In another huge weekend of UK sporting activity, we analysed the top events across the sporting calendar using Pitch Social Insight, our bespoke social media analytics tool. Here are the weekend takeaways:
La Liga’s much anticipated top of the table derby between Atletico Madrid vs Real Madrid finished 2-2 in a fixture where much of the pre-match hype surrounded the performance of Real’s “BBC” strikeforce of Benzema, Bale and Cristiano Ronaldo. “Destroy” was one of the most used phrases in the build-up to the game following their demolition of Schalke in the Champions League in midweek.
England’s post Ashes re-construction began as they took on the West Indies with an ODI defeat in Antigua on Friday, followed up with a win at the same venue on Sunday. Much social media activity continued around the Kevin Pietersen saga following a Twitter spat between KP and his former England colleague Matt Prior. “Childish”, “War” and “Big Cheese” (Prior’s nickname) were among the top words mentioned on Twitter, with the ODI series playing second fiddle to the continued dressing-room angst.
Formula 1 pre-season testing from Bahrain continued throughout the weekend with Lewis Hamilton setting the pace. Meanwhile it was Hamilton’s former team McLaren, which was setting the pace across social media, with its Twitter account @McLarenF1 the top conversation driver around the final weekend of testing before the season opener in Melbourne next week.
The highlight of the football weekend though, was the Capital One Cup Final at Wembley, where 3-1 winners Manchester City showed high-class comebacks both on and off the pitch. With 50% of messages in the opening 45 minutes containing notions of anger, dropping to 17.8% post game, it can be assumed that the majority of conversation was driven by City fans. “Toure” and “Nasri” became two of the most positively mentioned phrases throughout the day following two impressive second half strikes.
“Gus” Poyet was almost universally praised for his efforts in taking the Black Cats to Wembley, but interestingly there was little mention for Man City manager Manuel Pellegrini, with fans seemingly giving more praise to the players’ individual performances than the Chilean tactician.
The top conversation driver across Twitter was City striker @EdDzeko who posted numerous photos of his side’s changing room celebrations.
The weekend ended with an exciting, but ultimately disappointing play-off defeat for Rory McIlroy in the Honda Classic at Palm Beach Gardens, The Northern Irishman looked in good form in the early rounds with that being mirrored by the social sentiment, with an average high of 95.9% positive on Saturday and “confident” featuring as a top phrase on Twitter.
McIlroy’s form departed him on Sunday, and positive sentiment dropped to 66.3% for Rory during the final round as he missed an 12 foot eagle putt on the 18th to force a play-off, while eventual winner “Russell Henley” birdied the first extra hole to take the title and featured as the most positively mentioned phrase of the day.