Which #Rio2016 sports had the most engaged fans around the world on Twitter?

We analysed Kantar Twitter TV Ratings data across a key week of the Olympics (9 – 15 August) to see which sports received the most engagement on Twitter, plus what and who drove that engagement in the UK, Spain, the Philippines, Turkey and host nation Brazil. Marketers running global campaigns throughout live sporting events can leverage passion of fans for greater targeting.

The below table indicates the ten sports which attracted the most engagement on Twitter across all five markets during the period of analysis:

The data shows that there were only three sports which made it to the top ten list across all of these markets indicating global appeal; Swimming, Gymnastics and Athletics.

Brazil had by far the greatest amount of engagement with nearly a million Tweets sent about Volleyball across this period alone. This was the most Tweeted about sport across all of the markets.

Support was shown by athletes across a range of sports, not only within their own field, with Basketball player Jose Manuel Puertas being a key influencer in the conversation around tennis in Spain, Cyclist Chris Hoy a key influencer Tweeting about the Rugby, the Rowing and the Tennis in the UK, and even outside of Olympic sports – F1 Racing Driver Felipe Massa was one of the biggest influencers Tweeting about Judo in Brazil.

National pride was high with each nations own athletes winning a medal causing the highest peaks in Twitter activity, except in the Philippines where Usain Bolt winning the 100m and Michael Phelps claiming his 22nd gold in the 200m individual medley, took the top two spots.

However there were also some sports stars which transcended their own nation’s popularity to gain global support. American swimmers featured heavily within the Tweets about Swimming, with @michaelphelps' handle being mentioned 7324 times across all five markets and by far being the most mentioned handle in the Philippines across all sports. Similarly, Simone Biles featured heavily across the Tweets about Gymnastics in all markets, and Usain Bolt in the Tweets about Athletics.

The most Tweets in a single minute occurred in Brazil with 21,635 Tweets on Monday the 15th when the Brazilian men's volleyball team won their match against France.

Andy Murray winning his gold medal caused the biggest spike in the UK, with 8,535 Tweets in one minute, and Rafa Nadal and Marc López winning the gold medal on Men's Doubles caused the biggest spike in Spain, with a very similar number of Tweets to the UK spike - 8,560 Tweets in a single minute.

The peak moments in Turkey all related to moments in Basketball (3) or Wrestling (2).

And finally, which media publications were the biggest influencers on Twitter across the 5 markets? View the infographic below for further insights, and click here for more information about our social TV tools

Download the infographic

KTTR Olympics Media Outlets table Global Sport Comparison Olympics KTTR

Search article