The Green Bay Packers have more online buzz, but the Pittsburgh Steelers may have more web fans this season according to The Nielsen Company. Football fan discussion of the two teams was measured on blogs, message boards, Facebook and Twitter in the week ahead of the NFL championship game between January 25 and February 1.
The findings show that a majority of online buzz (64%), was discussion of the Packers team, compared to only 35% describing the Steelers. Whether fans were waving their Terrible Towel (Pittsburgh) or wearing Cheeseheads (Green Bay), fans turned online to support their teams and individual players. Between the two teams’ leading quarterbacks, Ben Roethlisberger of the Steelers led Packers QB in most online discussion during the week prior to the game.
In comparison, Nielsen found the Steelers team had more fans who visited their team’s website in the run up to the NFL playoffs. By measuring popularity of the teams though unique audience members who were visitors to each team’s website during December 2010, Nielsen found Steelers fans outnumbered Packers visitors during that pre-playoff period. This could be from differences among their visitors, since as the majority of Steelers’ visitors were women (54%) compared to slightly more males (51%) who visited the Packers website.
Of course, all the fan competition will be put to the test on Super Bowl Sunday, as fans are expected to share online buzz while watching the championship contest, and long after the game has ended.