120 SPORTS AND MVPINDEX PRESENT MAJOR LEAGUE BASEBALL SOCIAL DATA
Major League Baseball has entered the big data age and according to MVPIndex and 120 Sports, social activity is a criteria that can be measured for the good of the game, players, teams, sponsors, and especially the fans. The sport business partnership used technology to measure metrics produced by MLB teams and each player throughout the 2016 season and offseason. It is no surprise the feel-good story of the century, the Chicago Cubs epic World Series championship win over the Cleveland Indians and their superstar pitcher, Kris Bryant, rose to the top of the charts as the most socially relevant team and the top social post of the year. Yet, Seattle Mariners All-Star Robinson Cano earned the number one player spot even through the M’s have missed the postseason 15 straight seasons to lead the major leagues. The Sports Techie community blog is excited for opening day 2017 when all social media stats start off in first place. While these numbers are not an exact science they do however because of sports tech shine the light on what MLB athletes and organizations provide the most social value with the help of their fans.
Social MLB Data
The social measurement and valuation platform created by MVPindex collaborated with the 120 Sports digital sports network based in Chicago to figure out how to rank social activity by MLB athletes, squads and posts using proprietary algorithms designed to perform a deep dive analysis of modern day communications.
Sean Brown, director of analytics at MVPindex, was on 120 Sports discussing the data produced by tracking social output by MLB teams and stars.
Brown emphasized that the amount of followers on each platform an athlete has in addition to the level high of engagement with fans as well as mentions on social were all critical towards making the lists. To no surprise, superstars made the top ten player list.
Cano was the most socially relevant MLB player because of his high engagement, the third most followers on Instagram and he has two-times as many Facebook fans than the number two player, Albert Pujols.
The Cubs were clearly the top social teams representing seven of the top ten team posts due to their massive national fandome that includes actor Bill Murray all loyally supporting the hot team.
MLB Social Rankings
The ranking system used a combined score compiled from three categories and resulting scores. First was Reach, consisting of fans, followers and impressions. Next was Engagement, made up of likes, comments, shares, retweets and favorites. The final category was Conversation, both positive and negative as well as mentions.
The social media-driven MLB data from last season starting off on Opening Day 2016 and ended with the World Series final game this past November.
Most Socially Relevant MLB Athletes:
- Robinson Cano
- David Ortiz
- Mike Trout
- Clayton Kershaw
- Yu Darvish
- Bryce Harper
- Josh Donaldson
- Jose Bautista
- Anthony Rizzo
- Miguel Cabrera
Baltimore Orioles outfielder Adam Jones climbed up to the No. 6 spot, likely due to his outstanding performances during the World Baseball Classic this off-season and his amazing catch robbing a home run by Orioles’ teammate Manny Machado during the Team USA win versus the Dominican Republic. This amazing WBC 2017 play went viral on Twitter, the fans were captured forever in a meme and it was made into a new Topps card.
Washington Nationals OF Bryce Harper dropped out of the Top 10 during the off-season with the other nine players all remaining as part of the the Top 10 list.
Kyle Nelson, co-founder of MVPindex, says 2016 saw teams and players using Twitter for real-time updates, energizing fans that were following the conversations around the games. Instagram, on the other hand, was the winning platform during the postseason as fans engaged with fun and authentic photos posted by their playoff heroes.
“MLB teams and players are realizing the incredible power of social media to build deeper relationships with their fans, as well as drive value for their sponsors,” Nelson said. “As we gear up for the 2017 season, I’m excited to see who steps up and takes their social media strategy to the next level with even more compelling and creative campaigns.”
MLB Top 10 Team Social Numbers:
- Chicago Cubs
- Boston Red Sox
- New York Yankees
- Texas Rangers
- Toronto Blue Jays
- Kansas City Royals
- Atlanta Braves
- St. Louis Cardinals
- Detroit Tigers
- San Francisco Giants
Surprisingly, the Cleveland Indians almost won the 2016 World Series yet only ranked 16th in the Team Rankings for 2016 and came in at 22 for the Top 100 Social Posts by Teams despite being in a top 20 media market. With the Cavaliers winning the NBA Championship last year, it would make sense that the city and their fans around the nation and world would have produced more social media participation but it was clearly not the case.
