Millions of sports fans take to Twitter each year to join the Canadian sports conversation. 2017 was no exception!
From the Ottawa Senators (@Senators) deep run in the #StanleyCup playoffs, to the emergence of top young talents like Brooke Henderson (@BrookeHenderson) on the greens and Denis Shapovalov (@denis_shapo) on the courts, 2017 was full of top Canadian sports moments that trended coast-to-coast.
Here are 10 insights that defined Canada’s sports story on Twitter for 2017.
Insight #1: For the third consecutive year, the Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays) were the most mentioned Canadian professional sports team on Twitter. While the team may have missed the Major League Baseball (@MLB) postseason for the first time since 2014, they won the year in terms of Twitter conversation.
They also became the first Canadian professional sports team to reach 2,000,000 Twitter followers in June 2017.
These were the five most mentioned Canadian professional sports teams in 2017:
Insight #2: Cleveland Cavaliers’ forward Tristan Thompson (@RealTristan13) and WTA pro, Genie Bouchard (@geniebouchard) were Canada’s most mentioned active male and females athlete accounts in 2017.
These were the five most mentioned Canadian active male athlete accounts on Twitter for 2017
These were the five most mentioned Canadian active female athlete accounts on Twitter for 2017:
Insight #3: While the Toronto Argonauts (@TorontoArgos) took home the 2017 #GreyCup, it was the Saskatchewan Roughriders (@sskroughriders) that were the most-mentioned @CFL team account on Twitter in 2017, while Calgary Stampeders quarterback, Bo Levi Mitchell (@BoLeviMitchell), had the most mentioned @CFL player account.
This is how the nine @CFL teams ranked in terms of account mentions on Twitter in 2017:
Here are the five @CFL player accounts that had the most mentions during the 2017 season:
November’s #GreyCup game once again trended widely across Canada. The #GreyCup hashtag was used more than 70,000 times on Twitter on the Sunday with Argonauts’ Ricky Ray emerging at the most Tweeted-about player during the game.
Insight #4: In late October 2017, the Vancouver Canucks (@Canucks) reached 1,000,000 Twitter followers. In doing so, they became 5th Canadian professional sports team and the 10th @NHL team to reach 1,000,000 Twitter followers.
Nashville Predators defenceman P.K. Subban (@PKSubban1) also reached 1,000,000 Twitter followers in 2017. He joined Washington Capitals forward Alex Ovechkin (@ovi8) and Pittsburgh Penguins forward Evgeni Malkin (@Malkin71_) as the only active @NHL players with more than 1,000,000 Twitter followers.
Insight #5: Sidney Crosby was the most mentioned @NHL player on Twitter in 2017. When you look at the 10 most mentioned @NHL players on Twitter for the year, half of them were born in Canada and half played for Canadian teams.
These were the 10 most mentioned @NHL players on Twitter in 2017:
Insight #6: The Montreal Canadiens (@CanadiensMTL) had the most-mentioned team account amongst Canada’s @NHL teams in 2017. They had 36% more mentions than the second ranked Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs), and 65% more than the third ranked Edmonton Oilers (@edmontonoilers).
Here is how all seven Canadian @NHL teams ranked in terms of Twitter account mentions in 2017:
Insight #7: While the 2016 Memorial Cup champions, the London Knights (@GoLondonKnights), did not return to the Canadian Hockey League (@CHL) final four in 2017, they did emerge as the most mentioned Canadian @CHL team on Twitter for the year.
These were the five most-mentioned Canadian @CHL team accounts in 2017:
Insight #8: 12 different Canadians played in the National Basketball Association (@NBA) in 2017, with Cleveland Cavaliers’ Tristan Thompson (@RealTristan13) emerging as Canada’s most mentioned athlete account in 2017, while Minnesota Timberwolves’ Andrew Wiggins (@22wiggins) was eighth on that list.
These were the five most mentioned Canadian @NBA player accounts in 2017:
Future Canadian hoops star R.J. Barrett (@RjBarrett6) was one of Canada’s most popular under-20 athletes on Twitter in 2017. In fact, Barrett’s Twitter following grew by more than 740% during the first 11 months of this year.
Insight #9: As Canada’s second most-mentioned female athlete in 2017, Brooke Henderson (@BrookeHenderson) had a massive year on Twitter.
During the year, she became the first female Canadian professional golfer to reach 50,000 Twitter followers and she saw her overall Twitter following grow by 1.34x during the first 11 months of 2017. The New Zealand Women’s Open (@NZWomensOpen) was Henderson’s most-mentioned tournament of 2017, an event she won and also, her first #LPGA championship won outside North America.
Insight #10: The 2017 Coupe Rogers (@CoupeRogers) in Montreal became one of Canada’s most Tweeted-about sporting events from this past summer. The breakout star was Canadian tennis sensation, Denis Shapovalov (@denis_shapo), who electrified crowds on and off Twitter with a deep run in the tournament, which ran between August 7-13. His second round defeat of Rafael Nadal (@RafaelNadal) was his most Tweeted-about match of 2017 and the most Tweeted-about tennis match involving a Canadian for 2017.
For the month of August, Shapovalov gained 23,000 new Twitter followers, as he quickly became one of Canada’s most discussed young athletes. Looking at total account mentions for 2017 overall, Shapovalov earned 1.9x more mentions than his fellow Canadian tennis pro, Milos Raonic (@milosraonic).
NOTE: All data insights contained in this blog are based on Twitter data collected between January 1, 2017 and November 30, 2017.