Recent research undertaken amongst Nigerian football fans that are mobile phone users has shown that there is a strong correlation between football viewing and cellular activity, with the majority utilizing their mobile connectivity to enhance their enjoyment of their favourite sport.

The research was conducted by InMobi, the largest independent mobile advertising network that enjoys some 43% of Nigeria’s mobile web consumer market. It targeted 2 854 respondents via the InMobi global mobile advertising network in Nigeria, and was undertaken during the time of the UEFA Champions League semi-finals with a view to gaining a better understanding of fans of this tournament who utilise mobile channels as primary or secondary viewing and information sources.

According to Isis Nyong’o, Vice President and Managing Director of InMobi Africa, the research showed that the majority of Nigerian mobile users who are football fans use mobile online channels to augment their viewing experience.

“60% of survey participants stated that they use their mobile devices to check match results,” she points out, “and 43% obtain online information on their clubs using their cellular or mobile devices.”

At 29%, Chelsea enjoys the honours as the most favoured international football club, but only 24% of respondents peg them as the potential winners of UEFA 2012, while 43% say Barcelona will be victorious and 31% are putting their money on Real Madrid.

Samuel Eto’o (33%) and Yaya Toure (28%) are considered the best African footballers in the world today, outstripping their closest rivals, Alex Song (8%), Emmanuel Adebayor (7%) and Demba Ba (7%) by a large margin.

Interestingly, the research revealed some significant shifts in mobile activity by users before, during and after high profile football matches, with sharp spikes in mobile activity to check game scores, text friends and family members, and post on social media while games are in progress. After games, there is generally an increase in mobile usage to buy club memorabilia and read game reports.

Responses by survey participants point to the fact that the UEFA Champions League and the Barclays Premier League are Nigerian football fans’ most popular international tournament and football league, garnering 78% of respondents’ votes respectively. More than 50% of respondents associate the Barclays brand most with football – significantly more than its closest rivals, Adidas (33%), Nike (28%) and MTN (22%).