Google Trends Tracks Boston Sports Searches in ’08

Got this information in an email from a BSMW reader at Google:

Last week we released our 2008 Google Zeitgeist, a microsite detailing the
most popular searches and topics from the past year in the U.S. and
worldwide: http://www.google.com/intl/en/press/zeitgeist/index.html

But what does that mean for Boston sports?

As I and a bunch of other Googlers with Massachusetts origins were looking at the zeitgeist, we began talking about Boston sports trends over the course of ’08.  Thought you might like to see what we found.

All the information can be derived using the free Google Insights for Search tool — which was released earlier this year for advertisers, marketers, and all internet users. 

But on to the nitty-gritty…

What team is at the searching heart of Boston?

Well, nationwide:
- [Sox] win overall with a healthy amount of searches year-round
- [Pats] spike in Jan/Feb
- [Celtics] skyrocketed in June
- is the future looking up for the Bruins?

Within Massachusetts, [Red Sox] still have a steady lead, but the
[Patriots] and [Celtics] are neck-in-neck.

If you play with the “regional interest” tab, you’ll see:
[Patriots] are tops in Foxboro, but Brookline leads proportionally for
[Red Sox] and [Celtics] and Beverly and Waltham dig the [Bruins]

[Beat LA] was the chant to search for — with [Yankees Suck] staying
steady but low in ’08

Compare that to the ’04 to ’08

In the [Red Sox] v. [Yankees] searches of ’08, [Red Sox] just eeked them out — with a huge spike in October, as you watch the Yankees die out.

But in terms of U.S.-wide [Red Sox] searches, the top states are:
1. Massachusetts
2. New Hampshire
3. Maine
4. Rhode Island
5. Vermont
6. Connecticut

and, how’s this:

7. North Dakota
8. New York
9. New Jersey
10. D.C.

Compare, though, to the Red Sox / Yankees rivalry over the last four years.

[Scott Boras] made a nice jump in February the same week Gary Sheffield called him a “bad person” and Manny signed him as his agent. He was most popular in terms of searches in Massachusetts than anywhere else.

But look at the dive Manny took after his trade (at least amongst Boston searchers).

Who was [Matt Cassel] until September?

[Tom Brady] still is up on Cassel– in Massachusetts

and nationwide.

On the subject of Brady, notice the spike in in searches for “anterior
cruciate ligament

With the Celtics — Boston loves [Pierce], but [KG] commands the nationwide search lead:
Kevin Garnett v. Paul Pierce v. Ray Allen
- in the U.S.:
- in Massachusetts

[Celtics] v. [Lakers]

In the great comparison of Boston coaches: Terry Francona v. Bill
Belichick v. Doc Rivers v. Claude Julien

Pedroia, Pedroia, Pedroia

Look at August and September: – moves out of cleanup & MVP chants roar through Fenway

- correlate with this timeline:
August 28: Pedroia grand-slam at Yankee Stadium
August 31: Pedroia moved to cleanup spot
September 3: Pedroia gets 5 RBIs.  Hear the chants: “MVP, MVP, MVP”

Who cares most to find [TBS] — New England during the baseball playoffs

a Tampa Bay Rays bandwagon? — look at the search jump in the playoffs?  How about before?

Finally, the first things last — top sports searches and fastest-rising sports searches in Massachusetts

TOP 10 sports searches for ’08 in Massachusetts:
1. red sox
2. football
3. sports
4. golf
5. soccer
6. baseball
7. nfl
8. basketball
9. patriots
10. celtics

Fastest-rising sports searches of ’08 in Masachusetts
1. nbc olympics, growth greater than 5000% from ’07 to ’08
2. beijing 2008 — same; more than 5000% increase
3. 2008 olympics — 1250% increase from ’07 to ’08
4. olympics — 600% increase
5. euro 2008 — 550% increase
6. lakers — 250% increase
7. celtics — 110% increase
8. giants — 60% increase
9. boston celtics — 60% increase
10. mma — 50% increase
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