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The Olympic stories being shared on Twitter

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Medals are being tallied by country and events are winding down as the end of the 2014 Winter Olympics approaches– and we’re keeping an eye on it all on Twitter. Since our last update, tweets around the Sochi Olympics have nearly doubled: 30k tweets have now been posted with the hashtag #SochiOlympics since February 6th.

What are Olympic tweets sharing? We took a look at some of the most popular links included in tweets about the #SochiOlympics, and found more overlap with the conversation on Tumblr than might be expected:

One of the most popular links was this photo shared from the Twitter account Women’s Humor:

And here’s the full tweet it came from:

Another popular link from the Hindustan Times covered the same thing, from a more neutral and journalistic perspective.

Most of the other popular links shared are news stories, reflecting and reframing Olympic outcomes or highlighting serious issues around the games:

  •  An article from The Atlantic lays out how ”overall medal count obscures how these small countries [Norway, Slovenia, and Latvia] are outperforming their rivals in 2014″
  • A fashion and style blog celebrated Google’s inclusive Olympic-themed Google Doodles
  • And The Los Angeles Times highlighted the struggle of a village near Sochi and the problems stemming directly from the games

The content people share around an event puts a spotlight on what issues they think are important and interesting. Do these surprise you? Let us know in the comments, or on Twitter.

Want more? You can see all of our Olympic-related posts written about Tumblr here, and all of our TweetReach blog Olympics posts here

Written by Sarah

February 20th, 2014 at 11:53 am

#SochiProblems slows down while general Olympic chatter picks up

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#SochiProblems slows down, but doesn’t stop.

As the 2014 Olympic Winter Games got officially underway over the weekend, mentions of #SochiProblems finally went into decline, as the general conversation around the event itself picked up.

Friday we shared updated #SochiProblems numbers, and though daily #SochiProblems tweets have gone down (that peaked on Friday with over 100k tweets), overall the hashtag is still huge: 311.9k tweets from over 200k contributors, with a reach of 89.3 million unique Twitter accounts. That’s all since the first #SochiProblems tweet was sent on January 31st.

General Olympic chatter picks up

If you look at tweets using the #SochiOlympics tag, 16.1k tweets have been made since February 6th; the day before the games officially started, but did begin airing in the western hemisphere due to the roughly 10-hour time difference (local Sochi time vs. U.S. Central Time).

One of the most retweeted #SochiOlympics tweets comes from New York Times staff photographer Doug Mills, and shows a U.S. athlete celebrating after a bronze medal win:

4 out of the top 5 accounts contributing to the conversation around the #SochiOlympics are news-related accounts: The New York Times (@nytimes), Times of India (@timesofindia),  Good Morning America (@GMA), and The Los Angeles Times (@latimes). The other one? A women’s humor account. Which might explain why #SochiProblems is the second most popular hashtag in tweets also hashtagged #SochiOlympics.

I guess we’ll see if the games’ problems can be eclipsed by the games themselves as the month goes on; the last day of the games is February 23.

Written by Sarah

February 10th, 2014 at 3:58 pm

#SochiProblems just keep rolling in

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Sochi has a lot more than 99 problems, it would seem. We wrote about the #SochiProblems hashtag yesterday and we’ve continued to dig into the numbers more. Since the first #SochiProblems tweet was sent on January 31st, more than 130k tweets have been sent with the hashtag by 81k different people, reaching over 50 million unique Twitter accounts. And that’s just as of about 10am PST today; the numbers just keep going up.

And the new most retweeted #SochiProblems tweet is pretty good:

It looks like the 2014 Winter Olympics are going to be very interesting!

Written by Sarah

February 7th, 2014 at 10:20 am

The Winter Olympics are having #SochiProblems

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The Olympics pose a challenge no matter which country is hosting the winter or summer games, and Russia has seen its fair share of stumbles this week as press started to arrive and found their hotels incomplete or lacking essentials such as usable water, among other things.

Tweets like the one above quickly started using the hashtag #SochiProblems (and a lot of them have been replicated by the @SochiProblems account). Since January 31, when the first #SochiProblems tweet was posted by @2_TrishTheDish, 49k tweets have posted with the hashtag (as of about 11:30 a.m. PST on February 6). That includes tweets from more than 30.7k contributors, and a reach of 26.5 million unique Twitter account — and those numbers are growing quickly.

