The Olympics has done more than just send some budding athletes into new sports super-stardom – it’s actually made some of them Twitter celebrities! OK, while it might not be as impressive to win a few hundred Twitter followers as it is to win a gold medal, it’s still interesting to see just how much social exposure the Games gives to its athletes.
Digital intelligence firm Fresh Egg took a detailed look at how the Olympic Games have impacted the Team GB athletes.
Prior to the Opening Ceremonies, the most popular Great Britain athlete was the Wimbledon star Andy Murray, followed by 1.013 million people. In second place was cyclist Mark Cavendish with over 400,000 followers, and then Tom Daley in third with about 300,000 followers.
And since the games started?
Tom Daley is the big winner, gaining more than 800,000 new followers thus far. This endearing swimmer is now the most-followed athlete from Great Britain with 1,130,000 followers – a rise of 265 percent in just under two weeks.
But, as Fresh Egg points out, Daley’s rise was due not necessarily to his performance – winning a bronze in synchronized diving – but rather due to a Twitter troll incident that was highly publicised.
Mark Cavendish fell to second place, having accumulated just 85,000 new followers since July 26. Jessica Ennis jumped to the third spot, up from fifth, gaining over 408,000 new followers.
And Gemma Gibbons, who won a silver in judo, jumped a whopping 5,090 percent from 494 pre-Olympics to 25,651 by August 7th.
Fresh Egg points out that every athlete who competed on behalf of Great Britain has increased his or her number of followers.
However, all’s not fair in Olympics coverage and Twitter followers. Great Britain’s rowers won more medals combined than any other athletes, but none of them are in the top 30 most-followed.
Overall, though, the Olympic Games have certainly inspired people around the world to pay Twitter homage to their favorite athletes. On July 26, the number of people who followed Team GB athletes on Twitter was 3,026,730 pre-Olympics – this number rose dramatically to 5,691,777 by August 7, an increase of over 88 percent.