Introducing Our Heisman Series…

July 14, 2013

The annual competition for the Heisman trophy is one of our favorite things to watch at Emory Sports Marketing Analytics because it is the perfect synthesis of marketing and sports.  While the Heisman marketing campaigns started to attract public attention with Oregon’s notorious Joey Harrington billboard in 2001, we now have the tools to do real time tracking of the buzz that surrounds Heisman candidates.

This fall we will be monitoring the race for the Heisman using a combination of performance, marketing and social media data.  To begin our series, we collected Twitter activity for the past 90 days for all the Heisman candidates that currently have betting lines established.  We then ranked the candidates and created the pie chart below that shows the share of tweets of the top five candidates.  The “other” category is the share for candidates ranked 6 through 10.

Over the course of the season we will update the chart each week and provide data that explains each week’s changes.  This is something of an experiment for us as we don’t really know how closely social media buzz will correlate with eventual Heisman voting or even how marketing campaigns and on-field performance will drive weekly changes.

Who’s Ready for Some College Football?

Please note that the chart below colors states based on their percentile rank of share of Twitter voice for college football (e.g. Alabama has the highest percent of tweets that are college football related, thus its percentile rank is 100).

The start of the college football season is less than two months away.  Fans have been waiting for the 2013 season to kickoff ever since the Alabama-Notre Dame game ended (which was in the 1st quarter).  The chart above is a Geo-based Twitter analysis of conversation about college football by state in the last six months.  We essentially rank states by the percentage of all Twitter conversations in that state that mention college football.  The top five states are: 1) Alabama, 2) Mississippi, 3) Tennessee, 4) South Carolina, and 5) West Virginia.