Leeds leading the way on social media as rugby league impresses v other sports

Leeds have come out on top of Super League clubs in a sports social media study which compares several professional sports.

The Social Scorecard: Sports“, by search marketing agency Red Hot Penny, examines how the UK’s top professional sports clubs across football, rugby, cricket, basketball and ice hockey are engaging with their social media followers, and if they’re effectively leveraging their followings to drive their retail business.

The Rhinos came in 13th place out of 80 clubs analysed, comprising of the top 10 English clubs from Super League, the Premier League (football), Scottish Premiership (football), Premiership (rugby union), Pro14 (rugby union), County Championship (cricket), Elite Ice Hockey League (ice hockey) and British Basketball League (basketball).

Wigan (18th) and Warrington (23rd) also featured in the top 25.

Perhaps most significantly, rugby league came out on top in terms of engagement across the sports on both Facebook and Twitter, coming third on Instagram.

RankTeamScoreCombined APECombined APE scoreAvg ERAvg ER score
13Leeds68.250269770.36%1.375
18Wigan65.75024656.3750.69%3.875
23Warrington63.50015325.50.68%3.75
34Castleford57.25011854.50.34%1.125
42St Helens51.12592341.15%6.125
46Salford48.62526146.750.37%1.5
61Wakefield36.1252941.3750.58%2.875
65Hull31.2504572.8750.45%2.25
70Hull KR29.5003261.6250.59%3
78Huddersfield21.0001750.750.66%3.5

APE = average post engagement; ER = engagement rate; combined is Facebook, Twitter & Instagram

The overall score was calculated by a club’s total followers, follower numbers per seat, their total average post engagement and total engagement rate, along with three overall performance scores for each channel (Facebook, Twitter and Instagram).

The aim of the analysis was to see which clubs were really connecting with their fans, and to see how much potential their social channels have to boost retail activity.

Leeds also top Super League for total followers and also followers per seat, with 19 social media followers per seat in their stadium, while both Warrington and Castleford managed double figures.

RankTeamCapacityFollowersScoresFPSFPS Score
16Leeds21,062395,8968.125196.625
29Wigan25,138235,0826.50093.375
33Hull FC25,400193,3256.00082.000
39St Helens18,000165,6115.25093.000
42Warrington15,200157,8444.875104.125
45Castleford13,300127,4754.500103.625
52Hull KR12,22590,9333.62571.875
57Wakefield9,33369,0723.00071.750
62Salford12,00056,5222.37550.750
63Huddersfield24,50056,1532.25020.250

Followers = total across all three channels (Facebook, Twitter, Instagram); FPS = followers per seat

St Helens gained recognition for their performance on Instagram, where they rank top of Super League and in the top 10 overall in terms of average post engagement.

Wigan came second overall on their Facebook performance, while Salford blew everyone away on Twitter with a huge average post engagement score of 20.27%, which was significantly more than any other club in any other sport.

Notes: All data was captured between the 5th November and 7th December 2018 and all stadium capacities were correct at the time of publication.