Some have argued recently that Toronto’s Pan Am Games have been a marketing disaster. While tickets sales may be been slow, an event’s success can be more about the marketing and branding it provides. In this case, the global impact of the games has helped brand the city as “a place where we get things done,” according to Mayor John Tory.

We tracked the conversation around the games using Cision Social Edition software to get a sense of how big a splash these events are making online. We evaluated and measured messages about the games sent from the greater Toronto area, for a 24-hour period beginning at 2:00 p.m. on Wednesday, July 22. Sure traffic concerns were expressed, but from a social media and branding standpoint, the Pan Am Games can be considered a hit.

1. @TO2015 Reached more than 480 million people in a single day.

Messages totoalThe event’s official Twitter handle and its promoted hashtags reached more than 480 million people in a single day from 28,099 unique authors. To put it into perspective, that’s more people than the combined populations of the United States and Canada.


2. Twitter is the primary vehicle for the conversation.

Twitter dominated the conversation with more than 33,732 sent through its platform. Instagram came second with 1,270.


3. The conversation is in Spanish.

SpanishSpanish speaking tweeters shared more than 12,000 messages on Wednesday and Thursday accounting for 56 percent of the conversation. Toronto has a large Spanish speaking population with immigrants from many South American nations who, combined with visitors here for the games, owned the conversation. The result is only 39 percent of messages were sent in English and only 1 percent of the conversation was in French.

4. The biggest influencers are from Brazil, Mexico and Venezuela.

The top 10 influencers tweeting about the games originate south of the United Sates with the only exception being that of Twitter’s global sports handle @TwitterSports, which reports sports scores and events to more than 7 million people.

Here’s how they rank:

  Twitter Handle Follower Count Nation of Origin
1 @TwitterSports 7.4 M followers United States
2 @portalR7   3.9 M followers Brazil
3 @miseleccionmx 3.6 M followers Mexico
4 @ElUniversal 3.6 M followers Venezuela
5 @Corinthians 3.4 M followers Brazil
6 @Estadao 3.2 M followers Brazil
7 @tvrecord 2.8 M followers Brazil
8 @CBF_Futebol 2.8 M followers Brazil
9 @Milenio 2.7 M followers México
10 @TD_Deportes 2.5 M followers México

5. Posts on Instagram receive more engagement.

Instagram’s top posts receive greater engagement with close to 2,000 people liking many of the posts. Meanwhile on Twitter, the top post  received about 230 retweets and 300 likes.*

Twitter - war


6. The most popular Instagram photo with the #PanAmGames2015 hashtag included dogs.

miloThe photo featuring a stuffed Clifford the Big Red Dog next to a Maltese has close to 2,000 likes and 51 comments on the social platform. The account MiloMeetsWorld is dedicated to a four-year old Maltese named Milo, who has his own clothing line.




Want more Pan Am Games content? Check out how Team Canada has been branded for this year’s event.

* Likes and retweets are in reference of time Thursday, July 22, 2015.


– Header image courtesy of  TORONTO 2015

About James Rubec

James Rubec is a data geek, a former public relations lead and journalist with a love of content and advocacy. Ask him anything @JamesRRubec and be sure to follow @Cision_Canada

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