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A football helmet and a football appear with the letters LVIII in pink for a Meltwater data analysis blog about the NFL's 2024 championship game.

Who 'Won' Football's Biggest Night? A Social and Media Intelligence Analysis

Ann-Derrick Gaillot, Elena Tarasova, and Anna Amarotti

Feb 12, 2024

Winning the world’s biggest American football competition is one thing, but generating conversation is a whole different ball game. 

The Chiefs ultimately won the championship, but did they win the world’s attention? And how did the advertising brands and most talked about celebrities fare?

We used our Meltwater social listening and media intelligence suite to determine who really won the biggest night in football and advertising.

Note: The following data was sourced from Meltwater Suite and looks at mentions of relevant keywords, social media handles, and hashtags on February 11, 2024, from multiple sources, including news, comments, podcasts, social media platforms, forums, blogs, and broadcast television.

So, without further ado…

Which team “won” football’s biggest night?

Winner: The Kansas City Chiefs

While the game itself was a nail-biter, with the Chiefs winning 25-22 in overtime, the Kansas City team’s victory was much more overwhelming in terms of media mentions and social conversations. Throughout the entire game, and even the entire day of the game, there were more mentions of the Chiefs than the 49ers.

A line chart showing that the volume mentions of the Kansas City Chiefs was higher than those of the San Francisco 49ers on February 11.

In total, the Chiefs racked up 2.35 million mentions, compared to the 49ers’ 1.28 million. However, the team that “won” in your corner of the digital world might look different.

Three bar charts comparing mentions of the Chiefs against those of the 49ers on X, Reddit, and broadcast on February 11, 2024.

For example, conversations on X (formerly Twitter) overwhelmingly focused on the Chiefs, while Redditors had more to say about the 49ers. Mentions of the teams looked much more balanced to people who mainly engaged with the game via broadcast television. 

Two bar charts comparing positive, negative, and neutral sentiment of mentions of the Chiefs to those of the 49ers on February 11, 2024.

Sentiment-wise, across sources (including social media, news, broadcast, blogs, forums, and podcasts), the Kansas City team also came out on top with a higher proportion of positive mentions than those of San Francisco. 

Which brand commercial “won” football’s biggest night?

Winner: Verizon

A chart with 10 bar graphs comparing mentions of 10 brands that advertised during football's biggest night: Verizon, Temu, Bud Light, Mountain Dew, Michelob ULTRA, Dove, Uber EATS, Budweiser, T-Mobile, and Nerds.

No surprise here. Verizon’s one-and-a-half-minute spot featuring Beyoncé (that also teased the drop of her next album) blew the competition away with more than 61.9K mentions on February 11. 

Of the 19 brands we analyzed, the e-commerce site Temu came in second. Its animated commercial, which aired three times during the game, generated 46.7K mentions. However, most of those non-neutral mentions were negative as internet users complained about the number of ads and speculated about the company’s business practices. 

A chart comparing the sentiment of February 11 mentions of 10 brands that advertised during football's biggest night.

Looking strictly at sentiment, Mountain Dew came out on top, even though the brand had the fourth-highest number of mentions. The majority of mentions of its ad featuring Aubrey Plaza were positive, something no other brand we analyzed can claim. 

Which sponsor “won” football’s biggest night?

In our on-demand webinar featuring exclusive analysis of the big game, Meltwater’s Consumer Insights Product Specialist Louise Henderson used our consumer intelligence platform’s logo recognition feature to determine which sponsor had the biggest brand presence.

A Super Bowl Brand Sponsors Logo Recognition bubble chart showing that content showing the Nike logo had more engagement actions and reach than those showing logos from Adidas, McDonalds, Marvel, Pepsi, and State Farm.

Nike had the biggest presence by far in terms of reach and engagement generated by content with images of the company’s logo. In one of the highest-engagement images from that night — Travis Kelce kissing Taylor Swift after his championship win — the Nike logo is especially prominent.

An image grid of engaging Super Bowl pictures and videos that show the Nike logo. 9 out of 18 show Travis Kelce, while 4 out of that 9 show Travis Kelce and Taylor Swift.

Explore the retail insights from the big game first-hand in our exclusive, interactive insight dashboard.

Which celebrity “won” football’s biggest night?

Winner: Usher and the Apple Music halftime show

A bar chart comparing February 11 mentions of Usher and the halftime show, Beyonce, Taylor Swift, the 49ers, and the Chiefs.

Of all of the stars connected to the big game, Usher was undeniably the brightest one. Mentions of him and his halftime show reached 2.33 million on February 11, almost as many as those about the NFL champions.

Taylor Swift, whose boyfriend Travis Kelce plays for the Chiefs, was a major talking point of the game, but even her 1.64 million mentions couldn’t outshine Usher. She did, however, beat out the 49ers and Beyoncé, despite not playing, performing, or being featured in an ad during the game, as shown in this graph of mentions from noon to midnight ET.

A line chart comparing the mentions of the Chiefs, the 49ers, Taylor Swift, Usher and the halftime show, and Beyonce over time from noon through midnight on February 11, 2024.

The most talked about star did change throughout the evening, with mentions of Beyoncé peaking at 8 pm ET, just after her Verizon ad aired. But from just after 6 pm to about 8:30 pm, when the Chiefs took the top spot for good, Usher and the halftime show dominated conversations about the game. 

Which brand “won” the halftime show?

In our webinar analyzing brands and the big game, we looked at how the digital presences of the brands that dressed Usher for the halftime show. Via our consumer intelligence platform, we found that the reach and engagement of social posts about Skims beat out those of luxury brand Dolce & Gabbana.

A bubble chart showing that of all of the brands that dressed Usher for the LVIII halftime show, content mentioning Skims generated the highest engagement and reach, beating out Dolce and Gabbana, Off-White, and Flipper's Quadz.

Still, the success of Skims did not reach the engagement benchmarks set by Fenty and Loewe during Rihanna’s halftime show performance last year.

A bubble chart showing that of all of the brands that dressed Rihanna for the LVII halftime show, content mentioning Fenty Beauty generated the highest engagement and reach, beating out Loewe, Alaia, and Jacob & Co.

Get our full expert analysis of how this year’s big game compared to last for fashion brands and sponsors. Click here to access our on-demand webinar.

Overall, the NFL championship game was a standout occasion for brands across industries to capture attention and drum up engagement, but understanding the event’s true impact takes the kind of precise data analysis that only powerful solutions can provide.

Learn how to take your market, audience, and brand reputation research in-house with the Meltwater Suite. Schedule a demo today to see how Meltwater can help your organization break through the noise and connect with your audience: