Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem match their performances on the court at the Netto ATP Tour Finals with strong social growth off the court and why Autosport brands hold the ace?

Daniil Medvedev and Dominic Thiem have seen their social followings increase in the past few days, boosted by their performances in the Netto ATP finals last weekend.
Medvedev gained 33k new followers on Instagram and Twitter, which represents a 7% increase of his fan base.
16% of Medvedev’s overall engagement on Instagram this year happened during ATP finals.
Thiem gained 40k new followers on Instagram and Twitter, which represents a 2% increase of his fan base.
Although Nadal and Djokovic were beaten semifinalists, the older generation are still dominant off the court in terms of their social media following and engagement levels.
Nadal has had 38M engagements on Instagram in 2020, Djokovic 32M, whilst the other six players (Thiem, Medvedev, Tsitsipas, Zvervev, Rublev and Schwartzman) can only boast 28M between them.
Automotive brands are benefitting most from partnerships with Nadal and Djokovic due to their large, engaged social media followings.

Insight from Nielsen Sports, the global leader in sports industry analytics, has revealed that DaniilMedvedev and Dominic Thiem both saw a significant rise in their respective social media followings across Instagram and Twitter and high engagement levels off the back of their performances in the Netto ATP finalslast weekend.

Medvedev gained 33k new followers on Instagram and Twitter combined, which represents a 7% increase of his total fan base. Thiem meanwhile gained 40k new followers on Instagram and Twitter, which represents a 2% increase of his fan base.

16% of Medvedev’s overall engagement on Instagram this year happened during ATP finals. On Instagram alone his channel had 250k engagements from 15/11 to 23/11. Thiem meanwhile had 581k engagements across the same time period which represents a 7% growth in overall engagement levels.

For the second consecutive year Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal were absent from the ATP Finals championship match. Instead of the “Big Three”, it was Dominic Thiem and Daniil Medvedevwho took centre stage last weekend, with Russia’s Medvedev coming out on top.

Whilst the results on the court point towards a potential changing of the guard in men’s Tennis, the “older generation” are still dominating off the court, especially if we analyse their social media following and engagement levels compared to the other six men to feature at this year’s season ending showpiece.

Of the eight finalists in London last week, Nadal and Djokovic are the most followed players on social media with 39.9M (Nadal) and 23.4M (Djokovic) total followers respectively, compared to just 5.8M followers for the other six players combined.

Unsurprisingly of the eight finalists, Nadal and Djokovic are the most engaging players. Nadal has had 38M engagements on Instagram in 2020, Djokovic has 32M, whilst the other six players (Thiem, Medvedev, Tsitsipas, Zvervev, Rublev and Schwartzman) can only boast 28M between them.

Elsewhere Nadal has had 42.7M video views on Instagram in 2020, whilst Djokovic has had a staggering 58.8M compared to just 17M for all six of the other players combined.

Of the new generation of players though it’s Thiem who is threatening to challenge the dominance of Nadal and Djokovic off the court. With 1.8M social media followers- he is third on the list of the eight players who qualified for the ATP Tour Finals. He also has a much higher engagement rate on Instagram in 2020 than both Nadal and Djokovic with his posts averaging 8.97% per post compared to 2.42% and 2.95% respectively.

Analysis by Nielsen also reveals that Thiem uses his social media a lot to promote his partners including brands such as Adidas, Babolat, Redbull, Rolex, Duravit and he is often using them for digital-only deals -seen here with Bett1 aces. Stefanos Tsitsipas meanwhile has used his social media channels the most this year to share branded content, with 15 posts in total in 2020, the next highest is Djokovic with just six posts.

However, Djokovic and Nadal’s large and engaged audience pave the way for greater reach and engagement for brands on social media. Interestingly, autosport brands are benefitting the most from theirstrong social media followings as demonstrated in the two examples below.

Peugeot and Djokovic – The transfer of image of Djokovic’s aspiration of being #1 in Tennis when he was young to the brand resulted in 1.5M views on Instagram.

Kia and Nadal – Bringing fans together as they can’t be in the stadiums attracted 438k views on Instagram.

In both campaigns, Peugeot and Kio successfully aligned their brands to the two players’ successes on the court and used their personalities to drive awareness and engagement.

Interestingly, Medvedev’s victory last weekend further illustrates the increased appeal of tennis for automotive brands at the moment.  BMW Russia jumped on his performances last week in order to capitalise on his success. Before last week, Medvedev had one post mentioning them for the whole year. Last week he had two, one before and one after the final. Earlier this week he had a third.

Marco Nazzari, Managing Director International Business at Nielsen Sports, commented: “The automotive sector has historically been attracted to professional tennis as a global sponsorship vehicle and today, car brands Kia and Mercedes are among the sport’s biggest supporters accounting for some 16% of total revenue. Driving this alignment is a tennis audience which is generally aged 30 – 49, 41% female and affluent. Beyond demographics though, tennis fans are also car purchasers according to Nielsen Fan Insights data making them an all the more critical cohort for auto brands to reach through their sponsorship activations.”

For more information about Nielsen Sports visit www.nielsensports.com

 

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