Welcome to the Sportego Social Reach Report for January 2017, where we track the performance of Irish Sporting Organisations and publish a monthly report on the headline findings.
Advantage Tennis Ireland. The second smallest of the sporting bodies tracked by Sportego, have made an impressive start to 2017. Inspired by a Wilson Pro Staff 97LS and junior star Simon Carr, Tennis Ireland grew their social presence by 7.37% and twice achieved engagement rates of over 20%.
Despite producing just 76 pieces of content during the month they broke through the 10k mark proving that quality and not quantity is keen to social growth.
Basketball Ireland and Cricket Ireland were both in action in January. The National Cup final which included an appearance by President Michael D Higgins, kept JP Montgomery and Mary McGuire busy with over 1,000 social posts during the most.
That was almost double what Cricket Ireland created during the same time. The Cricketers continued their impressive recent successes as they reached the final of the Desert T20 although their 10.2k followers on Instagram weren’t kept up to speed on proceedings in Dubai.
While Facebook has the biggest audience for all the sporting bodies and Instagram delivers on average the highest engagement, Twitter continues to be the most used platform by the all the bodies. Across the 20 bodies reviewed, the average number of twitter posts per day is 4.66 versus .22 on Instagram. However the average engagement rate on Instagram is 131 times more.
Irish Rugby, despite not being in action, produced 308 pieces of content, 68% of their total output. This was the fourth most of all the sporting bodies while Sailing Ireland produced just 43 social posts, despite having their annual awards.
Just as they did in December, the FAI Ireland showed that leverage of stars names and giveaways leads to big engagement. They were fortunate in that one of Ireland current favourite sons, Shane Long turned 30. While there was no mention of a cake, there was a clip of his now infamous goal versus Germany along with a message. The video has been viewed 215k times while the post has a total engagement of 9.64k between likes, comments, shares and reactions.
Irish Rugby and Cricket Ireland maintain their position at the top of the followers list. The pair have a combined reach of almost 2 million. 1.33m of which belongs to Irish Rugby. Both are true international sporting brands. The GAA, FAI and Horse Sport Ireland complete the top 5 while GO Racing have a social reach of almost 84k after a month on month growth of 1.61%.
Irish rugby’s reach means that once the content is hitting the right sweet spots they will have high engagement. January saw them achieve a total of 144k cross channel engagement, well above the next best, the FAI with 84k. Interestingly, 57.4% of Irish Rugby’s engagement came from Instagram with 57% of the FAI’s total coming from Facebook, perhaps an indication of the audience preference or focus on content.
Finally, we take a look at the eyeballs. While Twitter engagement is low, it does open the world up to a sporting brand, whether they engage or not. Take Basketball Ireland, Sport Ireland and the GAA for example, over 2.33m, 2.31m and 1.7m eyeballs saw their shop window on twitter and this helps raise the awareness of the sport. The tally was below that 16m reach of Irish Rugby.
Looking through mentioners of Irish sporting bodies is an eclectic mix with the likes of RTE, Welsh Rugby, Scottish Rail, The Yorkshire Post, Aldi Ireland promoting Irish Rugby and Sport Ireland.
However the one that stands out for me was Bernard Brogan and his well wishes to the Swords Thunder Basketball team. A GAA star with a twitter audience of over 90k, a reach only bettered by the GAA, Horse Sport Ireland, FAI, Cricket Ireland and Irish Rugby, helping to raise awareness of a rival sport. Fantastic.