Posted on April 8, 2010 by Julee Bean — 1 Comment
Before I give up this answer, brought to you by WE twendz pro™, let’s talk about sentiment vs. volume.
What we wanted to look at heading into The Masters was how people were talking about 4 favored athletes. We knew there would be a tremendous amount of volume surrounding 1 of the contestants, but would that volume be positive or negative? What about the other contestants? Is anyone on Twitter actually talking about the skills of these athletes, or are they talking about the drama surrounding them? We gathered data during the week leading up to the competition.
The Masters, one of 4 major championships in professional golf, is arguably the most prestigious tournament on the PGA tour. Thousands of fans flock to Augusta National golf course in Georgia to cheer for their favorites, and to, of course, to be seen.
We observed what the Twittersphere was saying about the golfers and wondered who this year’s fan favorite was.
We all can probably guess who generated the most volume. We counted 21,174 tweets in the last week about this contender. Tiger Woods is 2 victories away from tying the record for the most wins at the Masters, but the tweets weren’t about his ability or his chances of winning; they were about his celebrity. The topics were largely about his marriage, not his performance. The conversations were about his desperate need to reclaim his position as a championship golfer.
Sure, some of the chatter was about his athletic prowess, but the “best golfer in the world,” has a long way to go until he is again remembered for his golf game. Only 141 of more than 21,000 tweets were about his quest for the green jacket and only 66% of those conversations wanted him to win.
The overall sentiment tied to this contestant was clouded by drama, but there were several comments about his “desperate need to reclaim his position as a champion golfer.” There were also questions about his ability to focus and to pull off a win. Not surprisingly, WE twendz pro™ revealed mixed emotions for this contender.
The second most talked-about contestant was Phil Mickelson, with 408 tweets. Phil had some fans cheering for his victory, but most of the conversations were about his pairing (with you-know-who) and about his choice of selecting his wife’s oncologist as his caddy. Although there was little commentary on Phil’s ability to win the Masters, 76% of those who did tweet about his chances were rooting for him.
Surprisingly, last year’s champion, Angel Cabrera received only 34 tweets. Yes, 34. This man won the tournament last year and only 34 people talked about him on Twitter. Only 3% of his fans thought he would win.
Ernie Els was the third most talked about contestant. 386 people mentioned Els, The 6’3” South African favorite known as “The Big Easy,” in their conversations. People are sentimental about Els, a player seen as a good guy with a long history in golf. There was a little discussion about his choice of caddies, but the majority of people were simply wanting him to win and lauding his performance ability. With 94% of those tweeting about Els cheering him to victory, Ernie Els appears to be the WE twendz pro™ fan favorite on Twitter.
So what does this all mean? We threw out the topic, “Fan Favorite for the Masters Tournament” and measured sentiment around the conversations. We had to do a lot of sifting through the noise to figure out who the fans were pulling for. Hard data and volume were just part of the puzzle; human analysis provided the missing piece.
21,174 conversations focused on the contestant who has been at the center of a media maelstrom, and the runner-up generated only 408 tweets. Ironically, the person who generated the third highest volume was the clear winner with his fans – Ernie Els. Although the volume of the conversation surrounding Els wasn’t nearly as high as his competition, the fans who did talk about him did so in an overwhelmingly positive way.
There has been more drama leading up to this tournament than at a Perez Hilton party, but as we cut through the volume and sliced through the noise, it became clear that Ernie Els is darling of the 2010 Masters Golf Tournament.