These Athletes Dominated the Pre-Olympics Social Buzz
With Friday’s opening ceremony, the 2012 Olympics finally got underway in an official capacity after months and months of hype and anticipation. Much of that anticipatory buzz, of course, came on social media. So which sports and athletes most excited the masses and what was popular where in the lead-up to London?
The most popular Olympian on Facebook is American basketball star Kobe Bryant with more than 13.5 million Likes. If soccer star David Beckham had been selected to represent Great Britain, however, his nearly 20 million Likes would make him 2012’s Mr. Popularity.
It’s also interesting to see which sports are most popular with which fans. According to Facebook’s data, swimming is the most mentioned sport among U.S. users, sailing among Brazilian users, horseback riding among German users and kayaking among Korean users. Soccer takes the cake in Australia, Canada, France, Italy, Japan, Russian and Singapore.
Sailing fans are on average the oldest, at 35 years old. But triathlon and racquetball fans are up there too, with an average age of 34. The sport with the youngest fans? Handball, with an average age of 19. Volleyball and badminton are next; their fans are 21 years old on average.
Radian6’s data, meanwhile, takes into account Facebook as well as Twitter, blogs, online news, YouTube, Flickr, message boards and other sites — 150 million sources, all in all. Worldwide, Radian6 says, the most buzzed about Olympic athlete over the past 30 days has been LeBron James of the USA basketball team with more than 78,000 mentions. American Swimmer Michael Phelps and Jamaican sprinter Usain Bolt, respectively, rank second and third. Here’s Radian6’s top 12:
Which athletes and sports have been blowing up your social networks the most? Let us know in the comments.