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Tuesday, January 29, 2013
Social media is big business at Super Bowl

By Bill Speros
Special to ESPN.com

There are countless places on the Internet where fans can contrast and compare all the important stats between the 49ers and the Ravens. And now the social media monitoring service HootSuite has created and launched a real-time Super Bowl Social Media Command Center.

Fans can visit the site and check to see which team is leading when it comes to Facebook mentions, likes, Twitter volume of the teams, quarterbacks and coaches and overall fan sentiment. It will be updated continually and available through Sunday’s game.

HootSuite, working in partnership with FSC Interactive, will be used as the official social media management system for the New Orleans Super Bowl Host Committee and all of its social networks, including its Twitter feed (@nolasuperbowl).

There's more at stake here than just social media supremacy. Before the AFC and NFC Championship Games, HootSuite was able to correctly predict the winners by analyzing fan sentiment based on Twitter conversations about the four teams participating.

As HootSuite noted on its blog: "Maybe social media represents the new era of the 'home team advantage' where the best, most dedicated fans give their team an extra boost when it really matters? We don’t really know why it works, but it has so far."

As one might have expected, interest in both teams spiked Tuesday as Super Bowl media day took place at the Superdome, beginning with the 49ers' appearance in the morning. During the 49ers' time on the field, fan sentiment toward the team was about 68 percent positive, according to the command center. Wonder how much of that negative 32 percent was due to Randy Moss?

Randy Moss says he's the greatest WR of all time. @jerryrice: "Put my numbers up against his numbers." We did --> twitter.com/SportsCenter/s…

— SportsCenter (@SportsCenter) January 29, 2013

IMHO I'd rank Moss #2 behind the GOAT @jerryrice... Moss isn't the greatest (#2), but he's no doubt been the funnest to watch.

— Donte' Stallworth (@DonteStallworth) January 29, 2013


The Ravens followed in the afternoon. When media day ended, according to the command center, more than 515,000 people were talking about the Ravens on Facebook, while 824,000 were discussing the 49ers.

Twitter sentiment toward the Ravens was about 42 percent negative Tuesday. According to Mashable.com and data compiled by Fizziology, a social media analysis company, nearly 10 percent of the Twitter comments about linebacker Ray Lewis during the week of Jan. 21-27 referenced his alleged role in a double murder that occurred in Atlanta the night of Super Bowl XXXIV.

Fizziology said Lewis was mentioned more than 63,000 times on Twitter in that span. Eighteen percent of those mentions were negative and approximately half of those negative comments referenced Lewis' alleged role in the killings. Mashable.com also reported that overall negative sentiment concerning Lewis expressed from those in the San Francisco area is slightly higher than the national average but contains fewer murder references. According to Fizziology's data, just 37 percent of negative comments from the Bay Area referenced the incident, compared to 48 percent for the nation as a whole.

Both teams had plenty of fan support on Twitter as #MediaDay was a trending topic throughout the day.

Watching #mediaday at work is getting me so pumped for Sunday. Can't wait to see the @ravens where they belong, on the winners podium!!!!

— Raleigh Burke (@ralster007) January 29, 2013

Wow.. All the Steelers fans that responded rather have 49ers tie with 6th Super Bowl win than See Ravens win anything...

— Elliott Sadler (@Elliott_Sadler) January 29, 2013



To no one's surprise, Lewis attracted a huge swarm of media at his station:

Ray Lewis speaks to the media. twitter.com/Ravens/status/…

— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) January 29, 2013


He discussed some serious issues, and some not-so-serious issues:

Ray Lewis, in response to a question from Access Hollywood: "I may have been catfished once or twice."

— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) January 29, 2013


Wide receiver Torrey Smith (@TorreySmithWR) and safety Ed Reed stopped to make some memories before meeting the press:

Big Bro Reed


From torreysmithwr via Instagram.



Sometimes you just had to be there:

Terrell Suggs belted out "I Would Do Anything for Love" from Meatloaf. Seriously. #sbnola

— Larry Holder (@LarryHolder) January 29, 2013



Ray Rice and Bryant McKinnie (@BryantMcKinnie) struck a Hollywood pose:


Me & rayrice27 Twinz Danny & Arnold! We doing my tired stance lol #mediaday instagr.am/p/VE8fYAQhvH/

— Bryant Mckinnie (@BryantMckinnie) January 29, 2013


From bryantmckinnie via Instagram.




Everybody's a comedian:

A Viking reporter at #MediaDay #SBRavens twitter.com/Ravens/status/…

— Baltimore Ravens (@Ravens) January 29, 2013


Somehow, it’s still called “media day”:

Media Day in a nutshell (pun intended): A TV Azteca reporter is interviewing a yodeler who was interviewing a clown, while I Tweet about it.

— Ralph Vacchiano (@RVacchianoNYDN) January 29, 2013
Bill Speros is an ESPN.com contributor. He can be reached on Twitter @billsperos or via e-mail at bsperos1@gmail.com.