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On Monday night, LeBron James and his team the Cleveland Cavaliers made a major comeback in Game 5 of the NBA Finals against Stephen Curry and the Golden State Warriors, forcing a Game 6 tomorrow night at Oracle Arena in Oakland. The Warriors, who are currently leading the series 3-2, could end the NBA finals on Thursday and secure the NBA Championship for the second consecutive year.

But will the Dubs be able to secure a win on the road? While many predictions are pointing in favour of the Warriors, I was curious to see what interest-based communities are backing either team.

To understand who’s cheering for #ALLIN216 or #DUBNATION, I ran an interest-based segmentation on the combined followers of the @CAVS and @Warriors Twitter handles using the Affinio, the marketing intelligence platform. This segmentation analysis lets us understand who is “winning” in each interest-based audience cluster.

Here is how the audience broke out:

As you can see above, there are several very different interest-based communities (clusters) ranging from “Ballers” and “49ers Fans” to “Teen Girls” and “Marketing + Tech”. Each community is unique and likely has a different reason for being excited about the NBA Finals or has a special interest in the teams. For instance, the cluster of San Francisco 49ers likely has an interest in the game and the Warriors because of their hometown ties.

Now for the fun part: let’s see who’s really backing each team.

While it was apparent that the Warriors would dominate the #DUBNATION community, and the Cavs would dominate the #ALLIN216 community, the other communities show some interesting results.


Ballers Are Split Between Cavs & Dubs

This year’s NBA Finals mark the second year in a row the Warriors and Cavaliers are meeting. This community of diehard basketball players, that don’t fit into the #ALLIN216 or #DUBNATION community, are almost split down the middle in terms of who they want to take the Championship. While the Warriors have a slight lead on this audience in terms of favouritism, LeBron and the Cavs aren’t far behind!


Teen Girls Love Steph Curry

The Warriors have a 70% audience share of the teen girls community. I decided to take a closer look at the interests and influencers of this teen community to understand the strong Warrior fanbase.

The results? Stephen Curry is the most influential individual to this audience, followed by teen superstars Kendall & Kylie Jenner, Shawn Mendes, Cameron Dallas, and Ariana Grande (to name a few). Mrs. Ayesha Curry is also found on this list as a highly influential person to this teen audience.

Top Interests of the Teen Girl Audience

But why the fascination with Steph Curry? Perhaps it’s his boyish good looks or adorable Disney sing-a-longs with wife Ayesha Curry? (#relationshipgoals.)

Either way, teen girls are backing Steph Curry in tomorrow night’s game.


Rap & Hip-Hop Favours The Cavs

It looks like the Cavs have a slight favouritism amongst the biggest Rap & Hip-Hop fans following the Cavs and Warriors.

Perhaps the Cavs won the support of the Rap & Hip-Hop fans based on LeBron’s rap game? Check out “King James” rapping below…

Perhaps LeBron has a viable rap career post-NBA?


Marketing & Tech Communities Support #DUBNATION

This interest-based community of marketers and tech fanatics has a clear love for the Warriors – they have a 70% audience share. Using Affinio we can see that this community, while spread across the United States, has a high concentration in San Francisco. After all, San Francisco is the home of Silicon Valley, where the world’s largest tech corporations reside.

This San Francisco concentration makes the allegiance to #DUBNATION a clear choice.


Who Are Your Supporting?

So whether you’re cheering for the #ALLIN216 or #DUBNATION, tomorrow night’s game may seal the fate of the finals!


Applications of the Data

Using the NBA Finals fandom analysis as an example, it can be seen that the competitive landscape shifts depending on each audience cluster. There are numerous applications and insights marketers, brands, sports team, etc. can pull from these analyses, including:

  • Understand your total addressable market by understanding the interest-based communities within your and your competitor’s audience
  • Gain insight into how your audience compares to your competitor’s
  • Discover niche communities that you didn’t know existed within your market
  • Understand what each community is interested in and talks about
  • Enhance your content strategy by understanding the content that is contextually relevant to a specific niche

To learn more on how Affinio can help you understand your competitive position, request a demo.

Originally posted on the Affinio blog, “NBA Fandom: Using Social Data to Understand #ALLIN216 and #DUBNATION