Monday, February 12th, 2018 | 4 min read
After just a few days, the 2018 Winter Olympics have already generated multiple moments that will surely be featured in highlight montages for decades to come.
Red Gerard, who looks like he just decided to cut 4th period biology, took home the USA’s first 2018 gold in slopestyle snowboarding, while Simen Hegstad Krueger’s “Miracle on Snow’ comeback in the 30k cross-country skiathlon proved that even the most tedious events can be thrilling.
Naturally, the Games – which make expert judges of us all – are the talk of social media. To get a better sense of what events, moments, and brands are drawing the most attention, Sprinklr collected listening data in real time over the past weekend. Here’s what we found.
Methodology: Sprinklr’s Winter Olympics 2018 data presents social data from Twitter, Instagram public hashtags, Reddit, YouTube and Tumblr collected in real time from 12am ET on February 9th to 2pm ET on February 12th.
Getting an Edge
The team skating competition (and its somewhat inscrutable scoring system) made figure skating the most talked-about event of the opening few days. The high amount of chatter was doubtless assisted by Mirai Nagasu’s histric triple axel last night, Adam Rippon’s stellar outfits (and top-notch debut), and the lights-out performances by the Russ, err, Olympic Athletes from Russia.
Sliding into second is curling, which seems to become a folksy fan favorite every four years. And third is biathlon, one of the sports with a “wow” moment that’s more along the lines of, “Wow, I forgot this one existed.”
Luge’s strong showing can be credited, in large part, to Chris Mazdzer’s silver medal performance – which marked the first time an American man has reached the podium in singles luge.
The amount of preparation among Olympic athletes is rivalled only by that of brands, many of which commit massive sums of money to stay top-of-mind during the Games. We analyzed the Team USA Sponsors and found that NBC has – unsurprisingly – drawn the bulk of mentions, with traditional stalwarts Intel, Nike, Coca-Cola, and Toyota also faring well.
Oakley drew a fair amount of the social conversation – not with a tearjerker commercial, but through smart product placement. We found that over the past three days, 93% of people who mentioned Oakley during the Olympics also mentioned snowboarding. Coincidence? We think not:
Fans of Canada and the United States have been particularly vocal on social, and host country South Korea has also drawn a good bit of emoji love. Nigeria is the most notable of the top five countries (as measured by flag emoji frequency) – its position explained by the well publicized story of its women’s bobsled team.
As for the top food emojis, viewers have mostly favored options that likely aren’t included in typical Olympic training diets.
Our data found that around 3,000 people were talking about the Korean unification flag in relation to its appearance during the Opening Ceremony on Friday. Reflecting the divisive opinions surrounding North Korea, the sentiment of the conversation was nearly a 50/50 split between positive and negative.
Equally popular in the social conversation was Soohorang, the adorable mascot for this year’s Games.
To the Victors Go the Spoils (and Twitter Mentions)
Winning an Olympic gold medal doesn’t just mean big endorsement deals, it also helps guarantee an athlete’s position as the talk of social media. Our data makes clear just how much more chatter is dedicated to gold medalists, when compared to silver and bronze.
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