Richard Sherman’s post-game interview with Erin Andrews seems to have created a huge response on social media, as well as with sports columnists and talk-radio. While it’s easy to pick out a few tweets from prominent Twitter accounts that say Mr. Sherman is “classless”, “vile”, or worse (there is a lot or worse in this case), we were interested to determine the overall post-game Twitter sentiment towards Mr. Sherman.
Our analysis is quite straightforward. We first collected all tweets that were tweeted in the ten-hour period following the end of the NFC Championship game. From this collection of tweets, we selected any tweet that contained “Seattle”, “Seahawks”, or “Sherman”. These selected tweets were then coded as having “positive”, “negative”, or “neutral” sentiment.
It is interesting to note that overall there are as many positive tweets mentioning Sherman as there are negative tweets. However, while “Seattle” and “Seahawks” tweets had a 1:1 (Positive:Negative) ratio outside of the state of Washington, “Sherman” had a 1:9 ratio outside the state of Washington (shockingly, the 49ers home state of California had the highest ratio of negative tweets). Perhaps Sherman really has been driving a lot of the outside of Seattle Twitter hate towards the Seahawks that we previously documented.
Full disclosure, from a marketing perspective, we are fascinated by Richard Sherman. He has done a remarkable job building his social media following; he has more Twitter followers than the official Seattle Seahawks Twitter account. Perhaps Sherman’s engagement with his followers has insulated him from the rest of the Twittersphere, since post-game tweets that mentioned “@RSherman_25” had a 2:1 (Positive:Negative) ratio. We look forward to seeing what he does next in the build-up to the Super Bowl.
Mike Lewis & Manish Tripathi, Emory University 2014.