Blinkfire Analytics Blog

Evaluate sports sponsorships for Digital automatically and in real time

2017: The Year In Review
artificial intelligence, Blinkfire Analytics, brands, brandspotting, customers, Fan Insights, social exposure

2017: The Year In Review

If we told you just a few years ago that you’d be watching live sports on social media, most people would have laughed. And, if brands heard that getting exposure via a rights holder’s Instagram or Facebook would have more value than a TV commercial, they’d have called us crazy.

Today traditional media platforms are slowly losing the race to social media content. With the push of a button, an athlete can take fans inside a locker room after a victory or a team can put fans on a practice field for a training session. Instantly.

Athletes and teams now more than ever are promoters for their brand sponsors — and they have the ability, social channels, and followers to post content on a daily basis that gives brands awareness, recognition, and value.

In 2017 Blinkfire processed more than 25 million social media posts from seven social networks across 35+ sports. Of those 25 million posts, 2.3 million were branded — meaning Blinkfire’s AI and computer vision technology spotted brands present in videos and images.

Which tells us that while social media and branded content have come a long way from a few years ago, there is so much opportunity to be had in the years to come — for both brands and rights holders.

We’re proud of the work we did and many of the insights we uncovered. Here’s just a few highlights from 2017.

BrandSpotter Worked Overtime

More than 1,400 brands were recognized by BrandSpotter™, for a total of 2.9 million times. Say what?! No typos here — you read it correctly – 2.9 million times. BrandSpotter flexed its muscles and got working in 2017.

Updates to Blinkfire: More Insight, More Power, More Data

We listened to our customers, watched trends, and continued to work hard and create everyday – brick by brick. And, Ta-Da. Our team built new tools and launched new features on the platform to make the experience more seamless and the data more robust.

Here’s just a few features we’re mighty proud of:

Instagram: The Social Media Darling

Instagram is the go-to-channel for teams, players, and leagues. We’ve seen average engagement per post on Instagram be more than 4 times that on Facebook and more than 12 times that on Twitter – as it’s become the platform of most value for brands.

With a mixture of images and videos, Instagram led the way in 2017. Of the 2.3 million branded posts (excluding fan posts), seven of the 10 posts with the highest engagement were from Instagram.

Cristiano Ronaldo: Sports’ Social Media King

Athletes on social media have built their own audience, likeness, and brand, so it’s a no brainer that athlete-brand partnerships happen. From Lebron and Nike to Federer and Rolex, top athletes are synonymous with specific brands. However, Ronaldo takes social media, brand awareness, and brand value to a whole new level. Of the top 10 most engaging branded images of 2017, eight were from Ronaldo, giving brand exposure to Adidas, Emirates, CR7, and Nike valued at are more than $20.3 million. What’s more, the earned media Ronaldo drove for his official partnerships in 2017 was more than $76 million.

Some Blinkfire Favorites

We love sports. We love social media. We love brands. And, we love data. In 2017 we sifted through thousands upon thousands of posts per day from different athletes, teams, leagues, and brands. So, we thought it’d be fun to put together some of our favorite posts from 2017 — all are branded —meaning a brand is visible and recognized, but not all are brand sponsored.

Training: Valencia CF

Valencia CF Training

In-Game Action: NBA

Quote Graphic: San Francisco 49ers

Lineup Graphic: Manchester City

Tennis: ATP World Tour

Team Travel: Valencia CF

Game Celebration: Paris Saint-Germain FC


We’re looking forward to an exciting 2018 – full of new platform features, lots of social media posts, a few games of FIFA and ping pong in the office, and a whole lot of brand exposure for teams, players, and leagues. Stay tuned.

Written by Alexis Prousis - January 24, 2018 - 718 Views

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