The world championship of athletics just finished in Moscow. Russia, the United States and Germany were the countries that received the most medals. One of the highlights was definitely Usain Bolt’s 100m gold. It might not have been the best weather but it was definitely a dramatic backdrop when he reclaimed the world title at 100m with a flash of lightning over his shoulder. He sure is a well known sportsman. But how about the other athletes? How much recognition do they get on social media? Who is getting the social media gold medal?
Let’s start by having a look at the total number of Fans, Followers and Subscribers. This is not as easy as it sounds considering that not all of the participating athletes are using social media or only have a very inactive or not yet verified account. That’s why we have been focusing on those athletes that have won medals in the athletics world championship and are active on social media. The following comparisons will be divided into a men and women section.
Social Media Sports: Total Audience Numbers
First off, YouTube will clearly not matter much when looking at the social media activity of the athletes. None of the participating women is using a YouTube channel and of the medal winning male athletes there are only two on YouTube, which are Renaud Lavillenie and Robert Harting. Let’s see if Facebook and Twitter can give us more insights.
Without wanting to jump to any early conclusion it is quite obvious that there is basically one athlete who may be called the most known sportsman of them all. And this is Usain Bolt with more than 12 million Facebook fans and almost 3 million Twitter followers. Of course there are some more that stand out in social media. For example there is the British runner Mo Farah with more than 250,000 Facebook Fans. He is also closing in on 3 million Twitter followers.
Furthermore there is the Jamaican 100m gold medalist Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce. With about 128,000 fans on Facebook she is clearly far ahead of second-in-line Tirunesh Dibaba who has more then 76,000 fans. But what’s really interesting is that both of them don’t show up in the top 5 list when it comes to Twitter followers. With almost 25,000 followers the British athlete Christine Ohuruogu is winning the race on Twitter. But then again, this is not really much when you compare that number with the male participants.
To come to a first conclusion, it can clearly be said that not many of the athletes are using social media very actively. And after a closer second look it shows that the male athletes are more present the woman. But as always, those total audience numbers don’t really tell the whole story. To get a better impression of their social media activity it is necessary to examine the fan and follower change rates and the interaction rates.
Social Media Sports: Fan Change Rate And Interaction Rate Of Male Athletes
As you can see in the upper graph Usain Bolt, Mo Farah and Robert Harting are the athletes with the fastest growing number of Facebook Fans. But when you compare that to the graph right under it you find that they don’t necessarily have the most active fans. Here there are Renaud Lavillenie and Raphael Holzdeppe who are winning this competition. Quite naturally the interaction rate of all athletes peaked around the time of the competition in Moscow last week.
Social Media Sports: Follower Change Rate Of Male Athletes
When looking at the Twitter statistics there are no surprises. Again Usain Bolt and Robert Harting are attracting the most followers, only with the one exception that Nick Symmonds apparantly gathered a lot of new followers at the beginning of the World championship. But now let’s find out how their fellow female athletes are competing on social media.
Social Media Sports: Fan Change Rate And Interaction Rate Of Female Athletes
The athletes Shelly-Ann Fraser-Pryce, Christine Ohuruogu and Tirunesh Dibaba have the fastest growing number of Facebook fans. So far, nothing new here. But the social media situation on Facebook seems to differ a little between men and women when it comes to the interaction rate. Before the competition there is apparently not much going on the female athlete’s Facebook pages whereas there is at least some interaction among the male athletes Facebook pages.
The graph below shows that among the women Christine Ohuruogu is apparently winning the social media championship. She is attracting the most followers. But what is also interesting is that new names are popping up here; Brittney Reese and Valerie Adams. As already mentioned above this shows that there are some female athletes who prefer using Facebook and others who are rather active on Twitter.
Social Media Sports: Follower Change Rate Of Female Athletes
To come to a conclusion – even if not a surprising one – Usain Bolt is definitely the winner in this social media championship. Furthermore we could see that not many athletes are using social media very actively. And if you compare by gender the men are definitely more present on social media channels than women. But maybe in the coming days there will be a little more social buzz about the female athletes after the discussion about two Russian participants who were kissing on the winners’ podium.
What do you think? Who was the best participating athlete in this years competition? And who should have gotten maybe even more recognition?