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Canvs: Will the NBA Bubble Bring Relief to Sporting Woes?

Canvs, the leading emotion measurement technology company, connects consumer input to research insights with patented semantic AI technology to help companies deeply understand and empathize with their audiences.

With everyone forced to quarantine, the NBA restart has been one of the most anticipated events for sports fans. The reformatted season features 8 “play-in” games and a full postseason, all taking place within a “bubble” located in Orlando. Shortly before COVID-19 shut down sports, two of the league’s best teams faced off in LA: the Clippers and the Lakers. It only makes sense that these two teams would face off again as the headline game for the NBA restart. Below is our analysis of how fans Emotionally Reacted to the game.

Lakers vs. Clippers

  • During the game’s airing time it produced 307K total tweets, with 83K of the tweets qualifying as Emotional Reactions — a 3% increase compared to the Lakers/Clippers game prior to the shutdown
  • Key drivers of the conversation around the game include LeBron James (34.9%), the Lakers (26.5%), the Clippers (13.8%), and Kawhi Leonard (13%)
  • Overwhelmingly, basketball fans reacted positively to the restart, with over 72% of tweets showing ‘love’, ‘enjoyed’, ‘excited’, ‘funny’, and ‘crazy’.
  • Even the 7.2% angry Emotional Reactions are generally directed from one fan base towards the opposing team showing passion for the game.
    • Angry testimonials: 
      • “These the Lebron games that be pissing me off 🤦🏾‍♂️”
      • “Enough excuses for Paul George..put up or shut up”

Game Highlights

  • Throughout the game, multiple moments spiked different types of emotions among the viewers.
  • Right before game time around 9 PM ET, the emotion ‘excited’ spiked. Not only were fans tweeting their excitement for the headline game, but other NBA stars within the bubble came to watch as well.
  • From 11:05 – 11:10 PM, the emotion ‘hate’ spiked regarding LeBron James. Fans noted that he wasn’t having a strong game at this point, comparing his performance to the first game of the season when he was playing “passively”.
  • Near the end of the game around 11:25 PM, the emotion ‘crazy’ spiked about Anthony Davis due to his big plays to clinch a Lakers win.

Comparison

  • Despite being within the NBA bubble in a stadium without fans, the NBA restart’s game earned 9% more Emotional Reactions compared to the last time the teams met before the shut down.
  • Top positive Emotional Reactions such as ‘love’ (1.46% increase), ‘enjoy’ (3.99% increase), and ‘excited’ (3.39% increase) all saw increases game over game.
  • Testimonials:
    • Love: “LEBRON JAMES WITH THE GAME WINNER.🔥🔥🔥”
    • Enjoy: “Lebron playing Defense like MJ I like ”
    • Excited: “LAKERS BASKETBALL IS BACK!!”

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