The Boston Red Sox’s most influential posts that propelled them to the No. 2 spot included the retirement of David Ortiz as well as their AL East Championship victory. Bose, Dunkin Donuts and Coca Cola are brands that will need to replace Ortiz known as Big Papi with new endorsers, according to Brown.
Even though Cano was the top ranked major leaguer, Seattle fans could not crack the top ten team list. Perhaps the longest current playoffs drought in MLB and number two streak without a World Series appearance (actually ever in the M’s case) the past 40 years has taken its toll for the normally optimistic Mariners fans. Fellow M’s fan can take solace in the fact that the Cubs last won the World Series in 1908 before last season’s epic breakthrough victory.
Bryant and Anthony Rizzo dominated every spot in the ranking of the Top 10 Social Posts from MLB players, specifically their Instagram posts after the World Series victory, as well as from the Cubs World Series parade and Bryant’s wedding.
Additional noteworthy highlights from the collaboration include
- World Series Champions The Chicago Cubs hold the #1 spot in Team Rankings for 2016, the #1 and #2 spots in the Top 100 Posts by Teams, along with the #1, 4, 5, 7, 8, 10, 17 and 18 spots in the Top 100 Posts by MLB Players.
- The Boston Red Sox were #2 in the Team Rankings for 2016 and took the #3, 5, 9 and 16 spots in Top 100 Posts by Teams.
Last Monday at 9 p.m. ET, 120 Sports conducted a deeper look into the the social data on its nightly sports show, The Rally (visit rally.twitter.com), a two-hour, first-of-its-kind interactive prime-time highlights show exclusively on Twitter. 120 Sports uses up-to-the-moment insight from consumer trends to shape the way it produces its daily live and on-demand programming, providing real-time data on what is resonating most with sports fans.
For more specifics and data regarding the top social posts by player and team, including full videos, tune into The Rally during the upcoming season.
120 Sports specializes in trending sports topics. The digital-only broadcast network offers more than 50 hours of live and original content, plus more than 1,200 on-demand video clips, each week. Equity partners in 120 Sports include MLBAM, the NHL, the PGA TOUR, Campus Insiders, Time Inc./Sports Illustrated, and Silver Chalice. The network’s daily live broadcasts include hosted programming delivering timely narratives of the stories across every sport, as well as breaking news, fan response, video highlights and live look-ins, all integrated with social conversation and expert analysis.
The tech company was founded in 2014 as the first social intelligence platform to analyze social media portfolios and calculate the digital brand value. MVPindex has since morphed into a comprehensive social media index and and valuation platform for the the sports and entertainment industries providing real-time analytics on more than 50,000 athletes, entertainers, teams, leagues and brands ranked across social platforms.
The MVPindex Engagement Value Assessment™ (EVA) is fast becoming the industry standard for calculating monetary value of social media campaigns and properties. Clients use the data and insight to consider strategic directions about brand ambassadors, to evaluate partnerships and to maximize sponsorship, while understanding what makes fans tick.
The company closed a $7 million Series A investment round in early 2016 led by strategic investor groups in Dallas, New York, Los Angeles, and Chicago. MVPindex is using the investment capital to accelerate sales and marketing efforts across the globe in sports, expand its coverage in entertainment, and scale its index and social media valuation engine.
Sports Techie, winning and social media success don’t always line up. The Yankees or Lakers are proof of that model as both histrionically championship caliber teams struggled to make the playoffs last year yet still boast a virtual army of dedicated fans in both New York and Los Angeles as well as across the country and world.
The Braves begin play in brand new SunTrust Park ensuring a spike in social traffic from where they sit in the sixth overall spot but will it hold if the team does not win consistently? Is the allure of the new ballpark enough to generate a possible top five social placement for Atlanta in 2017 or will fans be discouraged after the All-Star break if the team is not in the pennant or wildcard chase? It helps to have Brandon Phillips on the team, a locally grown talent and currently ranked fourth of the top ten athletes in MLB.
It appears that engagement with fans is most important for a true measure of a ROI for sponsors making Cano and the Braves relative bargains in the grand scheme of athletic endorsements and team sponsorship.
Social media is certainly changing how to measure the impact athletes and teams have on fans and vice versa.
Hashtags #OpeningDay and #OpeningNight will be full of social chatter. Do your part to be included in the ensuing data mining while you root on your favorite MLB teams and athletes.
See ya later sports techie in Seattle, Atlanta and around the world!
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