LAUSANNE, 20 December 2017 – Burson-Marsteller, a leading global strategic communications and public relations firm, and its specialised sport consultancy, TSE Consulting, have published their second annual “Olympic Sports Social Media Ranking,” which analyses the social media footprint of the International Olympic Committee (IOC) and its 40 International Sports Federations.
This year’s ranking uncovers how these international sports governing bodies use their social media channels, how effective such channels are and what lessons can be learned from each other. In particular, this year’s edition shows that once again the IOC is in a league of its own and tops the rankings on Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. However, FIFA, the International Football Association, is ahead of the Olympic body on Twitter. Notably, the IOC’s Olympics page is the most liked page of any international organisation on Facebook with 19 million likes, 2.5 times as many page likes as UNICEF.
Furthermore, the ranking shows that the Olympic sports of football, basketball, rugby and cycling have the biggest fan pool, whereas sports such as judo, triathlon and table tennis have a smaller fan base but still enjoy a strong social media presence. As was the case last year, ranking categories include, amongst others, “Most Liked Olympic Sports Federations”, “Best Connected Olympic Sports Federations” and “Most Followed Olympic Officials”. Two new categories, “Most Engaged Olympic Sports Federations” and “Most Effective Olympic Sports Federations” have been included this year.
On release of the ranking, Lars Haue-Pedersen, Managing-Director, TSE Consulting a Burson-Marsteller Company said, “Social media platforms have become indispensable communication channels for international sports organisations. Social media has evolved drastically both in how we consume it and its importance within our society – especially within the sport industry. We hope that this year’s ranking inspires sports governing bodies in their approach to their digital communications now and in the years to come.”
In addition to the international sports federations, the ranking also looks at media outlets and journalists focused in the international sports industry. The Olympic sports news website Insidethegames.biz came out on top, just ahead of Around the Rings, with NBC Olympics claiming the bronze in third position. Of the journalists, the BBC’s Ollie Williams is the sports journalist most followed by Olympic Sports Federations, closely followed by the IOC Young Reporters, Ed Hula, founder of Around the Rings, and sports writer Alan Abrahamson, of 3 Wire News.
The study also looked at the most followed Olympic Officials on Twitter. The number of sports leaders active on Twitter has increased slightly compared to last year, with 17 active profiles compared with 12 in 2016. Sebastian Coe (@sebcoe), the President of the International Association of Athletics Federations (IAAF), is the most followed leader in the Olympic Movement, with 123,151 followers, ahead of Brett Gosper (@brettgosper), the CEO of World Rugby with 13,565 followers and Andy Hunt (@Andy_Hunt), the CEO of World Sailing, with 10,437 followers.
The complete 2017 Social Media and Olympic Sport Ranking is available here.