The most retweeted tweet came from the aforementioned @SochiProblems account, and has been retweeted a total of 971 times so far:

Since many of the #SochiProblems are coming from reporters and other media people in town for the event, many of the top contributors to the conversation are news organizations and other media people sympathizing: @NBCNews, the @TODAYshow, @AJEnglish, the @HuffingtonPost, and @ninagarcia of Marie Claire magazine were all in the top ten contributors to #SochiProblems.

Hopefully things will get sorted out as the games get fully underway. We’ll keep you posted on all the Olympic Twitter action here, so stay tuned! From the comfort of your own home or finished office, hopefully.

 

Written by Sarah

February 6th, 2014 at 11:39 am

#NBCFail? More like #NBCWin! Final thoughts on NBC’s 2012 Olympic coverage

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According to Nielsen, 219.4 million viewers tuned into watch the Olympics on NBC this year. That’s roughly 70% of the US population. If you’re reading this, you were probably one of those 219 million people.

In the more than 50 million tweets posted about the Olympics from July 27 through August 12, some 92,226 tweets included the #NBCFail hashtag. These were posted by 53K different Twitter accounts, and included lots (and lots) of complaints and jokes about NBC’s tape delay, as well as some helpful workarounds for those who wanted to watch live. The first tweet we found that used the #NBCFail hashtag was this tweet from @marcslove posted on July 25, 2012 at 2:29 p.m. PDT (and not the tweet posted a day later from @stevenmarx as reported by certain other sources).

A few other good examples of the #NBCFail tweets are these from @JeremyCMorgan and @tmvogel.

On Twitter at least, people seemed to hate the tape delay, railing against it with their #NBCFail tweets. But the funny thing is, they still watched Olympic coverage on NBC. Did they ever.

A few days into the games, we were convinced that the tape delay was damaging fan participation and goodwill in the games, and NBC’s ratings would be down because of it. But it really didn’t seem to matter – NBC’s ratings were up and higher than ever. Maybe it’s because fans had no choice, and they really had to depend on NBC’s delayed coverage to see the events that mattered to them; live coverage was scarce and difficult to find. Or maybe it’s that noisy voices on Twitter simply don’t reflect larger public opinion. But, what it comes down to is the tape delay actually seems to have made more people watch…

Alan Wurtzel, President of Research and Media Development at NBCUniversal was surprised by the network’s performance, and discussed a few reasons why so many people tuned into NBC’s Olympic coverage. Specifically, he said that people who knew the results of an event “were actually more likely to watch the primetime broadcast”. If this is true, this helps explain why, in spite of a very vocal dislike of the tape delay and rampant spoilers, people still watched more Olympics than ever. If you read tweets and articles about how exciting a particular race or game was, maybe you are more likely to tune in to watch that game when it airs later. Twitter functioned like one giant commercial for NBC’s Olympic coverage.

NBC also credits some of their success to a huge increase in their digital strategy around these Olympics, including an emphasis on mobile and social media. Twitter, for example, definitely helped spread the word. More than 50 million tweets were posted by 11 million different people. Because of this, younger viewers watched more Olympics this year than ever before. NBC says both kids and teens showed double digit gains in viewers this year, which likely contributed heavily to the strong ratings. We know teens are active in social media.

So, was the tape delay really an #NBCFail? Technically, we’ll never really know, because we don’t know how NBC would have done had they aired everything live. But it certainly doesn’t look like a fail from here.

Written by Jenn D

August 14th, 2012 at 3:44 pm

Posted in Trends

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Olympic sponsors on Twitter – the final tally

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We’ve monitored and analyzed Twitter activity for the 11 official worldwide sponsors of the 2012 London Olympics for the duration of the games and have been posting summaries of their performance along the way. Now that the games are over, how did the sponsors stack up?

After leading the race for mentions on Twitter since we started tracking on July 27th, McDonald’s has run away with the gold with almost 35,000 tweets mentioning them. In the race for silver, Coca-Cola continued their lead over Team Visa from last week, accumulating over 20,000 mentions. Team Visa, with almost 19,000 mentions on Twitter since the games began, picked up the bronze.

Congratulations to the sponsors! Check out the results below. Click the image for the full-sized version.

Overall, the 11 official worldwide Olympic sponsors had more than 100,000 mentions on Twitter during the games. The most retweeted tweet mentioning an official sponsor was from gold medal winner McDonald’s at over 1,000 retweets:

The next most retweeted tweet mentioning a sponsor clocked in at 686 retweets and was from bronze medal winner Team Visa:

 

We hope you have enjoyed our analysis of tweets from the 2012 Olympic games! If you are interested in doing your own analysis of Olympics tweets, we’d be happy to help. Just let us know!

