Twitter Analysis: Which NFL Markets Are Most and Least Receptive to Michael Sam?

Top Twitter Michael SamMichael Sam’s announcement has engendered several reports in the media regarding how accepting NFL management and players would be to an openly gay player.  We were interested in looking at how the fans in NFL cities feel about Michael Sam.  In order to do this, we collected all tweets mentioning “Michael Sam” in the 31 NFL markets for the past 2 days (2/9 morning – 2/11 morning).  The tweets were sorted by market, and analyzed for positive, negative, or neutral sentiment.  Looking at the ratio of positive, negative, and neutral tweets allowed us to compare Twitter sentiment for Michael Sam across NFL Markets.

We present the top ten and the bottom seven markets in the NFL.  It is interesting to note that a lot of the tweets in St. Louis and Kansas City that mention Michael Sam also reference the University of Missouri.  The most negative Twitter sentiment toward Michael Sam seems to be in the Nashville market. Worst Twitter Michael Sam

Michael Lewis and Manish Tripathi, Emory University 2014

Building Your Personal Brand: The Twitter Impact of National Signing Day

Edited NSD TwitterBuilding a Twitter following can be seen as a mechanism for developing an individual’s personal brand.  Athletes are investing in growing their personal brands at a young age.  We find evidence for this phenomenon in an examination of the young men who signed letters of intent for college football yesterday.  The table above presents a Twitter profile for the top thirty high school senior football players according to ESPN (we were not able to locate a Twitter account for Juju Smith & Dalvin Cook, so they have been excluded).   In addition to the overall total Twitter followers for each student, we also looked at the Twitter activity for each student in the last seven days.  We collected all tweets that included the student’s Twitter handle (e.g. @JabrillPeppers) over the last seven days.  The tweets were classified as having positive, negative, or neutral sentiment.   A few observations:

1)      Each student on the list has over 1,000 Twitter followers.  The median is just above 5K followers. 

2)      Students that waited until National Signing Day to announce their decision, tended to have more tweets overall and more negative tweets.

3)      The majority (85%) of the tweets over the last seven days occurred on National Signing Day.

This is just a snapshot of the top thirty, but we plan to study a larger pool of student-athletes over time, to analyze how their decisions and performance impact their personal brands.

Mike Lewis & Manish Tripathi, Emory 2014.


The Day After: Super Bowl XLVIII Ads Twitter Analysis

The Super Bowl ended less than twelve hours ago, and while it will take a while to understand the long term online impact of the Super Bowl ads (if there is one), it is always interesting to understand the type of online buzz created by brands in the immediate aftermath of the Super Bowl.

Super Bowl 2014 Total TweetsFor our analysis, we only examined brands that advertised during the Super Bowl; thus the #EsuranceSave30 campaign and JC Penny’s “rogue” tweeting is excluded from this study.  Our methodology was straightforward.  We used Topsy to collect all tweets that mentioned the advertised brands from 6PM EST on Sunday, February 2nd to 8AM EST on Monday, February 3rd.  The tweets were then characterized as having positive, negative, or neutral sentiment.  Brands that received less than 5,000 total tweets were also excluded from the analysis.Super Bowl 2014 Positive Negative

Budweiser created the most mentions on Twitter.  There were a lot of tweets around the “cute” puppy in the commercial.  David Beckham appearing semi-nude seemed to create the second most number of tweets.  Coca-Cola and Doritos rounded out the top four.

Next, we looked at the ratio of positive to negative tweets mentioning the brand.  The higher this ratio, the more positively the brand was viewed in the Twitterverse.  Radio Shack had the best ratio, followed by Budweiser, Oikos, and Wonderful Pistachios.  It should be noted that Radio Shack and Budweiser clearly outdistanced themselves from the pack with regards to this metric.Super Bowl 2014 Negative Positive

In our observation window, there were actually more negative tweets mentioning Coke than positive tweets.   There seems to be a large negative reaction to using languages other than English in “America the Beautiful”.  However, after the large initial backlash, there has been a wave of support for the commercial.  The automobile brands seemed to get the highest ratio of neutral tweets; these ads did not appear to evoke positive or negative emotions in the tweets.Super Bowl 2014 Neutral Total

We will be looking at the long-term online impact of these ads in future studies (as we have already done for the 2013 Super Bowl Ads).

Mike Lewis & Manish Tripathi, Emory University 2014.

Despite Media Efforts, Twitterverse Loves Beast Mode

Marshawn SentimentThere has been a lot of discussion about Seattle Seahawks RB Marshawn Lynch’s reluctance to speak with the media.  He spoke only for six minutes on Media Day (January 28th).  The appearance was dubbed as “Least Mode”.  Sites like Deadspin have documented the reaction of football writers to Mr. Lynch’s behavior, and it seems a lot of the reaction has been negative.  However, as the chart above shows, since Media Day, there has been a surge in positive tweets about Marshawn Lynch.

Related Articles:

Are They Really Mad Bro? Twittersphere Reaction to Sherman’s Post-Game Interview

U MAD BRO? Twitter Sentiment for NFL Teams In and Out of Their Markets

Mike Lewis & Manish Tripathi, Emory University 2014.