Super Bowl 50: Facebook, Twitter Activity – Trends & Hot Topics

Super Bowl 50: Facebook, Twitter Activity – Trends & Hot Topics

By Geoff De Weaver, CEO + Founder of Touchpoint Entertainment Inc.


What were the noteworthy trends, hot topics for Super Bowl 50 on February 7, 2016 hosted in the City of Santa Clara at the state-of-the-art Levi’s® Stadium? It was the greenest and most technologically advanced professional football stadium in the United States (perhaps the world). Plus, Facebook and Twitter delivered an amazing impact on the game and entire sporting industry.

As I have always stated, the business of sports, sponsorships and entertainment s all about delivering for loyal fans AND is only enhanced by personalized fan experiences for everyone viewing the game and importantly in-venue.

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The marketing and business winners of Super Bowl 50 were the companies that best leveraged today’s technology to deliver to the fans a truly remarkable and unique fan experience and provide a ‘one-of-a-kind’ experience for all in attendance. Additionally, Super Bowl 50 was the most streamed NFL event ever and I even predict, next years will be even bigger.

As an aside, I have heard many knowledgeable marketing and social media folks say that at least fifty percent of Tweets are sports related. Yes, the US is particularly sports crazy and I don’t see this trend reversing anytime soon.

Having watched new Television ad campaigns during the Super Bowl from: Dame Helen Mirren to Honda, PayPal, Doritos, Heinz, Bud Lite and that over the top Mountain Dew’s #PuppyMonkeyBaby spot – all the companies were battling for deeper engagement, authenticity, awareness and influence.

Importantly, I think San Francisco provided a perfect backdrop to showcase the entire city and reveal why it has become the epicenter of technology and innovation over the past 30 plus years. Leading up to Super Bowl 50, there was also a weeklong series of public events held throughout the region.

Additionally, the NFL Experience and the Super Bowl City fan village, featured activities for all ages that celebrated the game of football, as well as all that the San Francisco Bay Area has to offer from arts and culture to live entertainment, and food and drink.

In fact, I would estimate some 90 plus percent of fans brought a mobile-device to the stadium and Cisco Systems Sports and Entertainment Group is often quoted that ‘second-screens’ e.g. mobile devices are generally used by over 70 percent of NFL fans at games.

It was great to see San Francisco stepping up for the in-venue experience and showcasing new technologies, upgrades, seating amenities and partnership activation. My hat’s off to all those involved at Levi’s® Stadium! Awesome event and you raised the bar forever!

Live-Streaming records is a trend across all programing, especially with Sports Event. Super Bowls are single-event primetime US TV viewing. By contrast a Summer Olympics takes place in different timezones, lasts two weeks and includes multiple sports and events. But, both the NFL and The Olympics are perfect for digital viewing and customer experience in different ways.

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CBS Says Super Bowl 50 Broke Streaming Records With 3.96 Million Unique Viewers. In fact, 3.96 million unique viewers tuned in to watch the Broncos versus the Panthers across laptops, desktops, tablets, connected TV devices and mobile phones.

Prior to that, Fox’s 2014 Super Bowl live stream had peaked at around 1.3 million viewers, and averaged 528,000 viewers per minute. (That shows the exponential grow from Super Bowl 49) I can actually see that in future Super Bowls, Fortune 500 Brands and Sponsors will insist to maximise the value of rights all broadcasters and rightsholders will see the necessity of complementing the live TV event with live streaming and bringing some more complimentary to view in the living room, iPhone, iPad or laptop.

YouTube is even quoted as stating earlier this week, ‘people spent 300,000 hours watching Super Bowl ads and teaser videos on its service during the game, and overall it saw nearly 4 million hours of ads and teasers watched so far. The ads and teasers have been watched over 330 million times, with 60 percent of that coming from mobile devices, YouTube also said, adding that’s the first time the majority of views have happened on mobile.

For many years, I have referenced Facebook as the world’s largest and most exciting stadium in the world. In fact, with some 1.59 billion people/fans able to watch and engage with friends, fans and teams online via Facebook’s news feeds. Fan Pages for Denver Bronco’s and Carolina Panthers were an amazing resource for fans to find and consume breaking sporting content, showcase the sport and gain deeper insights into stars such as Payton Manning, Cam Newton, Coldplay, Bruno Mars, Beyonce, Lady Gaga and all the other amazing players!

