Sportstar Influencer, the story so far

A look back at how we developed the Sportstar Influencer concept, and took it from prototype to full launch and national press coverage

In this insight, we wanted to share our journey to creating Sportstar Influencer, a unique platform which combines social following, engagement and performance stats with search and demographic data. With its main purpose of identifying the real marketing value of sports players from across the globe.

Developed in 2017, the initial concept for Sportstar Influencer, was born from a desire to determine the reach and influence of a Premier League Clubs digital marketing, pulling together disparate sources of data and accumulating them into a single view.

As the project developed, we found that we could do this on a basic level using a platform such as Sprout, but it only took into account social following. We then looked into news stories and column inches being written about players. This led us to consider how we could capture positive or negative sentiments from such sources. Being inquisitive by nature we decided to do an R&D prototype project to better understand ‘real’ influence and nuances to better determine ‘true’ ranking. In addition, it was also important to try and show how the clubs social ranking and influence differed from other clubs.

At the heart of each ‘influence score’, we have developed the platform to look at overall social following across the main networks, and then added on modifiers for levels of performance, engagement, sentiment, media buzz and other elements. Rating ‘influence’ however is not just a numbers games and we are acutely aware of this. ‘Influence’ is also based on softer, more human factors; which is why we are developing our datasets to feature personality traits.

Developing the Concept

The Filter Digital team have continued to develop the initial concept and refined the platform into a dataset backed by complex algorithm that is growing by the day with new data points and modifiers. Not to be restricted to the world of football, it was also important to expand the index to showcase ‘social influence’ from available data from across a number of different sports. To date, the Sportstar Influencer index now includes data sets from Tennis, Rugby, Motorsports and Cricket.

For 2019, we have a clear roadmap. A long and exciting list of ideas about how we take this simple idea and expand it into one of the key pieces of data that brands, and sponsors need to use to understand their buying and marketing decisions in the future.

Oliver Morrison, Filter Digital CEO, said: “it became clear that no single index existed for how influential sports players are, and how they compare to each other. Sportstar Influencer changes that, allowing brands to understand which players can provide the most effective return on investment for marketing spend.

Media Coverage

Sportstar Influencer has been featured in a number of key publications including The Guardian, The Sun, Digital Sport, Influencer Update and Net Imperative to name but a few.

The Sun used the data sets to run a piece around the Football World Cup 2018 focusing on the 50 most influential Premier League signings of the summer’s transfer window.

Digital Sport did something similar comparing the data sets of World Cup teams concluding that England’s players fall well behind World Cup rivals on social media.

If you want to learn more about Sportstar contact the team at Filter Digital.

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