How Aussies made 2021 a golden year in sports
From the couch to the grandstand, Aussies cheered home their favourite teams in 2021
Australia has always been a great sporting nation. So in 2021, as grandstands continued to remain empty at some of our most loved sporting events, we collectively turned to Twitter to barrack for our clubs and cheer on our favourite athletes.
Twitter is where we share our reactions in real time, and get unfiltered access to our sporting heroes. And, in a year like no other, there were certainly many memorable moments to share.
During big sporting moments, like #Tokyo2020, engagement surged on Twitter, with 416.2 million impressions in Australia throughout the games, making Twitter the perfect complement to watching the action on the big screen.
Despite being apart, the Tokyo Games brought Australians together on Twitter, cheering on @CateCamp as she won gold and set world records in the pool beside her freestyle relay teammate, @Emma_McKeon, who became our most successful Olympian of all time.
We were inspired by the story of middle-distance runner Peter Bol (@pbol800), who was the most mentioned athlete in Australia during #Tokyo2020. Born in South Sudan, Peter moved to Australia on a humanitarian visa as a child and proudly raced in green and gold, becoming the fastest Australian 800m athlete in history at the Games.
Ensuring we didn’t miss a gold medal winning moment, @7Olympics and @Toyota_Aus used Branded Notifications for the front row action of @JessFoxCanoe’s races. From the heats to her gold medal win, we received personal reminders when Jess was set to compete. Extending this to the Paralympics, Toyota also got behind their brand ambassadors, @EllieVCole in swimming and @RyleyBatt in Wheelchair Rugby.
On his way to winning the #GoldenSlam was @DylanAlcott, who documented his entire Paralympic journey, Tweeting everything from boarding the plane and helping clean up the wet courts, to being serenaded by Jimmy Barnes, and of course, winning gold.
The sporting conversation didn’t end at the games, as we swapped swimmers for football players and continued to be glued to our screens as our beloved AFL and NRL clubs scored historic grand final wins. While the action was taking place in Perth and Brisbane, we dissected each tackle, try, mark, and goal through Twitter Polls, Video, Live Moments, custom emojis, and countless spirited Tweets.
The hashtag #NRL was the second most Tweeted sport-related hashtag in 2021, ranking higher than #AFL. The South’s (@SSFCRABBITOHS) faithful certainly had much to talk about, as Ivan Cleary’s @PenrithPanthers won the match 14–12, claiming their first @NRL premiership since 2003.
Over in the @AFL, the Melbourne Demons (@melbournefc) was the club with the most mentioned Twitter username. The club ended a 57-year premiership drought, thanks to the Norm Smith Medal-winning magic of superstar midfielder Christian Petracc.
With the Winter Olympics, Commonwealth Games, A-League, and cricket seasons upon us in 2022, sports-mad Aussies will be pulling our favourite jerseys and footy scarves from the back of the wardrobe. But even when the stadiums reopen and we migrate from the couch to the grandstands, Twitter will continue to be the roar of the crowd.