Yesterday, the Tampa Bay Business Journal published a list of the Twitter accounts of athletes who play for the big three Tampa Bay sports. They compared the follower counts and number of tweets from players on the Tampa Bay Rays, Tampa Bay Bucs, and Tampa Bay Lightning.
The TBBJ also looked at the team Twitter accounts, comparing the number of tweets and the amount of followers each team had. Of course, since anyone anywhere can create a Twitter account and follow a Tampa Bay area team, there is no way to tell how many of the followers are local.
But we can still dig into the data a bit.
Last week we determined the Tampa Bay Bucs were 3% more popular than the Rays based on Google popularity. This is also the case with Twitter numbers. If you divide the Twitter followers of the Rays team account (151,561) by the Bucs twitter followers (155,006), you again get 97%. So the Bucs are 3% more popular than the Rays on Twitter as well. The Rays are 7% more popular on Twitter than the Lightning (141,690).
The Lightning however, crush the Rays and the Bucs in tweet volume. The Lightning account has tweeted over 31,000 times, more than 10,000 more than the Rays and Bucs accounts combined. The Lightning social media team is doing a great job on Twitter. But that is a subject for another day.
On the topic of individual accounts, I think the Rays got shortchanged as the TBBJ only counted players. While five current Tampa Bay athletes have over 100,000 Twitter followers (removing former Buc Darrelle Revis), the Rays only have two: David Price and Evan Longoria. However, manager Joe Maddon has nearly 154,000. He is the longest tenured manager/head coach in the area and is synonymous with the Rays since they dropped the Devil prior to the 2008 season.
He should be included.
After the big three teams, how do the other Tampa Bay area sports teams compare? We examined the Tampa Bay area minor league teams a few weeks ago in a post that compared them to other minor league teams. But how do they compare with other Tampa Bay sports franchises?
Interesting here is the Tampa Bay Rowdies, despite having at least 130,000 less followers, have tweeted more than the Tampa Bay Rays and Tampa Bay Bucs. Also interesting is that the Tampa Bay Storm have tweeted more than the Dunedin Blue Jays, Clearwater Threshers, and Bradenton Marauders, despite having a short season than the Minor League teams.
Again, this is just twitter and not a good way to judge the local popularity of a team. But it does show some interesting trends.