A social media survey, carried out by integrated advertising agency, Inferno in association with, Leaderboarded, has found that diver Tom Daley, judoka Gemma Gibbons and table tennis player Paul Drinkhall outperformed the rest of Team GB in terms of Twitter ‘popularity’, ‘largest percentage growth’ and ‘talkativeness’ during London 2012.
Described as ‘the first social media Games’ the research into all 337 Team GB athletes, who are on Twitter, across these three categories provides a digital snapshot of the online popularity of the nation’s athletes.
Monitored between the opening ceremony on Friday 27 July and the closing ceremony on Sunday 12 August, Inferno and Leaderboarded measured the personal Tweets of Britain’s athletes awarding Gold, Silver and Bronze medals in three Team GB Twitter Olympics events.
In terms of ‘growth’, judoka Gemma Gibbons saw a 5371 per cent increase in followers, taking her total to 26,535. It wasn’t the largest leap in followers, but it was the largest percentage of growth. Gymnast Kristian Thomas saw a 3312 per cent increase, and diver Chris Mears saw a 1065 per cent growth in followers.
The most ‘popular’ Olympian was Tom Daley, echoing M&C Saatchi’s research that Daley stands to make the most in post-Olympic sponsorship; Daley now has 1,388,390 Twitter followers. Tennis player, Andy Murray, came second with 1,117,820 followers and heptathlete, Jessica Ennis, came third with a total of 643,438 followers, a near three-fold increase in followers during the Games.
Table tennis player, Paul Drinkhall, was named the ‘most talkative’ Olympian on social media sending 748 personal Tweets during the 17 days of the games, averaging 44 Tweets per day. Judoka, Karina Bryant came second with 593 Tweets, whilst Colin Oates, who came seventh in the under 66 kg judo category, averaged just under 30 Tweets per day with a total of 505 Tweets sent.
Founding partner at Inferno, Tim Doust, commented: “The 337 Team GB athletes on Twitter have shared their highs and lows, hopes, dreams and experiences with sports fans all over the world during the Olympics and Twitter has given athletes a direct line to fans.
“Inferno’s Team GB Twitter Olympics medal table in association with Leaderboarded has thrown up some unlikely stars such as Gemma Gibbons and Paul Drinkhall in addition to household names like Tom Daley and goes to show how the Olympics can make individuals into overnight stars on social media.”