Fans across Ohio cheered when NBA superstar LeBron James announced on July 11 he would leave the Miami Heat and return to his previous team, the Cleveland Cavaliers. But as illustrated in an infographic released today from data science company 4C, new data reveals the brands LeBron endorses might have been cheering even louder.
4C, a social intelligence platform, has compiled data that shows huge increases in social engagement between LeBron, the brands he endorses and the Cleveland Cavaliers after LeBron announced he was returning to Ohio.
4C’s analysis demonstrates the massive impact LeBron has on the brands he endorses, as evidenced in the substantial growth between Facebook users who engage with both LeBron’s page and the brand’s page following his move. Brands LeBron endorses including Beats by Dre, Coca-Cola, and Dunkin Donuts, saw the following increase in common user affinity* between the July 11 announcement and September 2014:
Nike: 3402% increase
Beats by Dre: 3236% increase
Dunkin Donuts: 4949% increase
Coca-Cola: 2271% increase
State Farm: 2170% increase
Samsung Mobile USA: 786% increase
Every brand 4C examined saw an increase in the number of users interacting with both the brand page and LeBron’s page following the Cleveland news. In addition, the number of common engaged users between the brands LeBron endorses and the Cleveland Cavaliers saw the following increase following his announcement:
Dunkin Donuts: 6016% increase
Beats by Dre: 5861% increase
Coca-Cola: 4128% increase
*In this case, “affinity” means an increase in the number of users who comment, like a post, or like a comment on both a brand page and LeBron’s or the Cavalier’s official Facebook page. Private, individual Facebook user data was not used.
“Many outlets were discussing how LeBron is the most valuable athlete in all of sports and how his personal value has grown over the years. But could they actually prove it?” said Kunal Merchant, executive vice president of marketing and partnerships at 4C. “We wanted to understand the impact his move to Cleveland had on his endorsers, and the results were pretty clear. If you look at the common engaged users on Facebook between the Cavs and Coca-Cola there was an increase of about 42 times greater after his decision to make the move,” he said.
For advertisers, this data from 4C provides a better way to measure the impact endorsers can have on social media and how fans interact with brands via social channels. Brands now have quantitative data to track connections between the individual and the brands a spokesperson endorses.
“This kind of data changes the way brands and ad agencies make decisions, because now we can easily see correlations between endorser and brand,” said Starcom MediaVest Group SVP, Social Media Director Kevin Lange. “The power of endorsers can change over time. With 4C, we now have real, actionable data and brands can track how changes to an endorser’s career affect the value he or she drives for a brand.”