Since the beginning of the year, there has been an immense amount of online conversation about the 51st NFL Super Bowl game that took place on 5 February – 15,925,871 mentions to be exact. While the focus is typically on football, the event is known for new viral commercials being aired for the first time, epic live performances and entertainment news is typically a popular talking point as well. This year was no exception. With all that goes on, it’s confusing to pinpoint exactly what the hype is about.

Well, after the latest Super Bowl event I decided to do a bit of digging and here’s what I found.

Firstly, about 56% of individuals who participated in online conversation about the #SuperBowl2017 were male, while the remaining 44% were female. This is almost an equal split.

68% of total mentions (posts, tweets, likes and retweets) about the event for 2017 were generated from 4 – 6 February. The remaining 32% can be attributed to promotional content before the event.

#SuperBowl2017 Trend

Surprisingly, the majority of mentions were in the form of original posts, however, the volume of retweets was a close second. This is unusual as mentions are typically dominated by reshared posts. This indicates that people were actively contributing to online conversation to share their views on the festivities as opposed to simply resharing content.

Although the #SuperBowl2017 took place on 5 February, the most notable spike in mentions was on 6 February with 8,752,300 mentions – 55% of all online Super Bowl mentions since 1 January.

The top 3 hashtags used from 4 to 6 February were #SuperBowl, #SB51 and #PepsiHalftime.

Super Bowl 2017 Popular Social Media Hashtags
The Top 10 Most Used Hashtag for Super Bowl 2017 Conversation

Fans who commented on the game,  including US President Donald Trump, shared their support for their team or individual players. Conversation predominantly centred around the teams that played (Patriots and Atlanta Falcons) and Tom Brady, who led the team to victory.

As is tradition, the ads during the Super Bowl were a popular talking point. People commented with their thoughts on the ads as they aired, and since then, several media outlets have shared lists of their favourite commercials and ranked the best and worst ads of the year.

A number of trailers for upcoming movies and series were dropped such as Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol 2., Pirates of the Carribean 5, Stranger Things and The Walking Dead. These trailers generated excitement from fans who have continued to share these video with their social communities.

Lady Gaga has been one of the most talked about topics globally over the past couple of days. Gaga’s performance wowed spectators with an unbelievable drone light display, on point vocals and elaborate choreography. Hashtags such as #GoGaga, #LittleMonsters and #GagaBowl were trending for several hours as fans praised the artist for her memorable halftime show. Regardless of whether or not you’re a fan, you can’t help but be impressed by the spectacle. Furthermore, Lady Gaga’s sales surged over 1,000% in wake of the halftime show.

So, what were people speaking about the most?

The Top 5 Online Conversation Themes

  1. Patriots (1 358 750 mentions, 13%)
  2. Lady Gaga (1 057 729 mentions, 10%)
  3. Falcons (821 820 mentions, 8%)
  4. Tom Brady (694 670 mentions, 6%)
  5. Commercials (690 031 mentions, 6%)


The Super Bowl is more than just a sports event; it’s just as much about the commercials and halftime show. It’s no secret that Super Bowl Sunday has become a patriotic event, one that brings the US nation together if only for a few hours. But it’s not just Americans who join in the conversation – people from all over the world chime in with their opinion of the festivities. Although the final football match of the NFL championship triggered the most conversation this year, the contribution that other themes brought is nothing to scoff at. Despite football being the main focus of attention, there is something in it for everyone and I think that’s what makes the event so l engaging. 2017 was certainly an epic Super Bowl. Let’s see how 2018 fairs.

Forget the numbers for the moment, what do you think? Do you think Lady Gaga stole the show or was it all about the football?