Mercato 2011 transfer window on Twitter
A weekly ranking of most mentioned soccer players
During Summer 2011, Semiocast generated for Eurosport a ranking of the most mentioned soccer players on Twitter. Every week, during the Summer 2011 Mercato, Semiocast collected and counted tweets mentioning soccer players that could be transferred. This project lasted 10 weeks and results were published on several Eurosport's websites every Tuesday.
Soccer being a popular sport, people tend to discuss a lot about it, especially on medias like Twitter. Mercato transfer windows are global events when people tend to gossip even more about possible player transfers. All this contributes to an even higher volume of tweets per day in many different languages. During this period volumes of tweets recorded had reached almost 600,000 tweets in a week for a single player.
Many soccer players have highly polysemic names or nicknames, for example: "Mata", "Honda", "本田" or "Hulk", some of these names may designate a brand, a verb, a character, etc. in different languages. Also, some players, especially Brazilian players, are called only by their first name or last name, which may be very common, such as: "Alex" or "Diego".
Semiocast recorded millions of tweets every week, 24/7, using keywords designating soccer players in many different languages. As these keywords were polysemic, this resulted in having many tweets that were not about soccer players. Semiocast's filtering technology was used to select and count only tweets that actually mentioned a soccer player. Popular soccer players scored several hundreds of thousands tweets per week. The highest number reached was 590,000 tweets in a single week for Neymar, this happened when rumors about his transfer from Santos at their highest.
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