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featured Reach vs Impressions Twitter Analysis Youtube Analytics Instagram Strategy Social Media Super Bowl

The Ultimate Instagram Analysis of Super Bowl XXIII

by Justina Michalski on February 22, 2023

The Super Bowl isn't just a sporting event - it's also a major social media event. Brands use it as an opportunity to create buzz and engage with their audiences, while viewers take to social media to express their reactions. In this article, we'll focus on Instagram and analyze data to answer important questions about the Super Bowl, including which teams and players received the most engagement, changes in follower counts, and the impact of Rihanna's Halftime Show performance. Join us as we dive into the Instagram activity surrounding the big game!

The NFL's social media strategy for the Super Bowl

The NFL's official Instagram account published 457 posts between February 1st and February 14th, 2023, providing fans with a wealth of updates and highlights on the Super Bowl. During the lead-up to and aftermath of the finale, the account shared a total of 57 images, 68 carousels, and 170 reels, with posts featuring images receiving the highest level of engagement.

interaction rate by post type

The account experienced a notable uptick of 279,639 new followers from February 7th to 14th, translating to a 1% rise in its follower base. 

followers nfl instagram

We discovered unexpected top-performing posts on the NFL's Instagram account - not from the Super Bowl winners or runners-up but from Rihanna's Halftime Show Reels and an illustration of Patrick Mahomes with his awards.

Bildschirmfoto 2023-02-14 um 12.23.56


Social media showdown: How the Super Bowl win boosted the Kansas City Chiefs' popularity and engagement

Examining the followers of the Philadelphia Eagles and the Kansas City Chiefs, the latter saw a more significant increase in followers after the Super Bowl final. Despite this, the Eagles still have more followers, although the Chiefs almost caught up on the day of the final. 

Kansas City Chiefs vs. Philadelphia Eagles followers instagram

Both teams posted more Reels, but they found that images and carousel posts received more engagement. The winners received the most interactions, with the post with the hashtag #VictoryMonday having the highest engagement. 


post type interaction rate Kansas City Chiefs vs. Philadelphia Eagles

The top-performing posts belonged to the Chiefs, with quarterback Mahomes and the team's announcement post taking the top spots. The Eagles' carousel post of player portraits also made it to the list.

top 3 posts by i-rate


The impact on NFL players' social media presence

We also analyzed the Instagram data of NFL players, and Patrick Mahomes was found to be the most popular player with a significant number of followers on the platform. However, Jalen Hurts had the largest increase in followers by percentage during the Super Bowl weekend with 13.6%, followed closely by Travis Kelce with 13.4%. Despite this, Patrick Mahomes still had the most significant increase in followers with a rise of 304,200.

nfl players followers

The top three posts from all players were also analyzed, with Creed Humphrey's post announcing the Super Bowl win receiving the highest engagement rate of 30.5%. Travis Kelce's emotional post featuring a Reel of childhood memories with his brother and Patrick Mahomes' post of him and his family visiting Disneyland after winning the Super Bowl were in second and third place, respectively. 

top 3 posts by i-rate-1


Overall, all players received a notable number of interactions and followers during the Super Bowl weekend, leading to a 7.9% increase in followers and 5,181,683 total interactions.

interactions and followers instagram nfl players

Super Bowl ads' impact on brands and audience engagement

Super Bowl advertising has become a cultural phenomenon where companies pay large sums to showcase their creativity and message to a massive audience of over 100 million viewers. The ads have become a significant source of discussion and analysis, with many people watching the game primarily for the ads, which often generate more buzz than the game itself. Super Bowl ads are now a pop culture phenomenon, with people discussing and analyzing them for weeks after the game.

Analyzing Instagram data for 20 top-performing brands during this year's Super Bowl ads, Apple Music had the highest number of followers and Workday's ad featuring Ozzy Osbourne boosted their follower count by 9.4%. Apple Music, Dunkin, and Busch Beer had the highest increase in follower numbers on the Super Bowl finale day and the following day.

followers super bowl advertisers

Workday and T-Mobile had impressive interaction rates and secured their place in the top 5. 

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The Super Bowl had a tremendous impact on the brands, resulting in a 351% rise in brand interaction and a 17,024,004 increase in followers across the board from the beginning of January until February 14th. 

followers and interactions super bowl advertisers

Posts related to the Super Bowl from Dunkins', PopCorners', and M&M's Chocolates received the most engagement, indicating the long-lasting impact of Super Bowl ads on audience engagement and brand awareness. Super Bowl ads remain a crucial marketing opportunity for brands looking to captivate and convert new audiences with their massive reach and engagement.

dunkin mms popcorners top3 posts super bowl advertisers


Rihanna's Super Bowl Halftime Show: A global marketing phenomenon with 14 million interactions

The Super Bowl halftime show is a cultural and marketing phenomenon that attracts millions of viewers worldwide and generates significant media coverage. It has a pop-cultural impact and provides a platform for artists to showcase their talent and creativity, launch or reignite their careers, introduce new music, and create memorable moments. Legendary musicians such as Prince, Michael Jackson, and Beyoncé have delivered iconic performances.

Rihanna's Super Bowl halftime show marked her return to the stage after seven years and earned her 2.5 million new followers. 

halftime show rihanna followers

Posts featuring her performance by Apple Music and NFL's Instagram received 14.3 million interactions from February 10th to 14th, showing the halftime show's remarkable marketing potential. It was a pop culture moment and marketing triumph that highlighted the halftime show's ability to captivate a global audience. 

One could argue that Rihanna emerged as the ultimate winner of Super Bowl XXIII. 

halftime show rihanna interactions


Our analysis shows that the Super Bowl has become more than just a sports event. Rihanna's halftime show set a new standard for entertainment and cultural impact, generating phenomenal buzz on social media. The top post on the NFL Instagram account was a tribute to Rihanna's performance, demonstrating the power of cultural moments in social media. Marketers can leverage this potential to connect with audiences in meaningful ways and drive engagement and brand awareness. The Super Bowl is more than a game - it's a cultural platform.

To read the full report and discover the full potential of the Super Bowl as a marketing platform, click here.



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