We’ve all been there. We get to our seats at our favorite team’s venue just before a game, and before you can say “play ball,” the phones are out and we are snapping pictures whether it’s of ourselves, our food, the field/court/rink, or that guy wearing a Chad Pennington jersey at a Mets game.
It’s 2017, man. Come on.
Regardless, you have to make sure that you flood your newsfeed or Instagram with photos of your attendance at each game. Pics or it didn’t happen, am I right?
Or you could be like some (including myself) who grow annoyed with the flock of people snapping photos during play and diverting their attention away from the action.
On Monday, marketing platform HYP3R released its “geosocial index,” which allows businesses and venues, like stadiums, to track activity on social media.
This isn’t simply tracking a certain webpage or public figure. This is aggregating every sort of social post at any given location and ranking them using their “HYP3R Score.”
The metric ranks locations on a scale of 0-100 “based on the volume of social activity happening.”
That includes the number of users posting and the reach of each specific over a certain period of time.
“This isn’t about one person, this is an aggregate number posting from a location across multiple social networks,” HYP3R CEO Carlos Garcia said. “And so we thought, ‘Can we track that and can we rank them?’ So we normalized that data with a component of capacity, saying a stadium of this size should generate this much social media activity.”
HYP3R, which sparked this idea in October 2015, maintains weekly rankings that change daily and monthly records as well.
With the NBA and Stanley Cup playoffs going on, it is surprisingly a pair of baseball venues that currently top the list.
Boston’s Fenway Park, home of the Red Sox, and the Bronx’s Yankee Stadium are Nos. 1 and 2. Fenway Park has aggregated a HYP3R score of 100 while Yankee Stadium is a 99.
Quicken Loans Arena, home of the Cleveland Cavaliers who are currently in the Eastern Conference finals, is third with a 98.
Among other New York-area stadiums and arenas, the Mets’ Citi Field scored a 92 (15th in the United States), Barclays Center a 90 (19th), MetLife Stadium an 89 (21st), Madison Square Garden an 86 (50th), Prudential Center an 85 (64th) and Red Bull Arena an 83 (82nd).
With the Giants, Jets, Knicks, Rangers, Nets and Islanders’ seasons over, the numbers coming in from MetLife, MSG and the Barclays are from nonsporting events like concerts and graduations. Once their seasons start back up in the fall, expect those numbers to noticeably increase.
A lot of this obviously correlates with the amount of games played and attendance each night, too.
The Mets and Yankees could play up to six home games in a week, which would provide a steady stream of fans entering the ball park and thus build up the HYP3R score.
But could this metric also show the least attentive fans in sports?
The more fans that are in attendance, the higher a venue’s score will be. However, it could show the markets in which patrons look at a game more as a social event instead of a vital part of everyday life, which many fans see sports as.
Especially in New York, where we have seen the lower sections of venues filled to the brim with suits and celebrities that seemingly care more about their image than the outcome of the game.
But that’s not how Garcia sees it.
“It reflects the engagement of fans at the game. Yes, they’re posting and we could see it as a distraction, but for the most part, they’re sharing their excitement and in-game experience with friends and followers,” he said. “It’s very much contextual to an excited fan that is cheering for their team and letting their friends and followers know that they’re having a great time at the game. And some get very technical with their thoughts. Everyone is a commentator these days.”
It also could add on to the theory of which sports bore fans more. While hockey and basketball provide nonstop action, football has an average of only 12 minutes of gameplay and baseball has plenty of downtime built into its structure.
Less action and instant gratification force people to their phones. It’s just the way it is these days whether you are sitting on a subway or in a stadium surrounded by 45,000 people.
But for the teams looking to expand their presence on social media, this could become an important tool in making that a reality.
“That’s marketing gold,” Garcia said. “If I go to a game at Fenway and I’m enjoying the game and posting, I may inspire my friends and followers to go to a game and experience it themselves. I see it not as a metric of distraction, but as an engagement.”