Super Netball makes a flying-start on social media in Q1


Clubs from Australia’s newest domestic netball league, Super Netball have made a flying-start to the year with 27% average social media growth in Q1 as the strongest performers in a group of 110 national teams tracked by Shunts 50Mil project.

National Team Snapshot

  • Combined social media presence of Australia’s national teams is 30 million
  • Social media footprint of Australia’s national teams increased by 811,000 in Q1, 2017
  • There are three national teams with a social media footprint in excess of 1 million
  • Super Netball teams have the three fastest growing social media footprints

Socceroos sneak into a Cricket and rugby league top ten lock-out

At the top of the heap is the Australian men’s cricket team at 3.4 million followed by Queensland State of Origin side the Maroons. Holding down third sport and one of several members of the one million plus club is the Sydney Sixes. Next-up are the Australian men’s football side the Socceroo’s who through 2017 have been doing battle in 2018 World Cup qualifying as they aim for a berth in a fourth straight World Cup hold.

National Rugby and Big Bash League teams then take turns through to tenth, with the Brisbane Broncos first up in fifth. BBL teams the Sydney Thunder, Brisbane Heat and Melbourne Stars all figure highly with the New South Wales State of Origin representative team, the Blues dropping into seventh (50Mil includes the NSWRL Instagram account followers with the state representative organisation. If it were incorporated into the Blues social media footprint the team would rank one place higher).

AFL teams challenge Cricket’s dominance

Cricket teams once again dominate the top follower count increases in the first quarter of 2017. This is no great surprise with the Big Bash summer marketing juggernaut driving a 68,000 increase in fans for the Sydney Thunder, 30,000 for Brisbane Heat and 28,000 for the Sixes. Also benefitting from this boost is the Australian cricket team with a 58,000 lift.

In the AFL off-season it’s somewhat surprising to see two AFL teams make the top ten for follower growth. At number seven is the Essendon Football Club picking-up 24,000 to add to its combined 575,000 total. While the eighth placed Adelaide Crows is another to figure highly with an 18,000 boost to its count (458,000).

Women’s leagues are where all the action is

Across the board the various women’s leagues have posted the strongest social media follower count growth early in 2017. Best of the bunch is Super Netball with stellar average first quarter growth across all its teams of 27%. Amongst the established squads the leader was the West Coast Fever at close to 11% (4,000) ranging down to a solid performance of over 4% by the Vixens whose growth rate is somewhat skewed by virtue of already having the largest footprint of all teams at over 100,000.

Looking to the football field the W-League women’s teams also performed well with a growth rate of 11% as they collectively added 3,000 to their combined follower total.

New Super Netball teams top growth tables

The three new Super Netball teams delivered the highest growth figures in the first quarter of 2017 across all teams monitored. The Sunshine Coast Lightening had a combined social media footprint increase of 9,500 to post a growth rate of 66%. Not far behind were their New South Wales counterparts the Giants with a 61% increase in followers equating to 8,700. Completing the top three are the Magpies with a bump of more than 12,000 (54% increase) new fans.

On percentage alone the most impressive statistic is that nine of the top ten fastest growing national teams are from women’s leagues with the only outlier being the Brisbane Bandits ABL team (19% increase).

NRL and AFL in the mix despite off-season

Looking at the various nationally franchised teams as blocks the BBL wins hands down adding 217,000 new followers to its already impressive tally of 5.25 million. This is even more impressive if you consider the mismatch in the number of teams between the BBL (8), NRL (16) and AFL (18).

Taking this into account the NRL and AFL still posted solid growth numbers of 165,000 and 155,000 respectively. What will be interesting to see going forward is if and how these growth rates shift as cricket winds down and the winter codes kick into gear.


  • For period 1st January to 1st April, 2017
  • Shunt 50Mil Project tracks 100 teams from; ABL, AFL, A-League, AOC, BBL, Cricket, FFA, Hockey, NBL, Netball, NRL, NRL State of Origin, Super Netball, Super Rugby, W-League, W-BBL, W-NBL
  • Combined Facebook, Twitter and Instagram account likes/following
  • Does not include V8 Supercar teams (from Q2, 2017)
  • NBL includes Australian based teams only (excludes NZ Breakers)
  • Super Rugby includes Australian based teams only (five)
  • Includes men’s and women’s national cricket teams
  • Includes Queensland (Maroons) and NSW (Blues) NRL State of Origin teams
  • 50Mil is currently monitoring three W-League teams with a standalone social presence from nine competing teams
  • 50 Mil is currently monitoring five WNBL teams with a standalone social media presence from eight competing teams


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