Written by Dean Cruse

August 14th, 2012 at 3:39 pm

Posted in Olympics,Trends

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2012 London Olympics in tweets

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For the past two weeks, we’ve been tracking – and analyzing – tweets about the 2012 Olympics. We’ve talked about sponsors and athletes and exciting match-ups. And now, here are a few final Twitter stats from the London Olympics.

From July 27, 2012 through August 12, 2012 – opening ceremony through closing ceremony – we tracked 50,643,268 Olympics-related tweets* from 11,070,485 contributors. That’s right, 50 million tweets in just over two weeks! The largest Twitter spike included 1.2 million tweets posted in a single hour on July 27 during the first hour of the Opening Ceremony.

The most buzzed about Olympic sport was football (soccer!) with 2.8 million tweets. The most buzzed about 2012 athlete was diver Tom Daley from Great Britain with 630 thousand tweets. And the most buzzed about country in this year’s games was the United States, which ended the Olympics with 104 medals and more than 5.4 million tweets.

The most retweeted tweet of the games was this one from @TeamGB that resulted in more than 64,000 retweets:

The most retweeted Twitter accounts overall were:

If you’re interested in analysis of any Olympics-related tweets, just let us know!

*Our tracking included full-fidelity coverage of any mentions of a few dozen keywords related to the Olympics, London 2012, and official Twitter handles and hashtags, posted between 2012-07-27 00:00 UTC and 2012-08-13 07:00 UTC. Let us know if you have any questions about our methodology.

Written by Jenn D

August 13th, 2012 at 5:20 pm

Posted in Olympics,Trends

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Olympic sponsors on Twitter – week 2 leaderboard

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Welcome to another installment in our coverage of the 2012 London Olympics on Twitter. Last week, we posted the Sponsor Leaderboard, looking at how the official sponsors of the games had performed on Twitter after week 1 of the games.

We started tracking mentions of the 11 worldwide Olympic sponsors’ official Twitter usernames when the Olympics began, and now after two weeks of tweeting, how are they stacking up?

McDonald’s continues to lead the pack with almost 29,000 tweets mentioning them since the games began. But, look out for Coca-Cola, who has come from behind this week to surpass Team Visa and grab the silver medal place for now. Also notable, Procter & Gamble, who moved from eighth to sixth place with a 240% increase in tweets and a 29% increase in followers over the past week.

With only a few more days of Olympic activity, who will win the gold for Olympic sponsor Twitter activity? Stay tuned to find out! And, if you are interested in doing your own analysis of Olympics tweets, we’d be happy to help. Just let us know!

Check out the results below. Click the image for the full-sized version.

Written by Dean Cruse

August 10th, 2012 at 12:12 pm

Posted in Olympics,Trends

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Twitter’s real-time response to the women’s Olympic soccer gold medal game

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By now, you’be probably seen some of our London 2012 Olympics Twitter coverage. Today, we tracked the gold medal women’s soccer match between the United States and Japan.

Just over a year ago, the US Women’s National Soccer Team lost to Japan in the 2011 FIFA Women’s World Cup, so this Olympic rematch promised to be very exciting. And it definitely delivered! With a record-setting 80,203 fans in the stadium, plus millions watching or listening around the world, the game was action-packed. USA scored the first goal of the game in the 8th minute of play, and the final score was 2-1, with the United States emerging victorious.

711,646 tweets were posted during the 2-hour soccer game from 433,797 different Twitter accounts. The most exciting moment during the game was at 19:55 UTC when Carli Lloyd scored the second US goal, which hit a peak of nearly 12K tweets per minute. At the end of the game, celebratory tweets about USA’s win skyrocketed up to around 22K tweets per minute.

261K tweets were posted about Team USA and 8K tweets were posted about Team Japan*. The most mentioned player on the US team was Hope Solo (with Carli Lloyd a close second) and the most mentioned player on the Japanese team was Shinobu Ohno. Click the image below for a full-sized version.

Interested in doing your own analysis of Olympics tweets? We can help! Contact us to talk more.

*It’s important to note that when the game was live in London (it started at 7:45 p.m. London time), it was very early in the morning in Japan and the middle of the day in the United States, so it’s likely that more US fans were watching than Japanese fans. 

Written by Jenn D

August 9th, 2012 at 3:09 pm

Posted in Olympics

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Ambush marketing at the Olympics – what does Twitter say?

