Posts Tagged ‘hockey’

Stanley Cup 2015: Who Is The Social Media Fan Favorite?

2015 Stanley Cup FinalTonight is a big night if you’re a hockey fan. At 8pm(EST) the Stanley Cup finals start where we’ll see the Chicago Blackhawks face off against the Tampa Bay Lightning to see which team will take home The Cup this year.

Both teams have had an exciting season and an even more exciting post-season. In the last round of the division playoffs, both teams took their series to 7 games before winning their chance to play for the sacred Stanley Cup. And now that both the Blackhawks and the Lightning have made it to the finals, this series also promises to be a great one for the fans to watch.

Last week we took a look at which team was the social media fan favorite for the NBA Finals, so we thought it only fair that we do the same for the NHL this week.

Using our Sysomos MAP social intelligence software we looked for mentions of both the Chicago Blackhawks and Tampa Bay Lightning across social media from the beginning of the NHL 2014-15 season (which started on October 8, 2014) up to this morning. What we found was that the Blackhawks saw a lot more action on social channels than the Lightning. Looking across all social channels, we found that the Blackhawks were mentioned in 4,212,437 posts over the season. At the same time, the Lightning only received 1,579,467 mentions.

Sysomos MAP - Overall Mentions Comparison of Chicago Blackhawks vs Tampa Bay Lightning

Looking at those mentions plotted out over time on our popularity chart, it actually seems like both teams mentions seemed to have followed the same pattern in terms of mentions. Both teams saw minor spikes and valleys over the course of the season and then much larger ones as they went into the playoffs. However, while their patterns look similar, you can still see that the Blackhawks saw much more action over all, showing that they seem to have a much more socially engaged fan base.

Sysomos MAP - Overall Popularity Over Time Comparison of Chicago Blackhawks vs Tampa Bay Lightning

What was most interesting though, was that when we broke these mentions down to look at them by individual channels, there was a huge discrepancy. When we compared how each team fared across different channels we found that the Tampa Bay Lightning seemed to be getting mentioned more across blogs, forums and in online news articles. Usually by about 40,000 or more mentions. However, on Twitter, the Chicago Blackhawks were definitely more favored and received almost 3 million more mentions than the Lightning. This Twitter support for the Blackhawks was so large though, that it lead to them seeing way more mentions in the overall total above.

Sysomos MAP - Comparison By Source of Chicago Blackhawks vs Tampa Bay Lightning

But mention numbers aren’t everything. We also have to look at the context of those mentions to really see how the Lightning and the Blackhawks are really being perceived in the world of social media. To do this, we explored the sentiment around each team. When we did this, the race got a whole lot closer.

We started with the sentiment around the Chicago Blackhawks. Here we found that they had an overall favorable rating of 81%. Overall mentions of the Blackhawks over the course of the season showed that 24% of those mentions were positive, while 19% were negative. On the other hand, the Tampa Bay Lightning had an over favourable rating of 79%, which came from seeing 26% of their mentions as positive and 19% being negative. A very close race.

Overall Sentiment for the Chicago Blackhawks

Sysomos MAP - Overall Sentiment for the Chicago Blackhawks

Overall Sentiment for the Tampa Bay Lightning

Sysomos MAP - Overall Sentiment for the Tampa Bay Lightning

Looking at the stats above we’re going to make the official call as the Chicago Blackhawks being the fan favourite to take home the Stanley Cup this year. The Blackhawks seem to have way more mentions over the course of the season by fans and a slightly better favorable rating.

Of course, being a fan favorite doesn’t necessarily mean that one is a better team than the other when it comes down to actually playing, so we’ll just have to see who’s going to be the Stanley Cup Champion as the series plays out.

(However, my personal bias as a Chicago Blackhawks fan makes me really hope that our prediction comes true. Go Hawks Go!)

If you’d like to learn more about how our Sysomos MAP software works, please request a demo.

Tracking The Quest For Hockey Gold

Today marks the beginning of the men’s Olympic hockey tournament, which is always a fan favourite during the Winter Games.  It’s definitely a favourite of ours around the Marketwired offices. Because of that, we wanted to keep an extra close eye on the tournament.

To do this, we decided to build a dashboard, powered by Sysomos, to see how the entire world was talking about The Quest For Hockey Gold.

The Quest For Hockey Gold Dashboard, Powered By Sysomos

Our Quest For Hockey Gold dashboard will be looking at which hockey players are being talked about the most in social media, which country teams are being talked about most and the countries that are making the most social noise about hockey.

To do so, we programmed Heartbeats, powered by Sysomos, to track every player and all 12 teams competing. From there, we combine the different Heartbeats via their API and feed the data into the real-time dashboard to visualize the top 12 in each category.

