier Football application that I included above, you use your friends as players rather than the actual Cricket stars. Unfortunately I have no idea how to play the game but if you do, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the TWENTY20 Cricket application.

Most Active Sports Fan Pages
Europeans apparently dominate Facebook sports fan pages. 6 out of the top 10 are all European teams. Also of particular interest is that compared to the largest Facebook pages which have anywhere from 150,000 users to 1 million users, sports fan pages tend to have substantially less. That may because Facebook users are not as big on sports or perhaps most people are not aware of the available fan pages. Whatever the case, here are the most popular sports fan pages on Facebook.

Liverpool LogoLiverpool – The Liverpool football team has the most popular sports fan page on Facebook with just under 52,000 fans. The fan page also has a number of videos from the football star Fernando Torres. While the team is based in the U.K., the majority of the fans appear to be based outside of England in other countries including Spain and Turkey. If you are a Liverpool fan, go check out the Liverpool fan page.

Canadiens LogoCanadiens de Montreal – The Montreal Canadiens’ hockey team have the second largest fan page with almost 45,000 fans. In this case the page has many more fans based from within the country and the fan page has a lot more content with a listing of all their Stanley Cup championship years, news stories, photos, events, videos and a fair amount of discussion. If you are a fan of the Montreal Canadiens, go join their Facebook page.

Cristiano Ronaldo imageCristiano Ronaldo – Cristiano Ronaldo is a superstar for Manchester United, one of the most popular football teams in Europe. The fan page for Ronaldo and AC Milan both have approximately 26,500 fans each. This page has a number of videos of amazing shots by Cristiano Ronaldo. If you are a fan, check out his page.

AC Milan LogoAC Milan – Another European football team with a lot of fans. 26,087 to be exact. Just like the other fan pages, there are photos, videos and a discussion board. Given that Milan is in Italy, there is a lot of Italian conversation on the fan page that I can’t understand. If you can understand Italian and are an AC Milan fan, check out the AC Milan fan page.

LA Lakers LogoLos Angeles Lakers – The first American team to make the charts is the Los Angeles Lakers. It seems like such a standard team to be a fan of but hey, if you are into the standard way of doing things, you should be a Lakers fan 😉 The page includes videos, photos and discussion boards but not much discussion appears to be taking place on the page. While I’m betting on the Celtics, Kobe Bryant isn’t a star for no reason. If you are a Lakers fan, check out the LA Lakers page.

Greek Football LogoGreece Football – I went to Greece the year they won the European cup. I can tell you that these guys are football fanatics. It’s no wonder that they have one of the most active sports fan pages on Facebook. Greece is also a great country to travel to no matter how good their soccer team is. If you are a fan of the Greek football team, check out the Hellas National Football Team fan page.

Manchester United – Manchester United is probably one of the most popular football teams in the world. Their manager, Sir Alex Ferguson, has the most trophies of any manager in the team’s history. They have a history of successes and that’s probably why they have so many fans, just like the Lakers. While the page mistakenly says that the team is from Saudi Arabia, it is still the official team page. If you are a Manchester United fan, check out their fan page.

FC Barcelona – FC Barcelona is home to the infamous Ronaldihno, one of the top media darlings in professional football currently. He is a top player and is known for some of his more flashy moves. This team has fans from around the world and with a player like Ronaldihno it’s no wonder. If you are one of the many FC Barcelona fans check out the FC Barcelona fan page.

Chelsea – If you didn’t have enough European football teams, here’s another popular one. While the fan page has over 18,000 users, there doesn’t appear to be much activity on this page. That appears to be a consistent trend with most Facebook pages but for this one at least there is some content. The page has over 209 photos and that’s about all the media on this page. If you are a fan of Chelsea football, check out the Chelsea fan page.

Al Ahly – I had never heard of Al Ahly but they have a highly active fan base. Al Ahly is the Egyptian football team and their fan page has over 18,000 users. Most of the text on the fan page is in Arabic so unfortunately I have no idea what’s going on but their are plenty of videos, images, discussion boards and even a poll to keep you entertained. If you are big on Egyptian football, I recommend checking out the Al Ahly fan page.

Conclusion
While there is not as much sports activity on Facebook as there is on a site like ESPN, there are plenty of sports fans connecting. They are expressing themselves through various types of media and connecting with people that have similar interests in sports. It’s as simple as that. If you want to view the other sports fan pages, browse though them on Facebook. Be sure to also check out all of the Facebook sports applications in the application directory. Are there any other issues regarding sports on Facebook that you think should be included? Are there any applications that have been overlooked here?