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Continuing on our Olympics theme, last week we took a look at how the official worldwide Olympic sponsors were performing on Twitter with our Olympic Sponsor Leaderboard. Over $1 billion has been invested by sanctioned companies to sponsor the games and the International Olympic Committee has been adamant in cracking down on ambush marketing at these games. The rules are clear – if you’re not an official sponsor, then don’t try to advertise using any connection to the Olympics. The London Organizing Committee and the British Parliament have even criminalized ambush tactics with fines of up to $30,000 or more according to the New York Times. With “brand police” actively searching out rogue advertisers who haven’t ponied up what in some cases is close to $100 million each, how are non-sponsors taking advantage of Twitter over these few weeks to rise above the Olympic social media noise?

We took a look at the Twitter activity around four of the official Olympic sponsors and compared them to their main competitors who are not official sponsors. We tracked all mentions of the official Twitter usernames for each of the brands from July 27th through August 8th. The high level results are below. If you’re interested in more detailed analysis of the Olympics, just let us know!

To start, we looked at Adidas, an official sponsor of the Olympics and compared them to Nike, who surprising to many, is not a sponsor. Instead of spending the money to sponsor the Olympics, Nike instead has focused its efforts on its #findgreatness campaign featuring the Find Your Greatness video and TV spot highlighting aspiring athletes in cities named London from around the world (excluding the one in Great Britain). That video has now seen in excess of 4.4 million views on YouTube and continues to climb. Of course, many of Olympic athletes are sponsored by Nike (have you seen the yellow shoes?), but even with the subtle brand awareness afforded by these efforts, Adidas has used the Olympics to their advantage and outperformed Nike in terms of Twitter engagement. Since the Olympics began, Adidas has seen 50% more tweets than Nike and 100% more retweets from only 5% more Twitter users who mention them. Advantage: Sponsor Adidas.

Next up, beverages. Coca-Cola, an official sponsor of the Olympics for decades has performed quite well on Twitter this year, and was ranked 3rd in our Sponsor Leaderboard last week. Pepsi, not a sponsor of the games, has not focused on the Olympics at all, instead concentrating their Twitter promotional efforts on Summer music with their #pepsimusicnow campaign. With that and their other non-Olympic efforts, total tweets about Pepsi since the beginning of the Olympics are 62% higher than those mentioning Coke. Pepsi has seen significantly higher engagement on Twitter with almost 3x the number of replies to their tweets than Coke and 37% more Twitter users mentioning them.

Of course, follower count may have something to do with this. Pepsi has seen a 41% increase in Twitter followers over the past 3 months preceding the Olympics and now sits at over 1 million followers compared to an 8% growth in followers for Coke. Advantage: Non-sponsor Pepsi.

Moving on to fast food, long-time Olympic sponsor McDonald’s has topped rival Burger King in terms of Twitter engagement with almost 10x the tweets since the Olympics began. McDonald’s, who held first place in our Sponsor Leaderboard last week, beat Burger King in virtually every aspect of Twitter activity including tweets, retweets, replies, and Twitter users mentioning them. Burger King’s Twitter efforts over the period of the Olympics has been focused on promoting their menu items without targeting a specific campaign effort. Perhaps their strategy has been to sit it out and let the Olympic storm blow over? Their one attempt to subtly mention the games resulted in a grammatically-challenged tweet. Advantage: Sponsor McDonald’s.

Finally, we took a look at financial services. Team Visa, an official Olympic sponsor, created a new Twitter username especially for the games and has used it to their advantage to promote their sponsorship. Despite having 3x the followers on Twitter, rival Mastercard’s participation on Twitter has been dwarfed by Team Visa in every aspect of Twitter engagement. Rather than focus on the Olympics, Mastercard has instead focused its social media efforts on promoting the #dineoutday campaign, a fund raising event targeted to raise money to fund cancer research. While a great cause, in terms of Twitter engagement over the past few weeks, advantage: Sponsor Team Visa.

Overall, three of the four sponsors we tracked significantly out-performed their competitors in terms of Twitter engagement since the Opening Ceremonies on July 27th. Only Pepsi, with their massive Twitter effort, beat out Coke based on our Twitter tracking data. Of course, Twitter is but one part of a marketing campaign and these companies are spending millions of dollars outside of social media to promote their brands. And, some surveys indicate that consumers don’t even know who is sponsoring the Olympics. But, in terms of Twitter engagement specifically during the Olympic games, the sponsors’ investments seem to be paying off when compared to their direct competitors.

Written by Dean Cruse

August 8th, 2012 at 7:04 pm