- February 24, 2022

Winter Athletes Skyrocket on Social

Madison Busick
Madison Busick
Senior Marketing Associate
Comscore

Athletes from winter sports have been taking over social media in the past few weeks, with spikes in engagement and followers.

On average, winter athletes saw an 82% increase in followers across platforms from January 1st to February 22nd, 2022. There was an especially significant increase of 148% in athletes’ following on Instagram. 

The big names taking to the slopes and the ice did not just see their following grow, they also racked up social engagement. From February 2nd to February 20th, posts from winter athletes gained over 29 million total engagements on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.  

Top Winter Athletes by Social Media Engagement
Rank Athlete Total Actions (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter)
1 Shaun White 4.3 Million
2 Eileen Gu 2.2 Million
3 Mikaela Shiffrin 1.2 Million
4 Suzanne Schulting 1.1 Million
5 Quentin Fillon-Maillet 873 Thousand
6 Mark McMorris 758 Thousand
7 Chloe Kim 727 Thousand
8 Emilien Jacquelin 490 Thousand
9 Erin Jackson 483 Thousand
10 Johannes Hoesflot Klaebo 483 Thousand
Source: Comscore Social Media Measurement (2/2/2022-2/20/2022)

Several sponsors chose to take advantage of the high engagement levels that athletes, teams, and other Olympic-related content had by sponsoring posts. Some of the sponsors that had the best performing branded posts were Bridgestone Tires, who sponsored posts by Nathan Chen and Mark McMorris, SkipTheDishes, who sponsored posts from Mark McMorris, Marie Philip-Poulin, and Vanessa James, and Bose, who sponsored Mikaela Shiffrin.

Snowboarders especially excelled on social, making up 9 of the top 10 posts in the category. Figure skater Nathan Chen rounds out the top content.

Top posts from athletes:
Rank   Athlete                    Total Actions           Link to Post
1 Shaun White 928 Thousand https://www.instagram.com/p/CZ4lIWAFO1z/
1 Eileen Gu 468 Thousand https://www.instagram.com/p/CZt8Kt9g93N/
2 Ayumu Hirano 416 Thousand https://twitter.com/ayumub/status/1493185894668378117
3 Eileen Gu 411 Thousand https://www.instagram.com/p/CZt8Kt9g93N/
4 Shaun White 400 Thousand https://www.instagram.com/p/CZw9p67p9F-/
5 Shaun White 365 Thousand https://www.instagram.com/p/CaIZnY8Psrg/
6 Chloe Kim 330 Thousand https://www.instagram.com/p/CZzVYyiFVdJ/
7 Eileen Gu 321 Thousand https://www.instagram.com/p/CaEqpCsOioE/
8 Shaun White 274 Thousand https://www.instagram.com/p/CaDMoapvR87/
9 Eileen Gu 267 Thousand https://www.instagram.com/p/CZ_8u85r8vz/
10 Nathan Chen 239 Thousand https://www.instagram.com/p/CZzYCkPrghy/
Source: Comscore Social Media Measurement (2/2/2022-2/20/2022)

The key takeaway here is that athletes are not to be underestimated on social. While they may not play major popular sports like football or basketball, they still have an audience that is interested in and engaging with their content. These athletes are great candidates for branded content and influencer campaigns, especially after they have gained so many fans and followers in recent weeks.

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