The NRL 2014 season has kicked off and AFL 2014 season starts this Friday. Here is a breakdown of some of the social media numbers from a team point of view.

Facebook likes and Twitter follower numbers are just one metric to gauge the success of a digital team working for a sports team.  At Sports Geek we focus on building the overall audience and reach for a team and then focus on engaging the fans to drive business outcomes.

Some findings on these numbers:

  • NRL fans like Facebook more than AFL fans, 2.3M fans vs 2.0M fans with two less teams
  • When it comes to Twitter AFL fans out pace NRL by 22% more per club
  • Ten teams have more than 200K fans across Facebook and Twitter, while 10 teams have under 100K fans
  • Brisbane Broncos & Melbourne Storm lead the way in the NRL edging out Collingwood & Essendon in overall numbers
  • However NRL teams average 29% more fans on Facebook than AFL counterparts
  • Twitter lags behind Facebook numbers by a far margin 3:1 in AFL and 5:1 in NRL
  • The lack of penetration for Twitter into Facebook numbers is alarming, 23% on AFL average and just 16% for NRL teams
  • A total of 4.5M fans like NRL & AFL teams this is not a unique fans number though

For terms of comparison there are 13.2M Australians on Facebook (via Facebook Ad Tool) and an estimate of 2.9M Australians on Twitter as there has been no official numbers released by Twitter (Sensis 2013 report)

Please look back at previous analysis of AFL and NRL social media numbers in 2013 comparing leagues around the world and 2011 (battle for social media fans back in March 2011) and (September 2011) as well as SSMI in 2010 in AFL.

AFL Teams Social Media Audience

AFL 2014 Social Media Numbers

NRL Teams Social Media Audience

NRL 2014 Social Media Numbers

AFL teams on Facebook

How many AFL teams have reached the 200,000 Facebook fan barrier?  Collingwood & Essendon
11% of AFL Teams have more than 200,000 Facebook fans

50% of AFL teams have more than 100,000 Facebook fans
50% of AFL Teams have more than 100,000 Facebook fans

What about AFL team averages n Facebook? Sports Geek clients up 51% on AFL average
AFL 2014 Facebook team average compared to Sports Geek clients

What about the big number? How many fans like AFL teams on Facebook?
AFL Teams are liked by 2,075,000 Facebook fans

NRL teams on Facebook

How many NRL teams have reached the 200,000 Facebook fan barrier?  Broncos, Storm, Warriors & Rabbitohs.
25% of NRL Teams have more than 200,000 Facebook fans

69% of NRL teams have more than 100,000 Facebook fans
69% of NRL Teams have more than 100,000 Facebook fans

31% of NRL Teams have less than 100,000 Facebook fans

What about NRL team averages on Facebook? Sports Geek clients up 13% on NRL average
NRL teams average Facebook fan base is 149,500

What about the big number? How many fans like NRL teams on Facebook? Over 300K more fans like NRL teams.
NRL Teams are liked by 2,392,000 Facebook fans

AFL teams on Twitter

Only 2 teams have more than 50,000 Twitter followers, Collingwood and Essendon.
TWO AFL Teams have more than 50,000 Twitter Followers

8 AFL teams are yet to reach 40,000 Twitter followers
44% of AFL Teams have less than 30,000 Twitter Followers

What about AFL team averages on Twitter? Sports Geek clients up 25% on AFL average
AFL teams average Twitter fan base is 34,967

What about the big number? How many fans follow AFL teams on Twitter?
AFL Teams are followed by 629,400 Twitter accounts

NRL teams on Twitter

No NRL teams have more than 50,000 Twitter followers, but 5 have more than 30,000 followers. Storm, Warriors, Eels, Broncos and Rabbitohs.
FIVE NRL Teams have more than 30,000 Twitter Followers
11 NRL teams are yet to reach 30,000 Twitter followers
69% of NRL Teams have less than 30,000 Twitter Followers

What about AFL team averages on Twitter? Sports Geek clients up 15% on AFL average
NRL teams average Twitter fan base is 28,625

What about the big number? How many fans follow NRL teams on Twitter?

NRL Teams are followed by 458,000 Twitter accounts

Want more analysis?

Please contact Sean at Sports Geek to help your team reach and engage more fans via digital and social.

Available on Slideshare

Disclaimer: Sports Geek works with and has worked with AFL and NRL clubs listed here but numbers are accurate for Facebook and Twitter for 10th March 2014.

Learn what we teach sports teams?

Sports Geek Social Media Training One Day EducationalOn March 31 we are hosting a One Day Educational to teach business owners and marketers how to leverage social media for business outcomes.

Sessions include:

  • Review social media platforms which can work for you
  • Facebook – Content, Community & Cost
  • Joining the conversation on Twitter & Instagram
  • Pulling together a strategy that will deliver business results

Special guests Josh Rowe and Steve Sammartino will demonstrate how they have used social media in corporate and advertising world.  If you want a leg up on your social media marketing then we'd love to see you there.

Grab your ticket to Sports Geek ODE