Fans have been talking football for a hundred seasons.
Todd Grossman, CEO of Americas, Talkwalker, says there’s one place where fandom has become ferociously clear: social media. Overall total engagement around the NFL from Aug. 1-Dec. 30 included 516.3 million who engaged, with 54% positive sentiment. The AFC dominated online mentions, with the New England Patriots as the conversation leader.
Trending topics leading up to the Big Game include the rise of the backup player, the retirement of Andrew Luck, Lamar Jackson’s record-setting streak and the brawl between the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Cleveland Browns. In the word cloud below, the bigger the words, the more often they were used during Jackson’s streak (the higher up the word, the more positive the sentiment). According to Talkwalker, the social listening analytics firm, marketers should expect the unexpected to spike. The fight between the Steelers’ Mason Rudolph garnered 945,000 mentions and the Cleveland Browns’ Myles Garrett had 1.1 million mentions late into the fourth quarter of a Thursday night game to become one of the seminal online moments in the NFL season. It ignited backlash to both players involved and sparked discussion around the league’s history with concussions and head injuries.
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