// ]]>
by Dana DiTomaso

Kick Point’s CFL Social Media Score Card — Week 20

Illustration of a football helmet that says CFL

On the field there’s always a winning team, but is that true on the internet? Last week we started evaluating the social media winners and losers in the CFL. Welcome to week 20!

(Need a recap? Check out last week’s post for the details on how we do our analysis.)

What Happened During Week 20

Twitter smack talk was on fire this week! Toronto was hoping that the Alouettes would beat the Ticats so that they could move forward to the playoffs and tweeted this:

And with only a few minutes left in the Ticats/Alouettes game, the Ticats sent this impressively understated tweet:

(The Argos did not reply)

Ottawa 5 – Toronto 23
Calgary 33
– BC 16
Montreal 15 – Hamilton 29
Edmonton 17 – Saskatchewan 24

Now let’s get to the analysis!


The top 3 teams with the largest social media audiences for Week 20 are:

1st Place: Saskatchewan Roughriders
2nd Place: Montreal Alouettes
3rd Place: BC Lions

All 3 of these teams managed to make the playoffs. Coincidence?

Now let’s take a look at the audience growth for Week 20:

CFL's social audience for the week of Nov. 13, 2014, compared to Nov. 6, 2014 shows the Hamilton Tiger-Cats with the biggest increase: +1.51%

The Ticats had a 1.51% increase in audience size. Are Hamiltonians getting on board after their victory?

We’re not quite in bandwagon jumping territory yet, but we’re going to see if that happens next week.


The top 3 most active teams on social media for Week 20 are:

1st Place: Toronto Argonauts
2nd Place: BC Lions
3rd Place: Ottawa Redblacks

The Argos were by far the busiest team on social. They post on average 54 tweets/day. This is more of a blitz strategy that ensures that people see their content, but be warned if you want to adopt this strategy for yourself: you run the risk of annoying your audience.

Now let’s take a look at the change in activity for Week 20:

CFL's social activity for the week of Nov. 13, 2014, compared to Nov. 6, 2014 shows the Saskatchewan Roughriders with the biggest increase: +72.06%

The Roughriders came out of the gates flying this week, with a 72% increase in activity. That’s the difference between a bye week and game day for them.

The BC Lions increased their social activity by 69%. Last week they were one of the least active teams on social. Did they see our Week 19 report and decide to play catch up?


You can post all day, but if you’re not sharing content that engages your audience you’re talking to yourself. The types of posts that are getting good engagement in the CFL are the smack talk tweets, behind the scenes photos, celebratory after game photos, big plays, and bloopers.

These top 3 teams really understand how to engage their audience:

1st Place: Saskatchewan Roughriders
2nd Place: Hamilton Tiger-Cats
3rd Place: Toronto Argonauts

The Roughriders were actually one of the least active teams on social, which proves that you can say more with less. Riders fans love their team and they always post great content, like this photo of their mascot Gainer:

We love you Gainer. #Riders

A post shared by Sask. Roughriders (@sskroughriders) on

Now let’s take a look at the change in engagement for Week 20:

CFL Engagement Change shows the Hamilton Tiger-Cats in the lead with +98.58%

The Ticats saw the largest increase in engagement on social compared to last week. Was everyone watching the Ticats game? The Argos fans were. Or was it that hilarious “sup” tweet that did it?

Top Posts

Here’s a look at the most engaging content for Week 20:


The “sup” tweet was not only best smack talk tweet, it was also earned the top spot for Week 20.


This photo sums up the Ticats win and 6 game winning streak so well. 770 shares! 3545 likes!

WEEK 20 FINAL: TIGER-CATS 29, ALOUETTES 15The Tiger-Cats extended their win streak at Tim Hortons Field to six games…

Posted by Hamilton Tiger-Cats on Saturday, November 8, 2014


The top post on Instagram came from the Riders.

Fan Activity

Probably the most fun part of watching this analysis is what happens during a game. Here’s a small sample of Riders mentions during the game on the 8th:

A small sample of Riders' social during the game shows a large number of red, blue, and green dots.

Each dot is a mention (there are more mentions than dots due to processing overload. Not joking!), and the colour of the dots is the “sentiment” of the post. Green is good, blue is neutral and red is bad. But sometimes the software can’t tell good from bad. For example, here’s a “negative” tweet:

Good for the Riders, bad for the Esks? But the software recorded it as a negative. We can manually switch these, and often do, so that the software “learns” what we actually consider negative and positive.

Another interesting thing to track during the game is the connections between multiple posts. Each line or “link” below is a retweet of the original content. Unfortunately, this only works for Twitter right now but we hope that it’ll capture more networks in the future.

Riders tweets for Week 20. A breakdown of the data can be found in the content above

You can do a lot of interesting things with this analysis. For example, let’s take a look at how annoyed Alouette fans were that they lost their game in Hamilton. With our software we are able to capture mentions by location. In this plot, we are filtering out mentions that only reference the Alouettes.

A map shows how annoyed Alouette fans were that they lost their game in Hamilton. A breakdown of the data can be found above.

That is one angry red circle, right over Hamilton. There’s an equally mad circle in Montreal, but much smaller. I imagine many fans (for both teams) were tweeting at the Alouettes during the game.

Comparative Activity

Next, let’s take a look at the number of mentions of each team’s account (and all associated hashtags) to see which team had the most fan activity for Week 20:

CFL line graph shows the Hamilton Tiger-Cats with a huge spoke on Saturday, November 8

1st Place: Saskatchewan Roughriders
2nd Place: Hamilton Tiger-Cats
3rd Place: BC Lions

The first spike on the left is the Ottawa/Toronto game, it slightly overlaps with the BC/Stamps game. Second spike is Hamilton/Als game (holy shit that spike is huge!), which overlaps with the Riders/Esks game (the spikes overlap slightly as the Ham/Als game ran over).

I also love how the Hamilton spike drops right down between 7-8PM and then way back up again at 8PM. It’s like everyone had a drink and a social break to celebrate and then went on a Twitter barrage again.

Who’s the Big Winner?

Here’s how we figured out the social media winner:

1. We pulled the data from the Audience, Activity, Fan Activity and Engagement charts, then normalized it.

2. Next, we added a weighting factor to reflect what data we felt was most important and gave it a weighting. The weightings from most important to least important are:

Fan Activity

3. Finally, we added up the results!

Social Media Power Rankings for the CFL show Saskatchewan Roughriders in first place, followed by the Hamilton Tiger-Cats, and the BC Lions

Next Week — The Semi-Finals!

We’ll be back on November 21st with our analysis of the Semi-Finals. Who do you predict is going to win? Leave us your pick on our Facebook post.

Facebook comments on the Kick Point Facebook page for Week 20

Go Riders?

Go Ti-Cats?

See you next Friday!

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.