Thursday, March 24, 2016

March Madness 2.0

As discussed in my last Blog it is March, with March comes pollen, warmer weather, and college basketball. The time for March Madness has come and is now in full force. As we continue to push through the muck of a crazy tournament, we can begin to see the social media implications of such a large sporting event such as March Madness.

For those of you who did not read last week's blog, I spoke about the chances of there being upsets in this year's tournament and the social media implications that go along with those upsets. We looked at statistics from the 2013, a season with highly noted upsets, and how twitter was effected. Today, we will look at the social implications of this years upsets. A year that had as big, if not bigger, more suprising upsets than even the 2013 season.

Lets begin by looking at the matchup between Middle Tennessee State (15 Seed) and  Michigan State (2 Seed). This outlook should be prefaced by saying that Michigan State was one of the best teams in the country all year, with one of the best players in the country in Denzel Valentine. They had been considered by most to have been snubbed out of a one seed, and were actually picked to win the championship by 22.1% of brackets. So to say this was a Titanic of an upset is an understatement. This was one of the largest upsets of all time! But it wasn't the only upset of the weekend, 12 teams with a lower seeding beat their opponent just in the round of 32. With Baylor (5), West Virginia (3), Purdue (5), California (4), and Michigan State (2) all losing to teams that in theory had no chance of beating them. But that is what makes this time of year so fun, not knowing when and how someone will win or lose.

Though the stats are not yet out on the twitter buzz of all of the upsets this year, one can look at simple twitter reactions, and conclude that the numbers should be huge. The "crying Jordan" face covered Twitter after Michigan State's epic upset. Celebrities, basketball stars, and the Average Joe all took to twitter to share their thoughts on the game, much of which were in complete dismay.
This years tournament has been as crazy as ever, and its not close to over. Full of last second wins, epic meltdowns, and crazy upsets. This tournament has been one that will not easily be forgotten, and I'm sure that when the statistics come out that it will have huge social media implications. For know we must speculate, but with growing buzz around the tournament, and as big of upsets as ever, this years Twitter reaction numbers will be huge.

Thursday, March 17, 2016

March Madness

The sports world has become a world of what ifs, assumptions, and picking winners here and there. With sports news streaming 24/7 there is never an end to the constant questions.

With that, it's that time of year again. The time where legacies are made, dreams are fulfilled, and most importantly hearts are broken. The biggest question looming is who will it be this year?Which team will be upset by a mid major school, from a mid major conference? Recent history proves that it is inevitable that at some point within the first few rounds someone will shock the world. Someone will, even if just for one day, forever etch their name in the history books.

In order to truly appreciate just what March Madness is lets take a trip down memory lane.
We will go back to 2013, where 15 seeded Florida Gulf Coast (Also a participant this year) took down the mighty Hoyas of Georgetown (2 Seed). Or 2014 where Mercer (14) shocked the world defeating Duke(3). As recent as last year (2015), 14 seeds Georgia State and UAB, both won over three seeds in Baylor and Iowa State. The list goes on, and as long as there has been a tournament, which was expanded to 64 teams in 1985, there have always been upsets.

The question is how do you predict it? This year the predictions are out, with the Duke Blue Devils taking a lot of heat in their matchup against UNC-Wilmington. Baylor and Iowa State have also been listed as potential "Bracket Busters" in this years tourney. However, are these simple picks based on upsets these teams have felt the past few years? Or is this a fair assessment based on the two teams that are going to face one another in the coming days? If one thing is for sure, talent, prestige, and history do not mean anything to the gods of March Madness. Where any and every team is susceptible to an early scare or a heartbreaking loss.

Another big question that always looms when March Madness comes around, is when will a 16 seed take down a number one seed? Up until this point one seeds are 124-0 against 16 seeds, but with the madness that takes place in the tournament it is a matter of time before a 1 seed falls. This could be the year, as no team has emerged as a clear cut favorite, or even a top tier one seed as in years past. The field is more even than ever, and its time to check out the madness.

What does March Madness mean for social media? Well here are a few stats from 2013, the year where, as discussed before, Florida Gulf Coast upset Georgetown and surged to the Sweet 16, as well as La Salle's team taking their 13 seed, and a "play-in- game" and riding the momentum to the Sweet 16. When Florida Gulf Coast sealed their bid to the Sweet 16, they blew up on Twitter with 206,000 mentions, as well as 268,651 after their win over Georgetown. They even became known as #DunkCity to many on multiple social media platforms, as well as being the most googled phrase the next day. La Salle also exploded on Twitter with their upset tournament run, grabbing over 30,000 mentions in nearly no time after a win clinching a berth in the Sweet 16. As a whole, Twitter exploded in March of 2013, with 19,677,291+ mentions of 'March Madness', with 1.3 billion impressions, and their hashtag #MarchMadness added 1,257,441+ mentions and led to an impressive 2.5 impressions. Along with mentions and hashtags, the official @MarchMadness account gained 64,176 followers on March 1, 2013 and grew to 113,586 by mid-month, a 76.99% increase. Today it has over 450K followers, so imagine the footprint it will leave this year, as Social Media takes a stronger hold within the sports world.

With Social Media growing, and the March Madness season as popular as ever, this year is sure to impress. It will be gut wrenching for die hard fans, and amusing for hated rivals. Twitter will explode on a daily basis, and the more upsets that there are the more it will take off. Everyone loves a cinderella, and this year has the make up to produce one. Who will be this years Butler? Florida Gulf Coast? That is what makes this time of year so much fun: the mystery, passion, and last second games. It's checking Twitter continuously to make sure that your pick is still up on their competition, and the thought of you potentially winning your office bracket.

March Madness: is about the chance that your team will get to be apart of "The One Shining Moment."

Tuesday, March 1, 2016

Leo, The Oscar, and Social Media

As many of you know Leonardo DiCaprio won his first Oscar Sunday night at the Academy Awards. In his sixth nomination Leo finally pulled it off with his performance in The Revenant, where he played a man determined to seek revenge on his betraying partner. Its been long discussed the fact that Leo should have won an Oscar by now, after all he has been apart of some of the greatest movies of his generation. He just couldn't get past that one movie every year that blew people away, and appealed more to the critics, rather than the movie goers.

With the Oscar win comes the acceptance speech, usually rushed, Leo was allowed to deliver exactly what he wanted because after all it was the moment we had all been waiting for, and Leo delivered a great speech, and even took the time to compare The Revenant to global warming. Whether or not one believes in global warming, they cannot deny that DiCaprio was flawless, absolutely classy, which he has shown in years where he didn't win as well. With a speech as fitting for the moment as his, it blew up the social media world and it wasn't long before it broke records of its own.

Leo's acceptance speech began to rack up the twitter traffic immediately. It wasn't long before everyone was talking about it on all platforms, but especially on Twitter and Facebook. The speech was so heavily discussed that it actually broke the record for most tweets per minute for an Oscar related moment. With a whopping 440,000 tweets per minute, breaking the record of the Star studded Ellen selfie from 2014 (255,000 per min.)

With that being said, I lift a huge congrats to one of my favorite actors, and to his moment to shine with the biggest award his industry has to offer. Take a look below at his speech from Sunday night.