Blog / Home-Court Advantage: Ranking the Loudest NBA Arenas on Social Media

Home-Court Advantage: Ranking the Loudest NBA Arenas on Social Media

The Seattle Seahawks’ CenturyLink Field has been crowned the loudest outdoor stadium in the world. But that’s just physical noise. With the NBA as the most socially-active U.S. professional sports league and the 2014 NBA Playoffs officially under way, we wanted to ask, what is the loudest NBA arena-on Twitter? So far, this year’s playoff games, full of spectacular plays and unforgettable endings, have been nothing short of thrilling, and the social media activity generated alongside them has been tremendous.

But you can’t perform effective social media analytics until you can contextualize big data to isolate the most meaningful patterns within it; that’s how numbers become stories.

And that’s exactly what Zoomph has done for every playoff game this year. We’ve targeted each arena using our latest technology to geo-bound and collect all Twitter content published with publicly-shared geolocation information. That means that every time somebody at a game turns on geolocation and shares a Tweet, that material has been collected. With this information, we can analyze the NBA playoffs’ social data with a fresh take unmatched anywhere else, enabling us to determine unique social influencers, pinpoint the most active stadiums, and track conversation trends.

Here are some of the most interesting conclusions we reached after the first round of games:

  • #dcRising! The two home games for the Washington Wizards in their series against the Chicago Bulls provoked about 40% more social buzz than Game 5, the final game in Chicago. The lopsided series could have contributed to that (by Game 5, the Wizards held a commanding 3-1 series lead), or it could indicate that Bulls fans either weren’t Tweeting as much or weren’t using geolocation when they did.
  • Cities that haven’t seen recent playoff wins saw higher numbers than those who have. Places such as Washington and Portland drew larger numbers than basketball powerhouses like Miami and Oklahoma City did, suggesting that people may have been more excited to share their location when attending a rare playoff game in their city.
  • Surprisingly, there was no strong correlation between the length of a series and the geolocation data gathered. We expected that the series that went 7 games would show greater geolocation numbers during the final games, but that wasn’t found in the data.
  • The top social influencers for each game, as ranked by our ZPoints algorithm, were often unpredictable. For example, in an early game between Miami and Charlotte, the top influencer was the Charlotte Bobcats’ official Twitter account—even though the game was in Miami. And the official Oklahoma City Thunder Twitter account generated the most engagement during one of their games against the Grizzles in Memphis. In other words, fans interacted the most with social media content from the road teams’ accounts.

Of course, the biggest question is, who is the loudest playoff team in the NBA on Twitter so far? That award goes to the Golden State Warriors, who had about 25% more social buzz on this measure than the Portland Trail Blazers, who finished second in our report.

The statistics from these early games have generated as many questions as answers. But as long as social media conversations are analyzed in new and innovative ways, powerful social media marketing breakthroughs will result. Here’s to more heart-stopping games, compelling social media interactions, and actionable data.

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