The Superbowl, America's biggest sporting event, is over and for those of you dwelling in the UK we're here to bring you up to date with the good, the bad and the statistics from last night's game. The New England Patriots now hold onto the Vince Lombardi trophy for the next 12 months, after an exciting 28-24 victory over defending champions Seattle Seahawks... but what happened online?
1. Another Record Breaking Year: 28.4 million tweets about #SB49
When Patriots' Malcolm Butler intercepts a one-yard Seahawks pass on the goal-line with 20 seconds left to win the game, you know there'll be some social buzz. Up 14.9% from last year's Super Bowl (24.9 million vs. 28.4 million), the clash between the Patriots and Seahawks set Twitter alight and was the most tweeted Super Bowl in history.
As Twitter have announced this morning, the three key events that contributed to that heady number were:
That final interception from Malcolm Butler (395,000 tweets per minute)The full time whistle for the Patriots victory (379,000 tweets per minute)End of Katy Perry's half time show (284,000 tweets per minute)
All very impressive numbers, but outside of the #SB49 bubble, how do they actually compare? Well, the World Cup final between Germany and Argentina registered 32.1 million tweets, and the unforgettable 7-1 thrashing of Brazil by Germany in the semi-final saw 35.6 million tweets; 25% more than last night's Super Bowl. So to state the Super Bowl as the world's biggest sporting event, digitally speaking at least, it's not quite there yet.
2. The Patriots Win #SB49 On All Fronts
The Patriots won in dramatic fashion, and we're not talking just about the scoreline. A second battle took place on the digital playing field as both sought to capitalise upon the world's gaze directed to them to increase their social reach.
With almost double the Seahawks social presence (Facebook & Twitter) at the start of play (6 million vs. 3 million), the Patriots had a clear lead. It was set to be a tasty encounter yet one lesson we took from last night was growth favours the victors.
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The above graph highlights the hourly growth rates on Twitter and Facebook combined for both teams. From the 1st to 3rd Quarter (11pm to 2am GMT), the Seahawks led the way both on and off the field with a 24-14 lead and growth of 58,043 (compared to the Patriots growth of 42,586).
However the game and the digital playing field all changed come the final quarter. The Patriots overcame their ten point deficit to win the Vince Lombardi trophy, and welcomed 86,424 new fans to their following. Meanwhile the Seahawks' growth declined almost as soon as the Patriots took the lead resulting in a 4th Quarter (post-2am) growth of 37,874.
The phrase 'You only grow when you're winning' rings true in this situation.
3. FOMO (Or How I Learned To Stay Silent and Avoid Embarrassment)
Two years ago, Oreo changed the Super Bowl game with its excellent reactive tweet. Ever since this moment of social genius, brands have attempted to emulate this success to mixed fortunes. Last night, many attempted to reach the highest goal of social achievement, and like Icarus, they flew so high, and fell so hard.
No-one should be discouraged from engaging with fans, yet these examples highlight how you should not need to post unless you have something to say.
4. #LikeAGirl and Microsoft
Despite the pitfalls of entering such a public conversation, the Super Bowl offer brands the chance for monumental success. This year's two big winners were Always, for their #LikeAGirl campaign, and Microsoft for their innovative, cross-brand social content.
The above, via Hashtracking, highlights the top three brand hashtags from #SB49, and the clear winner is Always' #LikeAGirl. Achieving double the number of tweets as its nearest rival, Pepsi's #Halftime, 359,726 were sent in the 4 hours of football to help Always' take the title. Even though the campaign itself had initially run in June 2014, the power of the Super Bowl saw the brand's campaign delivered to nearly 700 million timelines in one night.
In terms of a qualitative approach, the work of Xbox impressed. With most Super Bowl ads released 24 hours ahead of the big game, it seems Microsoft got to work preparing content to utilise these brands time in the spotlight. The collaborative approach in celebrating and advertising other leading brands' content is a welcome and not often seen move. The posts were high quality, timely and received universally good engagements levels providing a good benchmark for next year.
5. Katy Perry Roars To (Even More) Social Success
Katy Perry's half time show was one of the most talked about moments of #SB49, and has received unilateral positive reception from the press and public. So, as we've seen above, did this have any impact upon her social following? The answer is sort of.
Her impressive show attracted 65,541 new followers on Twitter, but as the most followed account on the platform (64.4 million followers), this equates to growth of just 0.05%. That being said, her three hour spell of growth equated to the New England Patriots growth on Twitter (26,379) and the Seattle Seahawks (19,800) combined from the entire night, and then almost doubled.
The Super Bowl does empower its stars, but the star of the half time show will take some beating any time soon.