LinkedIn Members Make Super Bowl Pick

February 4, 2011

Given the growing excitement in the USA around this weekend’s Super Bowl, our Analytics Team thought it would be fun to dive into the LinkedIn data to understand our members’ enthusiasm for the Steelers and Packers. Could we discover what team the majority of LinkedIn professionals will be cheering for on Super Bowl Sunday? To find out, we immediately stopped searching for recipes for 7-layer dips and hot wings and logged into our database.

Two pieces of data give us some insight into what team a LinkedIn member may be rooting for. First, LinkedIn Signal allows anyone to filter their network’s status updates by company, industry, school and location. We used this data for all of LinkedIn’s members to algorithmically determine status updates with positive sentiment towards a team (for example: "Go Pack Go!"). We also assumed that members who went to school in Wisconsin or Pennsylvania are likely to be cheering for their respective team.

Using these two measures of team affinity and by connecting them to the industries on our members’ profiles, we constructed the first LinkedIn Super Bowl Index! The index is on a 1-100 scale, with 1 meaning an industry is waving the Terrible Towels (Steelers fan) and 100 meaning the industry is a Cheesehead (Packers fan). A value of 50 means your industry is split between the two teams. The 1-to-100 index is then conveniently represented by locations on a 100-yard football field:

Packers vs Steelers

In the graphic you can see that most industries are to the left of the 50-yard line (in the middle), which means that from the perspective of LinkedIn, most industries are rooting for the Steelers. Currently the Packers are slight favorites to win, so it seems that LinkedIn’s prediction of a Steelers victory is going a bit against the grain.

Clearly the data is dependent upon the numbers of Steelers and Packers fans that are on LinkedIn. If you’re a Packers fan and don’t like this result, then make sure that you are connected to your professional contacts who are also cheeseheads so you can increase your presence on LinkedIn.

How does Dallas, the Super Bowl XLV host city, feel about the game? They'd clearly prefer to see their Cowboys playing, but a recalculation of the Super Bowl Index for cities shows that Dallas is rooting for...the Steelers.

During halftime you can check out some more fun Super Bowl-related stuff on LinkedIn:

A big thanks go out to Anita Lilie and Josh Fleetwood for putting together the infographic for this post!

Also, check out our neighbor in Mountain View, Google's analysis of search trends around Superbowl. Here's financial services site Mint's calculation of trends on how much it costs to go to the superbowl.