Out of the Sandtrap: LBi Social Media Study Shows Golf Fans Moving Past Tiger Woods Scandal

ATLANTA, Ga. – As the Masters tees off in Augusta this Thursday, a new social media study by LBi shows real golf fans are beginning to move past the Tiger Woods scandals that dominated the news about the tour’s #1 ranked golfer the last five months.  The research confirms Woods’ dominance in the world of professional golf and indicates his presence at the Masters will have a powerful positive impact for sponsors and advertisers. 

When news broke of Woods’ affairs, the majority of online conversations mentioning him also mentioned his cheating on his wife.   The LBi study shows that over time those conversations diminished, but were always the conversation drivers, as other women began talking about their relationships with the golfer. 

By the Numbers 
•   Prior to the scandal breaking, more than 80 percent of Woods’ social media conversation focused on his golf game. 
•   Online conversation about Woods’ golfing dropped to almost zero before beginning a slow climb the last two weeks. 

With the announcement that Woods would play in Augusta, the conversation began to shift again to his golfing, although there was still a high level of conversation about his personal life. 

When LBi looked at online conversation about the Masters in the last month, it found: 
•   63 percent of blog entries and tweets mentioning the Masters also mention Woods. 
•   Compare this to #3 ranked Phil Mickelson: Only five percent of blogs and one percent of tweets mention him in the same context. 

Positive Tiger Social Media Chatter = Revenue for PGA 

A higher level of positive social media conversation will translate into more dollars in the coffers of the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA). 

“There’s been a huge level of social media chatter about how Tiger Woods will be greeted at Augusta this week,” said Joe Schab, CEO and Managing Director of LBi Atlanta.  “The answer simply is that Woods will be greeted warmly and respectfully by the fans at Augusta, fans our research shows are interested this week in his golfing skills, and not his personal life.” 

Schab adds:  “For the Masters, this increased level of social media conversation will translate into much higher viewership during the telecast and those higher ratings will allow the network to assign a higher value to advertisers.” 

LBi Atlanta used Sysomos, a leading provider of social media analytics, to track the companies’ social media impact.  LBi Atlanta has released several similar studies this year, examining the social media impact of Super Bowl advertisers and of sponsors at the Vancouver Olympics. 

Updated 04-07-2010

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