Putting Kaizer Chiefs #OperationVatAlles to the test – on social media

Bra Willy Seyama | eNitiate | Kaizer Chiefs | Operation #VatAlles | 2013

Kaizer Chiefs ended their 8-year long wait for the most prized Soccer Premiership glory in the 2012/2013 season, and revived the quest for “Operation Vat Alles (aka Thatha Zonke)” with the addition of Nedbank and Carling Black Label Cups in the 2013 trophy cabinet.

You can include the Gauteng Cup, if numbers are everything to you.

“Vat Alles” is local soccer lingo derived from Afrikaans language, and means “winning all trophies.”

There are two other main cups that Makhosi need to get their hands on to complete the 2013 trophy haul; MTN8 – now in its quarterfinal stage that will be concluded in a week’s time, and Telkom Knockout – taking place between October and November.

Kaizer Chiefs' Operation Vat Alles on social media

Fan base sizes are a closely held secrete by teams in South African professional soccer.

However, it is a generally held view that Kaizer Chiefs are the most popular club, followed by Orlando Pirates (2nd in 2012/2013 log standing), Mamelodi Sundowns (10th) and possibly Bloemfontein Celtic (5th).

This view is supported by healthier stadium attendances for these four teams, as compared to all other 12 teams on the Premiership log.

Question is: Are Kaizer Chiefs successful on social media as well?

Analysis of Facebook fans and Twitter followers below provides an answer to this question.


Kaizer Chiefs have more than double the size of fans compared to the next largest South African soccer team fan base on Facebook – their arch-rivals Orlando Pirates.

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According to Socialbakers, Makhosi have the largest local fans of all South African sports team and association pages on Facebook; including Springboks, Cricket SA, The Sharks and The PSL. 

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Thus, when it comes to Facebook local fans Kaizer Chiefs is not “that’ing zonke” in local soccer only, but across all the main sporting codes. 


As is the case on Facebook; Kaizer Chiefs, Orlando Pirates and Mamelodi Sundowns have the largest Twitter following of all local professional soccer teams.

Kaizer Chiefs has double the number of Twitter followers compared to Orlando Pirates, and seven times the number of followers by Mamelodi Sundowns.

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As the Twitaholic graph on the right above shows, Makhosi increased their follower base by 700 in the last week, while the Buccaneers did not. 

The growth in the last week could be as a result of the Carling Black Label Cup final two Saturdays ago, which Chiefs won against Pirates in a hard-fought game that ended in 1:0.

Further analysis, shown in the image below, explains why Chiefs are successful on Twitter:

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As the Followerwonk bar charts above show (read from left to right), Chiefs Twitter handle is most engaging, is the largest growing in terms of followers, and most active of the three largest local professional soccer teams on Twitter based on tweeting volume. 

Interestingly, Chiefs have been on Twitter for the least number of days (894 days, or close to 2 years and five months) compared to Pirates (1 461 days, or 4 years) and Mamelodi Sundowns (1 010 days, or 2 years and nine months).

Looking across all South African sporting codes on Twitter, Only Cricket SA – @OfficialCSA – has more followers (163K) than Kaizer Chiefs. 

None of the other teams, even in rugby, have the large following enjoyed by Phefeni boys.

Social network influence score

This is how Chiefs, Pirates and Sundowns social network influence scores compare as analysed by Klout:

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As can be seen from the Klout score image above, Chiefs are ahead. 

Makhosi already have a Klout account, and have connected their three social network accounts to it.

This is evidence of how social media savvy this team are.

But curiously, Facebook is not connected to Klout. 

You can also view this Youtube video: Carling Black Label Cup 2013: Chiefs vs Pirates

Mamelodi Sundowns also have a Klout account, and have connected their two social network accounts to it.

Notice that Pirates are not registered on Klout, hence the “Invite to Klout” tab.


… Kaizer Chiefs are doing well on social media. Certainly, Operation Vat Alles is working on these “new media”

Predictions about the future?

Since season 2004, each team that won the Premiership did so at least twice!

  • Kaizer Chiefs – 2004 and 2005 (2 years)
  • Mamelodi Sundowns – 2006 and 2007 (2 years)
  • SuperSport United – 2008, 2009 and 2010 (3 years)
  • Orlando Pirates – 2011 and 2012 (2 years)
  • Kaizer Chiefs – 2013 (1 year, thus far)

If history is a good predictor, Makhosi will win it in the 2013/2014 season too.

Do you agree with this prediction?

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