World Cup Kicks Star Wars Out of Space

“World Cup,” ranked tenth last week, has scored the first place position on the list of the Terra Lycos 50 most popular user searches for the week ending June 1, 2002. Interestingly, the term “soccer” was new to the list, coming in at number 41. “World Cup” replaced “Star Wars,” which has now dropped to the number three spot.

“Dragonball” remains in the second place position, and “tattoos” drops a notch from third to fourth. Rounding out the top five is “Miss Universe” — a new entry to the list largely due to the contest held on May 29, 2002.

The Lycos 50 is compiled from 12 million queries from Internet users on the Lycos Network. Some interesting observations in the week’s searches are:

  • The World Cup’s dominance online took place before the U.S. team even played its first match. It’s evident from the specific player searches that Lycos UK users helped to drive soccer searches for English strikers David Beckham and Michael Owen, two of the Internet’s most searched soccer stars.
  • Beauty pageants have never made a big splash on The Lycos 50 until now. Searches for the Miss Universe pageant and its champion Miss Russia, Oxana Federova, came in at number five this week, the highest Lycos 50 ranking ever for a beauty pageant. Miss Universe received nearly 20 times as many searches as last year.
  • Last Friday’s boxing match between Howard Stern Show regulars Stuttering John Melendez and Crazy Cabbie. Stuttering John not only beat Cabbie in the ring, but he also received more searches than Cabbie online.
  • Despite the huge success of MTV’s hit reality series The Osbournes, Ozzy’s brood have been unable to break onto The Lycos 50. On the other hand, Anna Nicole Smith made this week’s list simply because recent news broke that Smith will star in her own reality-based Osbournes-like reality show for the E! Network.
  • New entries to the list of 50 include Oprah Winfrey and Martha Stewart (separately at numbers 46 and 50 respectively).
  • Pokemon (number 47) has reappeared on The Lycos 50 after dropping off the list on April 2,2002. Prior to April, Pokemon made every top 50 list since August 1999 and only fell out of the top 20 once — the week of the terrorist attack on America.

Lycos 50 for the week ending June 1, 2002
Last Week’s
1 World Cup #10
2 Dragonball #2
3 Star Wars #1
4 Tattoos #3
5 Miss Universe New
6 Britney Spears #5
7 Eminem #8
8 KaZaA #6
9 Spider-Man #4
10 Daniel Pearl #22
11 Pamela Anderson #11
12 WWE #11
13 Harry Potter #31
14 Natalie Portman #7
15 Morpheus #13
16 Las Vegas #14
17 Final Fantasy #19
18 World Trade Center #25
19 Big Brother UK #39
20 Anna Kournikova #18
21 NBA #20
22 Grand Theft Auto 3 #36
23 Jennifer Lopez #15
24 Brooke Burke #26
25 NASCAR #29
26 Yu-Gi-Oh #35
27 Marijuana #16
28 Baseball #17
29 Chandra Levy #28
30 The Bible #21
31 Howard Stern New
32 Golf #30
33 September 11 #37
34 Audiogalaxy #43
35 Hayden Christensen #27
36 Shakira #42
37 Playstation 2 #41
38 Anorexia #24
39 Graduation #33
40 World War II #34
41 Soccer New
42 The Sims #50
43 Skateboarding #44
44 Anna Nicole Smith New
45 IRS #48
46 Oprah Winfrey New
47 Pokemon New
48 Buffy the Vampire Slayer #38
49 Xbox #45
50 Martha Stewart New
Source: Terra Lycos

Continuing on the World Cup theme, Nielsen//NetRatings reports that traffic to the official FIFA World Cup Web site soared 420 percent for the week ending June 2. The site attracted more than 527,000 unique visitors, as compared to 101,000 the week prior. Visitors to the World Cup site accounted for 22 percent of the total audience traffic to Yahoo! Sports during the past week.

Overall, the sports category drew fans online this past week, as more than 9.3 million Web surfers logged on to a sports site, reaching 12 percent of the active online population. Sports fans accessed information about baseball, the Stanley Cup finals, the NBA finals, the upcoming NFL football season and the June NASCAR races, among other sports events.

“Sports Web sites are a great way for fans to get the latest player statistics and game highlights, keeping surfers in constant touch with their favorite teams,” said Jarvis Mak, senior Internet analyst, NetRatings. “With real-time game updates and live streaming video clips, sports sites will continue to draw a loyal following, especially with major sporting events such as the NBA Finals, World Cup, Wimbledon and French Open happening this summer.”

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