Insights

Let's look back at 10 years of Toronto sports teams on Twitter

By Christopher Doyle

2019 is a milestone year in Toronto sports Twitter as it marks the 10-year anniversary of the Toronto Blue Jays (@BlueJays), Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) and the Toronto Raptors (@Raptors) joining Twitter. 

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The @BlueJays were the first to join, sending their first Tweet on May 20, 2009. The @MapleLeafs later joined in July 2009 and the @Raptors in September 2009.

Let’s look back at some of the facts and figures that tell the story of how these three teams have used Twitter to help shape the story of Toronto sports over the past decade.

@BlueJays on Twitter

This was the first Tweet in @BlueJays history.

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The @BlueJays became the the second Canadian sports team to reach the 1,000,000 follower mark (October 2015) and only the second Major League baseball team to reach the 2,000,000 follower mark (June 2017).

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October 14, 2015 was the date with the single-most mentions of the @BlueJays on Twitter. This was the date that Jose Bautista (@JoeyBats19) hit his iconic #BatFlip home run against the Texas Rangers (@Rangers).

These are the most followed @BlueJays alumni on Twitter

  1. David Price (@DAVIDprice24)
  2. Jose Bautista (@JoeyBats19)
  3. Josh Donaldson (@BringerOfRain20)
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These are the players and hashtags mentioned most often alongside the @BlueJays account over the past 10 years

Players

  1. Jose Bautista (@JoeyBats19)
  2. Josh Donaldson (@BringerOfRain20)
  3. Marcus Stroman (@mstrooo6)

Hashtags

  1. #ComeTogether
  2. #OurMoment
  3. #BlueJays

@MapleLeafs on Twitter

This was the first Tweet in Maple Leafs history.

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The @MapleLeafs reached 1,000,000 followers in August 2015, the first Canadian sports team to reach that milestone. They are currently the second most followed team in the NHL after the Pittsburgh Penguins (@Penguins).

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May 13, 2013 was the date with the single-most mentions of the @MapleLeafs on Twitter. This was the date of Game 7 of the opening round Stanley Cup playoffs series between the @MapleLeafs and the Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins). The Leafs lost in overtime on a goal by the Bruins’ Patrick Bergeron.

These are the most followed @MapleLeafs players (past or present) on Twitter

  1. Phil Kessel (@PKessel81)
  2. Joffrey Lupul (@JLupul)
  3. Nazem Kadri (@43_Kadri)
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These are the players and hashtags mentioned most often alongside the @MapleLeafs account over the past 10 years.

Players

  1. Auston Matthews (@AM34)
  2. Nazem Kadri (@43_Kadri)
  3. Mitch Marner (@Marner93)

Hashtags

  1. #TMLtalk
  2. #Leafs
  3. #LeafsForever

@Raptors on Twitter

This was the first Tweet in @Raptors history

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The @Raptors reached 1,000,000 followers in March 2016. The team has seen their sizable Twitter following grow an additional 80% since that time.

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May 12, 2019 was the date with the single-most mentions of the @Raptors on Twitter. This was the date of the @Raptors Game 7 #NBAPlayoffs conference semifinals victory over the Philadelphia 76ers (@sixers), punctuated by a last second “buzzer beater” from Kawhi Leonard (@kawhileonard). These are the most followed @Raptors players (past or present) on Twitter.

Players

  1. Chris Bosh (@chrisbosh)
  2. Jeremy Lin (@JLin7)
  3. Jalen Rose (@JalenRose)
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These are the players and hashtags mentioned most often alongside the @Raptors account over the past 10 years.

Players

  1. Kyle Lowry (@klow7)
  2. DeMar DeRozan (@DeMar_DeRozan)
  3. Jonas Valanciunas (@JValanciunas)‏

Hashtags

  1. #WeTheNorth
  2. #RTZ
  3. #NBAVote
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@chrisdoyle

Christopher Doyle

‎@chrisdoyle‎

Head of Sports, Twitter Canada