By Daniel Hunter

With the World Cup well and truly underway, Keynote, the mobile, internet and cloud performance specialist, has been monitoring the sites of international football associations and FIFA World Cup sponsors, to assess the online performance offered during the competition.

Since the start of the World Cup up until Friday last week (12th June to 20th June), Keynote found that, on average, most homepages struggled to load content and a select few football association sites experienced issues loading their homepage.

Despite this, the overall average availability for the football sponsor and football association homepages looked strong, at 98.88% and 97.18% respectively.

On average, the football association homepages took more than 10 seconds to load and the sponsor homepages took more than five seconds. Only two sites of the 44 monitored loaded in less than the recommended two seconds; FIFA World Cup sponsor Castrol was by far the quickest, at 1.6 seconds, followed by Brazilian World Cup sponsor Itau, at 1.78 seconds.

Italy’s football association homepage took 16.9 seconds — visitors are unlikely to wait this long for a site to load content.

In terms of average availability, football sponsor site MasterCard was the only site to achieve 100% availability. In comparison, the USA’s football association homepage achieved a load success rate of only 83.43%, which means that nearly 20% of the time, online users visiting the site struggled to gain access. Similarly, Italy’s football association homepage achieved a load success rate of only 89.55%.

“We are now well into the World Cup competition and, although it’s great to see that most sites are loading successfully, their priority should now be reducing the time it takes to load content on their homepage,” said Thomas Gronbach, web performance specialist at Keynote.

“Given Keynote’s recommended load time is no more than two seconds, it’s unlikely that Italy’s football fans, for example, will wait over 16 seconds for the homepage to load. These sites are clearly feeling the pressure, so much so that a number of football fans will be unable to access their supporting teams’ webpage — that is unless they take note of our recommendations.”

“By testing and monitoring these sites regularly, they will be able to offer a more consistent user experience. For the football association sites, this will enable them to rally support from their fans, allowing them to easily access information about the team they support and their position in the competition so far.

“For the football sponsor sites, the World Cup is such a high-profile event that there is a huge opportunity to boost brand awareness and revenue. Brazilian World Cup sponsor, Itau, has prepared for its sponsorship campaign extremely well and, as a result, will cash in on the huge number of visitors they will attract during the competition. It’s important that other companies follow suit and get the most out of the money they’ve paid sponsoring the World Cup — with a number of weeks still left in the competition, it’s not too late to make improvements.”

Keynote monitored the websites of football associations from the following nations: Netherlands, Ghana, England, FIFA, Russia, Germany, USA, Italy, Argentina, Brazil, France, Australia, Ecuador, Japan, Spain, Mexico, Ivory Coast and South Korea.

Keynote monitored the following sponsors’ websites: Castrol, Johnson and Johnson, Garoto, Itau, Visa, Panasonic, Coca-Cola, MasterCard, McDonalds, Yingli Solar, Volkswagen, Hyundai, Continental, Apexbrasil, Moy Park, Sony, Centauro, Virgin, Libertyseguros, Nike, Pepsi, Adidas, Budweiser, Wiseup, Emirates and Oi.

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