IBM: Australian Open 2013 Social Media Infographic

Posted by IAB Australia On January 30, 2013 Research & Resources

IBM announced that the Australian Open 2013 champions, Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka, also reigned supreme in the social media arena during the 2013 tournament. For the first time at the Australian Open, IBM used applied advanced analytics software and natural language processing to determine the most positively referenced players on social media. Ranked number one in the world, both Djokovic and Azarenka demonstrated their strong connection with fans, resulting in more than 97 per cent positive sentiment across Twitter, Facebook, forums, news sites, blogs and videos.

The social media sphere reflected the real-life men’s final result, with Djokovic and Murray taking the number one and number two positions as the most popular male players on the Social Sentiment Index. This trend was not reflected with the women’s social media champions. Despite her quarter-final defeat to up-and-coming player Sloane Stevens, Serena Williams’ significant influence on women’s tennis has prevailed – ranking her the number two most popular female player on the Social Sentiment Index. A listing of the most positive sentiments associated with discussions about players on social media channels can be found Player Social Sentiment Ranking

Other interesting social media findings included:

  • Across Twitter, news sites, blogs, videos, Facebook and forums there were more than 9.4 million mentions of Australian Open 2013 players assessed for social sentiment by IBM technology
  • Bernard Tomic was the most popular Australian player of the tournament on social media
  • Maria Sharapova joined Twitter on the opening day of the tournament, gaining over 112,000 followers in the two weeks
  • For every five online news articles, there was one blog entry created
  • After Sloane Stevens’ unexpected win over Serena Williams, her Twitter fan based more than tripled
  • The U.S. was the most active country across social media sources during the tournament

In addition to the Social Sentiment Index, IBM and Tennis Australia tracked over 9 million Twitter references for players on the Australian Open Social Leaderboard. The number of tweets referring to the 2013 players peaked at the beginning and end of the 14 day tournament. The final day of the tournament achieved a record 1,020,343 tweets – spurred on by the dramatic final between Djokovic and Murray. Overall, male players consistently dominated the Australian Open Social Leaderboard, receiving a higher number of tweets than female players every day of the tournament.

Graham Kittle, Business Analytics and Optimisation, IBM Global Business Services Australian and New Zealand, “Through our partnership with Tennis Australia, IBM is able to demonstrate the value of business analytics technology through its application at a major sporting event – a living lab environment. The explosion of social media means marketers have unprecedented access to unstructured data about their brands. Using analytics tools, they can analysis in real-time public commentary from blogs, Twitter, Facebook and other social media outlets to spot patterns that help them understand how people feel about their brands and to quickly identify shifts in attitudes. They can use these insights to do everything from improving product development to fine-tuning advertising messages.”


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