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02.04.17 / The 2016 Boat Race on social

Ahead of today’s Cancer Research Boat Races, we’ve got a whistle-stop tour of how the race, reactions and chatter panned out on social media last year. Put your belt on, this is just a quick one.

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While those who posted about The Boat Race last year were slightly more likely to be male (60.7% vs 39.3%) the online conversation about the women’s race was 14% larger than the men’s. Drama, in the form of a sinking Cambridge women’s crew, was a driving component to some of this. A cursory hat tip to the betting public; conversation around putting on bets also featured in the mix.

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The Boat Race is a global event, only 28.5% of those chatting about the event on Twitter were from the UK. In terms of volume, the US was the second biggest audience but interestingly the Dutch were the most likely to over index for interest.

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Top performing content fell into three categories; jokes, result announcements, and high reach individuals talking about watching the event just ahead of the races starting.

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The bulk of the conversation is driven by mass market interest – it is NOT a rowing geek fest. The interest is centred tightly to the times of the race and is geared around the experience of either watching or being there in person. Cambridge ‘won’ the race for most mentions, albeit on-water honours were split evenly between Cambridge (men) and Oxford (women). So don’t use social buzz to place your bet on the 2017 race…

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