The Super Bowl has been over for months now, leaving fans to find solace in March Madness, hockey playoffs, or the NBA. For many, though, the NFL’s offseason is the “sport” of choice to fill their time. According to TV ratings, we would rather watch the NFL draft in which teams give job offers to new college grads than the NBA playoffs. Following our recent evaluation of the Social Media strategies of NFL’s hottest rivals, we now dig deeper to reveal the Social Media winner of the Seahawks’ and 49ers’ offseasons.
The recent twitter history of the two organizations, shown below courtesy of Topsy, shows a few interesting events. On most low-news days, the two teams have fairly similar tweet-traffic patterns. However, the Seahawks received a couple of large boosts with the (controversial) trade for Terellle Pryor and the record-breaking contract given to Richard Sherman. Both teams saw a bounce when the NFL schedule was announced, but the Seahawks received a double boost that day due to the announcement that star quarterback Russell Wilson had filed for divorce.
The NFL draft, the biggest offseason event, was clearly won by the 49ers tweets, however. The Seahawks draft strategy of trading back in the draft for more late-round (and thus less flashy) picks was met with a collective “meh” from the fanbase. Pete Carroll, arguably the most social-media savvy coach in the NFL, continued his #SeahawksDraftClues tradition this year and likely boosted the Seahawks twitter activity somewhat, but it doesn’t appear the draft results were that exciting. The 49ers, though, had a bevy of early round picks and seemed to ignite the twittersphere with their draft results. No twitter games were needed by Harbaugh and company to get the fanbase tweeting.
The wordclouds (mined from Keyhole) for the two teams are shown below. Note that the NFL draft is still showing up as a top keyword for the 49ers more than a week later. Meanwhile, the Seahawks have no mention of the draft, but the Superbowl is still a strong association for them more than three months later. So which team is “winning” the social media offseason now?