Super Bowl 50 Ratings: CBS Draws Third Largest Audience on Record

Users on Facebook and Twitter  just weren’t as engaged in Super Bowl 50 (SB50)  as they were during last year’s contest e.g. New England Patriots Vs. Seattle Seahawks 28-24 game. Perhaps this reflects the lack of late-game theatrics this year or the plethora of hate-tweets about the Patriots’ Tom Brady in 2015. (or more likely, an East Coast versus West Coast rivalry)

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Now, lets have a quick overview of the power and impacts of Facebook and Twitter on Super Bowl 50 (SB50). I would like to especially thank Facebook’s Ashim Datta and his amazing team at Facebook for providing Analytic’s – Global Insights for always processing huge chunks of data and turning them into meaningful format and sharing them with marketers and enterprises worldwide. As a global marketer, Facebook does and awesome job in providing real-time surveys and product usage data to help us all understand user behavior. (Note: The report entitled ‘Super Bowl 50 on Facebook’ was originally developed by Alex Walker, Consumer Content Manager and Robert D’Onofrio, Data Editor, Facebook.)

However, the level of activity worldwide for SB50 was down 25% compared with last year, according to the social giant. Twitter posts among U.S. television viewers were also down 49%, according to Nielsen figures, after recording-breaking Super Bowl on social nets last year.

CBS’s TV audience of 111.9 million for Super Bowl 50 was also down — although less dramatically — from NBC’s Super Bowl XLIX, which registered 114.4 million viewers. The data shows once again that the volume of Internet chatter does not neatly translate into television ratings.

This year, Facebook said about 60 million people joined the Super Bowl 50 conversation with 200 million posts, comments or likes, as the Denver Broncos defeated the Carolina Panthers 24-10. In 2015, for the Patriots-Seahawks game, Facebook said more than 65 million users generated 265 million interactions.

Now lets do a deep dive into the Facebook and Twitter top-line findings from Super Bowl 50:


60 million people joined the conversation on Facebook worldwide during Super Bowl 50, as the Denver Broncos overtook the Carolina Panthers, 24-10, at Levi’s Stadium in Santa Clara, California. There were countless, sharable moments: Lady Gaga stole our hearts with the anthem, the Broncos’ defense led by Von Miller was unstoppable, Beyonce and Bruno Mars had an epic dance off, PuppyMonkeyBaby had us buzzing, and everyone still wants to know if it was Peyton Manning’s final game.

With 200 million posts, comments and likes, this year’s event drove the second-highest level of conversation Facebook has measured for any Super Bowl. Last year’s game between the New England Patriot and Seattle Seahawks holds the record on the platform.

For the Super Bowl, Facebook’s data team looked at the volume of global conversation during the game, along with the top social moments, most-mentioned players, and which performer had the most buzz during the halftime show:

Top Social Moments:

  1. Beyoncé, Coldplay, and Bruno Mars bring the halftime show to a rousing conclusion
  2. The final whistle blows, sending the Denver Broncos to their third Lombardi trophy with the 24-10 win over Carolina
  3. Lady Gaga performs a stirring National Anthem
  4. Super Bowl 50 officially kicks off
  5. Kony Ealy sacks Peyton Manning and recovers the resulting fumble, giving Carolina hope when they were down 16-7 early in the fourth quarter

Most Mentioned Players:

  1. Peyton Manning (DEN):  10 million people, 19 million interactions
  2. Cam Newton (CAR):  5 million people, 8 million interactions
  3. Von Miller (DEN):  1.8 million people, 2.7 million interactions [SUPER BOWL MVP]

Halftime Show:

  1. Coldplay: 6 million people, 9.3 million interactions
  2. Beyoncé: 5.2 million people, 8.8 million interactions
  3. Bruno Mars: 3.8 million people, 5.3 million interactions

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Twitter said that 27 million Super Bowl 50 tweets were viewed 4.3 billion times worldwide, including those posted on third-party sites; a rep said that was measured over a period spanning three hours prior to the opening kick-off and three minutes after the game ended.

The company did not provide comparable figures for 2015, when it said 36 million global Tweets were posted during NBC’s live telecast starting three hours before kick-off and three hours after the game ended.)

Tellingly, on both Facebook and Twitter, the most social event from Super Bowl 50 wasn’t the game itself but the halftime show in which Coldplay, Bruno Mars and Beyonce shared the stage.

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On Twitter, the most-tweeted minute for Super Bowl 50 was at 8:44 p.m. ET, when 162,000 tweets were sent in the 60 seconds following the halftime show, per Nielsen.

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Bottom-line – having worked on Fortune 500 brands most of my career, I know – Big brands that are spending multiple millions on Super Bowl visibility no doubt would love that their name, commercial or hashtag can get seen in Twitter trends — something that didn’t seem to happen on Facebook as quickly throughout the live game. Additionally, by adding digital to TV campaigns for live-sports events, it enables brands to significantly increase reach, improve customer experience and enhance loyalty while building their tribes and communities more quickly.

Stay passion and win the day!



More about Geoff De Weaver:

Geoff De Weaver Oct 2015

Hailing originally from New York; Geoff De Weaver is the globally experienced entrepreneur, technology disruptor, trend hunter, transformation expert and keynote speaker behind Touchpoint Entertainment Inc.

Feel free to get in touch with Geoff for further information:

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