AN UPSET IN THE MAKING
3 February 2012, 11:30 AM Eastern
Just like on the field, Eli Manning is riding a late surge to overtake Tom Brady in the IBM and USC analysis of Super Bowl XLVI social media sentiment. Overnight results of Super Bowl Twitter buzz drove Giants quarterback Eli Manning’s ‘T score’ for positive sentiment ahead of Tom Brady. Manning now leads with 66% vs. Brady’s 61%, which represents an 8-point shift compared to the previous day. In another interesting development positive sentiment for Giants head coach jumped dramatically with his score rating increasing to 76% positive. That places Coach Coughlin above all of the players and coaches on both teams.
This day-to-day shift in Super Bowl fan sentiment illustrates the speed at which consumer sentiments can shift online — a factor that businesses are watching closely due to the potential impact on their brand equity and sales.
By applying analytics in social media settings we can identify nuances – positive, negative, irony, snarky vs. sincerity, in real-time. That’s enough time to help an organization, or in this case professional athletes, adjust their comments and actions to dramatically (and positively) impact their brands.
SUPER BOWL ANALYSIS TAKES US BEYOND THE TWEETS
2 February 2012
One of the most dramatic NFL games ever played was Super Bowl XLII pitting the undefeated (18–0) New England Patriots led by record-setting quarterback Tom Brady against the surprising NY Giants with young, unproven Eli Manning at the helm. A thrilling, some say shocking victory for the Giants ended the Patriots bid to be the only 19–0 undefeated champion in league history. And now Super Bowl XLVI – The Rematch — anticipated to be the most watched American television show in history, promises to take social media to a whole new level.
As my colleague, and former NFL player Kevin Nosbusch posted on Wednesday, IBM and the University of Southern California Annenberg Innovation Lab are conducting the first sentiment analysis of the two Super Bowl quarterbacks to illustrate how new analytics technologies make it possible to quickly assess the positive, negative and neutral sentiments shared by fans.
Why is this sentiment analysis important to IBM? In addition to being a longtime partner of the NFL, IBM recognizes that its clients, just like football players, are closely connected to their brand presence.
Using advances in analytics companies, academics, journalists can gain new insights into consumer perceptions via social media on endless topics from football and baseball to movies and retailing. Technologies can even distinguish irony and figure out which tweets are just background noise and those that are truly important.
Branding Upset on the Digital Playing Field
The Super Bowl analysis shows us that today the two quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Eli Manning are in statistical dead heat: Brady earning 65% positive sentiment and Eli Manning earning 62% positive sentiment. That actually represents a big branding upset on the digital playing field. Most sports and marketing followers would assume that Brady should be far ahead given his lofty status as an elite QB for many years and three championship rings.
Other noteworthy findings show that wide receivers have upstaged the quarterbacks, who are being positioned in the news media as the chief protagonists — Wes Welker is #1 in positive sentiment and Victor Cruz is a close 2nd. Interestingly Brady leads by 3% points, exactly the point spread Las Vegas oddsmakers have favored the Patriots.
So while it looks like Tom Brady is going into the game as the Social MVP, now is not the time to get cocky. Eli Manning is holding his own against the more experienced Brady in terms of positive sentiment.
The IBM USC analysis illustrates the potential insight and benefits that social media analytics can deliver to a brand — whether you’re an professional football player or a global enterprise. Businesses that ignore the impact of social media will be stuck on the sidelines.
Learn more about IBM and USC AIL social media analysis projects.