By: James Maddox
It’s a forgone conclusion that in this day and age large sporting events will have a huge social media influence. This past February’s Super Bowl helped generate 24.1 million tweets during “America’s Game.” Now, the holy grail for college basketball fans is taking the spotlight as March Madness gets prepared to crown the 2013 national champion. And it seems the Twitterverse has spoken when it comes to which school and fan base is making the most noise.
Fizziology, a social media research company, recently did an analysis of the NCAA tournament based on organic discussion on Twitter this past Tuesday and Wednesday. Organic discussion in this sense is defined as discussion pertaining to anything related to the NCAA men’s basketball tournament that users talk about on their own, without any prompt. The conversation was broken down as follows:
- South region: 37%
- Northeast region: 26%
- Midwest: 21%
- West region: 16%
It makes sense for the South region to lead in Twitter conversation. Louisville, the #1 overall seed, is in the South and Florida Gulf Coast has dominated headlines as they continue their miraculous tournament run. According to Fizziology, the South has 41% more conversation about March Madness than the Northeast, 79% more than the Midwest, and 124% more than the West on Selection Sunday. Keep in mind these regions refer to geographical regions and not necessarily the regions according to the tournament bracket.
With many of the 68 teams representing large metropolitan areas, it’s no surprise that the list of markets with the most Twitter users talking about March Madness reflected this as of 3/27/13:
|Designated Market Area (DMA)|
|1. New York|
|2. Washington, D.C.|
|5. Los Angeles|
|10. Dallas/Ft. Worth|
|12. San Francisco|
|13. Kansas City|
Fizziology was able to gather other interesting tidbits of data as well:
- Overall conversation among Tweets was 59% positive, 37% neutral, 1% negative, and 3% mixed
- Conversations regarding brackets constituted approximately 32% of the organic conversation.
- 83% of those filling out brackets completed at least two, 5% filled out at least 5, 4% filled out at least 10, and another 4% filled out at least 15.
Furthermore, ViralHeat was able to summarize an interesting collection of information regarding the tournament with an info graphic titled “March Madness: The Journey to the Socially Sweet Sixteen.” Here is what they discovered:
- Based on Twitter mentions the most talked about team among the Sweet 16 is the University of Miami with well over 312,000 mentions; the least talked about team is Michigan State with 29,980 mentions.
- The most positive messages on social media were related to Wichita State with 66% positive sentiment; the lease positive messages were regarding Syracuse with 44% negative sentiment.
- When Wichita State defeated Gonzaga, the Bulldogs’ overall positive sentiment dropped to 22% while Wichita State’s overall positive sentiment soared to 46%.
- Florida Gulf Coast’s upset over San Diego State landed the FGCU Eagles as the only team in the top 3 for both total mentions and positive sentiment.
- Based on a combination of the team’s seed and total social media attention, the social media world predicted Kansas, Indiana, Florida Gulf Coast, and Duke in the Final Four.