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NFL Week 11: Social Media Insights

After 7 years of playing quarterback for a living, I’ve enjoyed being able to simply observe the weekly NFL melodrama from a satisfyingly detached point of view. Interestingly, now that Zoomph is working closely with several NFL teams to engage their fans and amplify their content, I suddenly find myself more and more attached to what unfolds each week.

For instance, having suffered through many of my own injuries and recoveries, I was extremely interested to see how Tony Romo’s return would impact the play of the struggling Dallas Cowboys. I was even more interested, given that Zoomph is powering the real-time social engagement on Cowboys TV, and the success of our clients is our own success.

When first glancing through our social media analytics tracking the engagement and activity for all 32 NFL teams, I was delighted to find that the most influential post of the week was this one by @SportsCenter about Romo’s return:



One player can clearly make an impact that goes beyond the football field and into the Twitter-verse and beyond. The moments that occur on the field echo through social media, and these moments are powerful opportunities for brands and organizations to gain exposure to audiences at unprecedented levels. While another great Zoomph client, the Miami Dolphins, has done amazing things this year with social engagement, the return of Tony Romo not only meant another loss for Miami, but also much more social engagement for the Cowboys that rippled through the country:

dolphins vs romo

The Cowboys successfully leveraged their captive social audience to increase viewership and engagement across their digital broadcast channels. See below for the Cowboys Live Social Broadcast by Zoomph, and the fan’s clear choice for who benefited the most from Romo’s return. It’s another great example of moments in time and moments on social media being married together in real time to create the most intimate fan experiences in history in the ever-growing digital media world:

Cowboys twitter poll

While the Cowboys had a great boost on and off the field this week, they were actually not in our top 4 list of the most social activity. The New England Patriots and Carolina Panthers topped the list (which is not surprising seeing as they’re the only two unbeaten teams left). But why, I wondered, were the struggling 49ers and Washington Redskins close behind? What is the social media audience telling us by the below infographic of campaign comparisons?

feed compare

The answer became clear when I looked at the highest performing post about the Redskins (another great Zoomph client) this week:


When I read the post, it prompted me to look at our social media sentiment analysis report, which certainly shed some light on why both of these teams were getting so much social attention. Rarely do we see a Sentiment graph have so much red on it. Below is a snapshot of the engagement this week about our beloved Redskins:

redskins sentiment

While this might appear to be a terrible sign for the Redskins, that might not be entirely true. Even though much of the engagement reflects a negative mood, these reports go to show that there are still lots of engaged fans — it’s only negative BECAUSE THEY CARE. These are not lost moments for the organization. On the contrary, they are moments when real-time interaction with the fans, through influencer marketing platforms like Zoomph, are ever so important.

Reminds me of a Bob Dylan quote: “People who suffer together have stronger connections than people who are most content.” So in that sense, these moments provide more opportunities for brands to form real connections with their fans. Look at the engagement and reach metrics around #49ers and #Redskins below…. If that’s not an opportunity, I don’t know what is. The fans who made it to that day were showcased along with their peers on a community page like none other, and the team had their full attention. Wins will always help, but a friendly response from favorite teams to angry posts might just be why fans will stay fans for life. I believe that’s something worth celebrating.

 quintons blog

In conclusion to my first NFL blog post of many, I’d like to highlight that while the best teams in the league will inevitably do well on social media, it’s the other teams who have the biggest opportunities to truly connect with their fans who are feeling their pains. It’s a pleasure to be with a company that’s enabling them to do so in innovative, but also intimate, ways to their millions of engaged fans.

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Search & Discovery

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