Sunday, February 3 marks the New England Patriots‘ 11th appearance in the Super Bowl, and after last year’s defeat to the Philadelphia Eagles, all eyes are on Tom Brady and the rest of the team to bring home their sixth championship against the Los Angeles Rams.
The hype leading up to the game is as you would expect for one of the world’s largest sporting events, and the Patriots have been using online video for years to build a loyal and committed community around their team. In the last 90 days, the Patriots’ main digital properties have generated:
- 73.1 million video views on Facebook
- 59.7 million video views on Instagram
- 44 million video views on Twitter
That’s largely from a mixture of game footage, commentary, and behind-the-scenes clips. Taking those official uploads out of the equation, other videos about the team have attracted another 80.1M views on Facebook alone in the last three months, creating an extensive earned media portfolio for the Pats from publishers and creators like the NFL, NFL Memes, Pats Nation Video Page, and ESPN.
New England Patriots: Using Social Video to Reach Fans
As with most popular sports franchises, the Patriots themselves have embraced a wide range of video content, while promoting other team figures like Brady, to satisfy the demands of die-hard fans and feed the hungry media around the team. The Patriots have generated 73.1M views and 2.2M engagements on Facebook in the last 90 days, with four of the five most-viewed videos posted since the start of January.
The most-viewed upload was published on January 21, and shows the highlights from the AFC Championship game win over the Kansas City Chiefs. The 10-and-a-half-minute clip generated a V3 (that’s views within three days of upload) of 1.9M. As well as being the most-viewed video of the last 90 days, it also attracted the most Facebook engagements at 78,800.
Earned Media: Social Video Love for the Patriots
Alongside official properties, there has been a massive amount of earned media generated by fan properties and publishers uploading videos to their own Pages in the last 90 days. Since this past November 2, videos published to Facebook which spotlight “New England Patriots” have created an extra 80.4 million earned views for the team — a number that is expected to rise considerably over the next few days in the lead-up to Super Bowl LIII and the post-game analysis to follow. The top five most-viewed fan, league, and publisher uploads to Facebook since November 2 are:
- Realizing you have to watch the Patriots play in another Super Bowl – NFL Memes (13.1M views)
- Grudge Match: Patriots vs Steelers (2002) – NFL (2.2 million)
- Grudge Match: Packers vs. Patriots in Super Bowl 31 – NFL (2.1 million)
- Old Patriots fan reacts to the Miami Miracle – NFL Memes (1.9 million)
- Week 10: Patriots vs. Titans Highlights – NFL Game Recaps (1.8 million)
While the most-viewed Patriots-focused upload pokes fun at the reputation the team has among some fans, it’s fascinating to see that the second- and third-most viewed Facebook videos of the past 90 days were posted by the NFL and were highlight games from 1997 and 2002! Nostalgia mixed in with excitement for the 2019 edition of the Super Bowl has certainly proved a hit with football fans.
While most Facebook pages feature the usual game-play, locker room scoops, and player highlights, we’re also seeing original content from superstar influencers from within the team itself. Tom Brady, considered to be among the greatest quarterbacks in NFL history, has been a mainstay on the team since 2000 (and starter since 2001). He’s also a media star in his own right, delighting his fans by publishing original social video content to his Facebook page. Video uploads to this page have generated 23.1M video views in the last 12 months, with the most-viewed being this celebratory/provocative clip featuring fellow Pats player Rob Gronkowski. It has attracted 7.9M views since being uploaded on January 21, 2019 — the day after New England beat the Chiefs, 37-31 in overtime to reach the Super Bowl:
Brady has long been active on Facebook Watch, where his “Tom vs Time” series has generated an impressive 107M total views. The show follows the quarterback as he juggles being one of the world’s most accomplished athletes with parental duties and life. It’s an obvious hit with viewers, earning 825,000 followers. But of course, the extra media exposure it offers the Patriots is priceless.
Want to read more about social video from football and the Big Game? Check out our coverage of the 2019 Super Bowl ads!