Success breeds success online, as Australian Open champions Novak Djokovic and Victoria Azarenka discovered by topping the tournament’s social media charts after defending their single’s title crowns.
The world number ones topped IBM’s Social Sentiment Index, which analysed 9.4 million online mentions, after winning 2013’s event over the weekend, both scoring more than 97% positive sentiment across Twitter, Facebook, forums, news sites, blogs and videos.
In the men’s competition, runner up Andy Murray took second place for popularity. In the women’s, Serena Williams ranked second, despite her quarter-final exit at the hands of up-and-coming compatriot Sloane Stevens.
Bernard Tomic was the most popular Australian player of the tournament, despite years of negative press around his attitude and run-ins with the law.
Across the two-week event, there were more than 9.4 million mentions of Australian Open 2013 players on Twitter, news sites, blogs, videos, Facebook and forums. 2013 marked the first year in the tournament’s history that IBM lent its social media software and natural language processing to determine the most positively referenced players on social media.
The US was the most active country across social media sources during the tournament, followed by the UK, Australia, Germany and Canada.
The number of tweets referring to the tournament and its players peaked at the beginning and end of the event. The final day of the tournament achieved a record 1,020,343 tweets, spurred on by the men’s final between Djokovic and Murray.
Overall, male players consistently dominated the Australian Open Social Leaderboard, receiving a higher number of tweets than female players every day of the tournament.
Graham Kittle, business analytics and optimisation, IBM Global Business Services, Australian and New Zealand, says IBM was able to treat the tournament as a “living lab environment” for its business analytics software.
“The explosion of social media means marketers have unprecedented access to unstructured data about their brands,” Kittle adds, stressing the importance of using analytics tools to understand how people feel about their brands and identify shifts in attitudes.