5 New Social Media Measures of an NFL Fiasco

Green Bay Packer rips refs, lifts Twitter followers by 350%

While Las Vegas is probably a safe bet in terms of what’s truly driving the National Football League’s sudden focus on quickly settling negotiations with its referees, social media’s influence perhaps shouldn't be understated. Twitter, Facebook and the blogosphere have been home to a ridiculous number of conversations about the fiasco.

And also, if you are not a Green Bay Packers fan but know who T.J. Lang is today, you can probably thank a botched last-second touchdown call and Twitter, in that order.

New data from Radian6, the social media listening arm of Salesforce Marketing Cloud, reveals how the bizarre sports world scenario is playing out in the digital space. The tech firm’s numbers show that 78 percent of the social media posts since the Monday Night Football debacle on Sept. 25 have been negative. That’s slightly up from NetBase’s 76 percent yesterday; so time is not healing the league's PR wounds. All for a contract dispute of reportedly $3.3 million, which is a fairly small sum of money in the NFL financial empire.

Here are five other intriguing findings from Radian6's social media data:

  • Packers lineman T.J. Lang’s Twitter message—a profanity-laced protest of the controversial officiating that concluded Monday's game—was retweeted 94,000 times. What's more, Lang snagged more than 91,000 new followers as a result, putting him at 117,000 total.
  • Hail to the tweet? Not quite. President Barack Obama’s tweet about the game inspired just 7,000 retweets.
  • In the last month, there have been 1.4 million total social media conversations about the refs and the strike. Twitter dominates, accounting for 1.2 million of those posts.
  • 750,000 posts surfaced on Sept. 25 due to the Monday Night Football ending.
  • Since the referee strike began three months ago, there have been 10,000 social media conversations about it daily.

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