Last week the Houston Astros won the 2017 Major League Baseball (MLB) World Series. It was an epic championship on many levels as Houston won its first title in team history. The games were hard fought and the series produced a record number of home runs. Houston was the underdog after Los Angeles won the most games during the regular season and knocked off the defending champ Chicago Cubs but the Astros remained the sentimental favorite following the devastation of Hurricane Harvey.

Previously we’ve looked at how good an indicator social media can be of sport outcomes. Unlike politics, sporting matches are not based on popular voting (neither are some elections for that matter) and thus fan sentiment cannot help us make predictions. That said, the social behavior of fans actively reflect what’s happening during the contests and can be a great window into their hearts and minds.

During the 2017 World Series, with 1 exception (game 2), the winner of each of the 7 games was the team that generated the most engagement on social media. That’s almost as good a record as the mysterious $14 million bettor.

As for the winning brands, official MLB sponsor Chevrolet drove off with the title thanks to an incredible 2,057% lift in social engagement during the 5 minutes following its commercials. (Clearly TV still has many long innings ahead as we look back to the future.)

Social media can also be great for audience intelligence. Did you know Astros fans are older than Dodger boosters and favor washing their clothes more than their hair? (Maybe the muddy wranglers need more attention since they have the cowboy hats to cover up dandruff?) As for celebrities, H-Town leans towards country music and country drawl (alright alright alright). And with so much of that local talent, can you blame ‘em?

Given all the uproar over how social media is dividing us let’s not forget that sport was the original source of division as fans take up sides and root (if that’s what you call it) against their opponents. For marketing though, we can all agree that social is an incredible source of analytics and activation.

Now, be a good sport and read the rest of 4C’s Insights.

Read the rest of 4C’s Insights Volume 81 here.

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