Social buzz around the Grand National

Hold your horses; surely it’s not that time of the year already? It seems like only yesterday Pineau de Re stole the show at the world famous Aitree track and the biggest steeplechase race in the world. The Grand National is the most valuable jump race in Europe with a whopping prize fund of £1 million, but who are the odds in favour of this year? Currently, Shutthefrontdoor is named favourite by the bookies to bolt across the finish line first. But, what does social media have to say about that? Meltwater, the go-to authority on real time social intelligence finds out!

Over the past two weeks, the Grand National has clocked up over 58,019 mentions across various social media platforms. The majority of the chatter is taking place on Twitter (78%) followed by Facebook (18%). Key themes surrounding the social media buzz include champion jockey Anthony McCoy, who will complete his last of 20 stints at the Aintree track and will be riding Shutthefrontdoor, which may be the reason why the horse is a hot topic on social media and the favourite to win.

We see the Walsh family of jockeys; including Ruby Walsh and Katie Walsh appear in second place in terms of the most popular jockeys mentioned. Much of social media are speculating a first ever win by a female jockey in this year’s race after Katie Walsh won this year’s Irish Grand National upon Thunder and Roses, who also makes an appearance in the top trending themes surrounding the Grand National.

From a brands perspective, Crabbie’s who is the official sponsor of the Grand National have been successful in achieving their goal of increasing brand awareness. The Meltwater platform found 3,687 mentions on social media associating the drinks brand with the race. The top 3 bookies mentioned on social media surrounding the Grand National are Boylesports, Paddy Power and Unibet. Football is also a trending topic due to users expressing joy over a sports fuelled weekend as they plan a day of tuning into the races, golf, F1 and cricket.

The Grand National has a long history in British culture having completed its first official run in 1839. Whilst 79% of social media are expressing their excitement for this Saturday’s race and sweepstakes they’ve entered, there’s also some controversy surrounding the event. 21% of social media users mentioning the Grand National did so in a negative light, with many raising concerns over the ethical nature of the race.