With men’s hockey being one of the most talked about event during the Winter Games, we expect The Quest For Hockey Gold dashboard to get pretty busy from February 12th when the tournament starts until the 22nd when the gold medal game is played.

But who takes the top spot in each category? We’ll just have to watch and see.

To view The Quest For Hockey Gold dashboard at any time during the tournament click here.

The NHL Is Back!

As a Canadian my winter so far had felt a bit empty. That is, it did until last Saturday. After missing most of the season due to a lockout caused by disputes between the league and the NHLPA (National Hockey League Players Association), hockey finally returned to our lives!

To celebrate the joyous occasion I decided to look at talk about hockey for today’s post. I used MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics platform, to look at talk surrounding the keywords “hockey” and “NHL.” I started my search way back in September when training camps and the preseason action should have been taking place. From September 1 to yesterday I found the terms mentioned 18.7 million times. There were 587,965 blog posts, 546,749 online news articles, 1,506,785 forum postings and 16,094,370 tweets.

Trending that data out over time gives us the popularity chart below. Throughout the chart we can see spikes in conversation, especially on Twitter, at major events in the lockout. The large spike in September was caused by the announcement that the hockey season would officially not be starting when it was scheduled to. The spike in December came from what was thought to be a breakthrough in talks about getting the season going, but wound up breaking down. And then the largest spike in the chart (in January) came from cheers as it was announced that the league and players had come to an agreement and there would still be half a season of hockey.

I dug a little bit deeper into the activity spike on January 6th to see what people were saying. First thing I noticed was that more men were talking about the “NHL” and “hockey” this day than women. Not a huge surprise even though I do know a large number of women that were excited about the announcement. What did throw me off a bit was how much more talk was coming from the United States (61.1%) over Canada (30.2%). Then I looked at the word cloud and buzzgraph. Here I found words one expect on a special day like this, such as “finally” “reached” “agreement.” The one that word that stands out in the word cloud that I thought didn’t fit was “JustinBieber.” It could be his fans spreading joy for the hockey happy Canadian popstar, but I decided not to investigate it any further.

Fast forward a week and a bit and we come to January 19th and the actual start of a hockey season. I decided to look at activity around the same key terms for the past week (January 17-23). Here I found that the excitement is still in the (online) air. In the past week I was able to find 1.7 million mentions of the “NHL” or “hockey.” There were 44,162 blog posts, 34,224 online news articles, 100,040 forum postings and 1,522,030 tweets.

Trending those mentions over time, we can see that there’s real excitement around hockey being back. Not a single day has had less than 100,000 Twitter mentions. The largest spike was of course on January 19th, opening day.

Again, I found that the majority of hockey excitement was coming from North America. Looking at this heatmap of “hockey” and “NHL” related tweets we can see a strong coverage across the continent. There also seemed to be quite a few Europeans excited about the game’s return as well. We can see some more excitement from around the globe as well, but they’re probably just Canadians abroad (kidding).

I then looked into the hashtags being most used around all this hockey talk. One of the most interesting was the “#HockeyIsBack” hashtag which mainly appeared om opening day. It was also interesting to see that 7 of the 10 most used hashtags were for teams. My hometown “#Leafs” seemed to have the most hashtags out of all the teams in the list.

I also pulled up the four most retweeted hockey tweets in the past week. Most of them seem to be jokes about the return of hockey, but the fourth most RT’d tweets was directly from the NHL’s official Twitter account getting people hyped up for Saturday’s grand return.

One thing I can say for sure is that people really are excited that hockey is back. Looking at sentiment for the past week I found that 47% of the conversation was positive and only 12% negative.

Welcome back hockey! We missed you.

Congrats, Canada and Our Olympians!

As a Canadian company, it has been a challenge to stay completely focused on work over the past couple of week while the Winter Olympics took place in Vancouver.

Probably more so than the Calgary Winter Olympics in 1988, Canadians were wildly enthusiastic about the Olympics, and Vancouver turned into a two-week party even for people who didn’t attend any Olympic events.

For Canadians, the Olympics concluded on an extraordinary high as Canada battled the United States for the gold medal in hockey. For three hours, most of Canada came a standstill until Sidney Crosby scored the winning goal for Canada in overtime.

The gold medal capped off an amazing performance by skating athletes, who won a record number of gold medals for a Winter Olympics. As important, the games was well-organized and Vancouver dominated the stage for all the right reasons for the past two weeks.

As far as the dominant conversations over the past two week, “medal” was the biggest point of discussions with “hockey” and “Canada” having the strongest associations.