THE Black Cats may not have beaten Man City but they did beat Justin Bieber – to become the most talked about subject on Twitter.
Despite the Canadian pop star having a colossal 49.9million followers on the social media site, Sunderland’s “Dare to Dream” hashtag eclipsed him at the weekend to become the top trending article.
The new slogan has been adopted by tens of thousands of SAFC supporters – and its 211,000 Twitter followers – as they’ve taken to the internet to express their hopes, and pride, for their team.
Its use reached fever pitch when the Black Cats clashed with Manuel Pellegrini’s men on Sunday in the Capital One Cup Final.
Dare to Dream was the brainchild of the club’s marketing team who used it on the initial advert for cup tickets and then used it as their twitter handle for the cup campaign.
It struck a chord with fans who went on to adopt it themselves.
John Storey, 33, a lifelong Sunderland fan who went to Wembley, said: “Even before the match we used the Dare to Dream hashtag to arrange where we were going to meet before the game.
“It helped bring the fans together and gave us the chance to share the experience of what was an amazing day.”
Claire Storey, 29, John’s wife, added: “Everyone at Wembley was tweeting, before, during and after the game.”
Pop star Bieber is the second most followed person on Twitter, just behind fellow singer Katy Perry who has more than 50million followers. Both have more followers than Barack Obama.
Susan Lightfoot, digital media manager at SAFC, said: “There were over 30,000 posts using the Dare to Dream hashtag on Cup Final day.
“The club created a hashtag gallery showcasing the best tweets, images from Instagram and videos from Vine which had 10,000 unique views over the weekend.”
“The hashtag really took off and was used around the city in the Red and White City campaign, printed on shirts and used on flags.
“The support and engagement around Dare to Dream has been overwhelming and it was great to see so many people getting involved.”