Tokyo Olympics Data Update Reveals Winners and Losers in the Media Coverage

A week removed from the Tokyo Olympic Games and we have had time to digest what was a momentous month for sport in this part of the world when we all needed it most.

Talennial and our friends at DOT loves data looked at the changes in noise and sentiment across mainstream media and Instagram traction of some of the most prominent athletes at the Games and it told an interesting story.

It was no surprise perhaps that Ariarne Titmus was a big winner from the Games given her haul of two gold medals, a silver and a bronze. There were 6.42 times as many articles about Arnie in the mainstream media during the Games than the monthly average over the previous year, sentiment about her and her performances remained overwhelmingly positive and she experienced a staggering 471% increase in Instagram followers (145000 vs 25400).

Australian flag bearer and bronze medal-winning basketballer Patty Mills was covered 2.52 more times according to the noise increase index and experienced a 26% increase in his Instagram following. Kyle Chalmers who won silver in the 100m freestyle, was covered 4.20 more times and experienced a 29% increase in his Instagram following.

Ash Barty and Minjee Lee also experienced bounces in the noise increase index, which can also be attributed to their respective recent major wins at Wimbledon and the Evian Championship. Barty’s Instagram following grew 48% while Lee experienced a 14% increase in the positive sentiment across media coverage.

New Zealand golfer Lydia Ko continued the dominance of female athletes in the news. The bronze medallist in Toyko experienced a 9% increase in positive sentiment across media coverage and an 11% increase in her Instagram following.

Liz Cambage who chose not to compete due to personal reasons, saw sentiment dip negative to -12% during the Games in coverage which was 2.58 times the monthly average over the previous year, but her Instagram following also grew 13% over the same period.

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