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Djokovic, Nadal, Swiatek Among Top Social Value Earners During Roland Garros, Wimbledon

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Social Media
Tennis
Published 
July 21, 2022
 | 
6
 min read

Tennis’s middle two Grand Slam events could not be more different in terms of play. Roland Garros in Paris is the site of the clay season’s finale, and its courts promise slow speeds and high bounces, ideally suited for players who rely on spin to gain an advantage. A month later at the All England Club in London, grass courts force top players to adjust to fast shots and low bounces at The Championships, Wimbledon. But for each, 128 of the world’s best men and women tennis players battle against each other over a fortnight’s time to determine major champions. Every year, many participants chronicle their progress on social media to legions of fans while the tournaments’ main accounts amplify their partners before, during, and after matches. We used MVP’s social platform to compare how Wimbledon, the French Open, and their entrants used social media throughout each event and determine which of the tournaments’ partners were the biggest beneficiaries. Unsurprisingly, collective post value totals for proven champions including Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, and Iga Swiatek approached or exceeded $1M across the two Grand Slam spectacles.

Top Tennis Stars Strong at the Net

Tennis is a star-driven sport, with its top athletes seemingly reaching the second week of every tournament they enter. Consistent, high-level play lends itself to familiarity among fans, which results in large social media followings for the game’s greats. And that premise was evident during this year’s French Open and Wimbledon Championships, where the most engaging social content came from Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic on the men’s side and No. 1-ranked WTA player Iga Swiatek among women.

Across both tournaments, no athlete generated more post value than Rafael Nadal, who was responsible for $1.25M during the French Open – which he won – and $832,881 during Wimbledon. His total of $2.09M pipped Novak Djokovic’s aggregate figure of $1.93M, although Djokovic’s total post value of $1.48M during his Wimbledon title run was tops among tennis players for either individual tournament. Engagements, however, are where Rafael Nadal was able to truly flex his social media muscle. No athlete – man or woman – earned more total engagements across the two tournaments than Nadal did during the French Open alone, when he amassed 7.18 million. That figure was 2.8x more than fellow Spaniard Carlos Alcaraz received during Roland Garros and 9.16x more than Djokovic earned. When Djokovic led in post value among those in the Wimbledon gentlemen’s draw, his 6.1 million total engagements only surpassed Nadal’s number by 80%.

On the ladies’ side, it was a post value sweep for Swiatek. The Pole generated $958,156 in collective post value during Wimbledon and the French Open, with 63.4% of that figure coming during Roland Garros. Swiatek’s total during her Paris triumph was 59.9% higher than all other women’s tennis players in the event. American Coco Gauff finished second with $380,171 in post value, followed by four-time Grand Slam champion Naomi Osaka with $293,444. Despite bowing out of Wimbledon in the third round, Swiatek still led all of her rivals in total post value generated during the tournament by at least 27%. Brit Emma Raducanu and all-time great Serena Williams rounded out the top three.

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Tournament Partner Posts Win Points

Both the French Open and Wimbledon enjoy an extensive roster of global brands among their tournament sponsors. These companies are showcased in athletes’ attire, stadium signage, and equipment, with social posts from the events’ owned accounts amplifying their reach. This year, the French Open was more successful in featuring its partners on social media, as it generated $409,643 worth of brand value – 53% more than Wimbledon earned for its sponsors. Among the reasons for this difference was the French Open’s ample courtside signage, which guaranteed more visibility in social images. Among all sponsors for the pair of Grand Slam tournaments, however, HSBC – Wimbledon’s official banking partner – received the most brand value, $175,420. Content featuring HSBC from Wimbledon’s channels received 364,843 engagements and created 22.2 million impressions. But the next five highest brand earners all came from Roland Garros, led by Perrier and Emirates, which received $109,573 and $102,212, respectively. The French Open’s 41 posts featuring Perrier earned a total of 523,929 engagements, the most for any individual partner. OPPO was the only crossover sponsor. It earned $35,412 in brand value from the French Open’s social accounts and an additional $27,681 from Wimbledon’s channels.

Notably, the means by which each event earned its brand value differed greatly. Prominent signage at Roland Garros enabled the French Open to generate $302,972 in social brand value via images – 74% of its total. Conversely, less stadium signage handicapped Wimbledon in social images, resulting in 90.5% — $242,667 — of its total social brand value generated coming from hashtags and text mentions, such as the HSBC Sport Play of the Day and IBM Match Insights.

Twitter Proves to Be Major Smash

Although total brand values varied significantly between the French Open and Wimbledon, their respective post values and engagements were comparable. Roland Garros edged Wimbledon in total post value by a mere 3%, finishing the Paris showcase with $9.5M from its owned accounts. Of that figure, 61.3% was realized on Twitter. Facebook finished second in post value generation for the French Open with $1.58M, followed by Instagram’s $1.27M worth of post value. Twitter was also the largest earner for Wimbledon, accounting for $4.47M of The Championships’ $9.22M total. However, Instagram took second in its value generation rankings, relegating Facebook to third. Engagement totals for each tournament shared the same hierarchy, with Instagram leading the way. The image-sharing app was trailed by Twitter in second place among platforms, Facebook in third, and YouTube finishing fourth.

Grand Slam Gallivant Heads to New York

Social engagements and values during the French Open and Wimbledon demonstrated the value of prominent stadium signage for event partners while also underscoring the elevated social relevance of highly ranked players. New York City is the next stop on the Grand Slam calendar, with the US Open set to begin next month. The tournament’s lineup of partners – which includes Chase, IBM, J.P. Morgan, Polo Ralph Lauren, Rolex, and Wilson Sporting Goods – will aim to capitalize on the formula exhibited by successful social campaigns at tournaments thus far in 2022. MVP will monitor the upcoming US Open’s coverage and provide insights after its conclusion.

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