The Heineken Cup semi-final weekend produced some incredible match moments. From Munster’s last ditch effort to overcome mighty Clermont Auvergne, to a world class performance from a certain Jonny Wilkinson, Twitter was alive with the emotional highs and lows of Heineken Cup rugby. The Twitter frenzy paints a fascinating picture about the role of social media for Heineken Cup fans. Looking ahead to the Heineken Cup final in Dublin, Heineken has set out with an ambitious project to measure the mood of rugby fans across Twitter. Heineken Social Tracker will use this information to project dramatic visual animations in Dublin city centre over the Heineken Cup final weekend, 16-18 May.
Last weekend Heineken measured the positive and negative sentiment of tweets along with volume and trends to reflect the vibrant activity on Twitter around the two crunch games in Montpellier and London. The data collected paints a colourful picture of how fans reacted to the highs and lows of both matches. Munster fans accounted for the largest volume of tweets – 27,919 – with Saracens supporters the least active with 17,914 tweets.
Despite being knocked out of the competition, the Red Army were the most positive set of fans. Although losing to Clermont, 82% of tweets referencing Munster were positive compared to 70% positivity of Clermont fans. Overall all four teams enjoyed positive sentiment across Twitter. However, Saracens, who lost to Toulon, faced negative sentiment of almost 40%.
Without doubt the star of the weekend was Toulon’s Jonny Wilkinson. The Englishman’s Twitter handle (@JonnyWilkinson) was used 10,734 times and a tweet in which he was photographed alongside team-mate Matt Giteau (@matt_giteau) was retweeted 385 times.
As anticipation builds ahead of the Heineken Cup final on 18 May, Heineken is calling out for Irish fans to welcome the French and get behind a team. The Heineken Social Tracker will listen to Twitter and use this data to drive large-scale visual animations projected onto a purpose built set in Dublin city centre on Heineken Cup final weekend. Fans will have an opportunity to influence the visual projections by tweeting their support for one of the Heineken Cup finalists using #GETINTHEGAME. Those lucky enough to be in Dublin for the Heineken Cup final weekend will be able to interact directly with the large scale set by stepping up to kick virtual conversions. Each successful kick will convert into a tweet of support for a chosen team.
Karl Donnelly, Heineken’s Sponsorship Brand Manager, said: “Today, so much of the conversation around sports events takes place across social media. Heineken recognises how important this space is. We are utilising this rich conversation and harnessing it with visual animations and projections over the weekend of the Heineken Cup final. A custom built structure for this visual display will also provide an interactive virtual kicking game; fans can literally kick conversions which will, in turn, send tweets in support of various teams. A social sentiment project like this has never been seen before in Ireland.’
Fans can Get in the Game via www.heineken.ie/game or by stepping up to challenges featured in pubs throughout Ireland. Arcade-style games such as Conversion Challenge and Catch will be available to online players who will also have their Heineken Cup knowledge tested with quizzes and Match Predictor. It is all linked in one exciting system where the overall winner will receive a once in a lifetime VIP and back stadium experience at the Heineken Cup Final.