Who Are The Fan Favourites To Meet At The Super Bowl?

Jenny Force Jenny Force, VP of Marketing

We’re inching ever closer and closer to the Super Bowl and the teams are starting to thin out. Currently, there’s one more weekend of NFL action to determine who is going to be the the NFC and AFC conference champions that will meet in the big game. Who’s it going to be?

With only four teams left, we thought it would be interesting to take a look and see if social media buzz can help us to determine which two teams are going to meet at the Super Bowl. Using MAP, our social media monitoring and analytics software, we analyzed the buzz around these final four teams to see which of them had the best looking season in the social media space.


Let’s start over in the AFC. This past weekend we saw the New England Patriots and the Denver Broncos both win their games to take them into the AFC championship game this coming weekend. We pulled up the share of voice between each of these two team over the course of the season (September 5th – January 13th) to see which team created more of a buzz. Here we found that the Patriots outnumber the Broncos in terms of mentions by about a million. The Broncos racked up 5,627,421 mentions across social channels over the season while the Patriots garnered 6,624,680 mentions over the same period of time.

MAP, Powered by Sysomos - Share of Voice

While the Patriots out mentioned the Broncos over the season, when we pulled up a popularity graph to chart out these mentions we found that it wasn’t a consistent beating over the season. Most of the spikes we see on the chart happen on Sundays (when the majority of football games are played), but it seems that whichever of these two teams had the more exciting game that week seemed to win that week in terms of mentions as well. Some weeks the Patriots saw more mentions and other weeks the Broncos did. However, it looks like the Patriots seemed to have the more popular game more often than the Broncos did.

MAP, Powered by Sysomos - Popularity Chart

We also broke down which channel each of these teams were being mentioned on. When we looked at these numbers we found that the Broncos got more mentions through online news channels and forums, while the Patriots got more mentions in blogs and on Twitter. What’s interesting here though is that on the channels that the Broncos got mentioned on more, they only narrowly beat out the Patriots. However, on Twitter and in blogs, where the Patriots received more mentions, they did so by a significantly larger number.

MAP, Powered by Sysomos - Share of Voice by Channel

We then pulled up the sentiment surrounding each of these teams over the season. Here is where we found the largest difference between them. The Patriots received a lot of positive mentions over the course of the season (47%), while only a small portion of their mentions were negative (17%). Meanwhile, the Broncos sentiment seemed to be a little bit more down the middle with 35% of their mentions being classified as positive and 25% being negative.

MAP, Powered by Sysomos - Sentiment Comparison

Based on this data it looks like the fan favourite for the AFC champion is:

The New England Patriots


NFC logo

We then pulled up the same data points around the two remaining NFC teams, the Seattle Seahawks and the San Francisco 49ers. Here we found the action to be a little bit closer. Over the season the 49ers garnered more mentions, but only by about 200,000 (which seems like a lot, but with the amount of mentions each team got  really isn’t). Over the season the Seahawks accumulated 4,537,595 mentions across social media while the 49ers had 4,755,115 mentions.

MAP, Powered by Sysomos - Share of Voice

Again, when we plotted these mentions of each team over time we can see that each team seemed to have weeks where they performed better than the other. However, in the NFC the spikes in conversations on the average football Sundays seemed to be a lot closer to one another.

MAP, Powered by Sysomos - Popularity Chart

When we explored the break down of social channels talking about each of the NFC teams we found that the 49ers got more mentions across blogs, online news, forums and Twitter than the Seahawks. The only channel that the two teams even came close was in forums. On forums the teams were exceptionally close in the number of mentions they received, but the 49ers inched ahead by about 400 mentions.

MAP, Powered by Sysomos - Share of Voice by Channel

Lastly, we pulled up the sentiment around the Seahawks and the 49ers. This was by far the most interesting piece of data that we found. It turns out that over the entire season, despite the 49ers getting more overall mentions, the sentiment between the teams was dead even. Both the 49ers and the Seahawks saw 33% of their conversations to be positive, 26% to be negative and 41% as neutral.

MAP, Powered by Sysomos - Sentiment Comparison

Based on this data it looks like the fan favourite for the NFC champion is:

The San Francisco 49ers

(but only due to receiving more mentions)

What do you think about this data? Who’s your favourite to get to the Super Bowl. Let us know in the comments.

Leave a Reply