Marketing and Sponsorship

SBJ Atlas: USA, Europe battle on social as Ryder Cup tees off

By Michael Cupello

After a one-year hiatus due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the Ryder Cup teed off Friday morning, with a total value of $35,683 generated on Instagram and Twitter from the official roster announcement posts by the U.S. and European team accounts earlier this month. Before the action began, the teams had been competing on social media in a variety of metrics. Ryder Cup Europe leads in follower count across Instagram and Twitter with 590,675, around 90,000 more than their counterpart. Despite this deficit, the U.S. managed to generate more engagements on their roster post than their more followed opponent.  

Post Social Value Impressions Engagements Eng. Rate Follower Int. Rate
Team USA Twitter $9,464 360,463 5,285 1.47% 1.95%
Team USA IG $5,734 177,767 16,648 9.37% 6.09%
Total $15,198 538230 21933 5.42% 4.02%
Team Europe Twitter $16,649 643,521 9,253 1.44% 3.28%
Team Europe Team IG $3,836 113,962 11,287 9.90% 3.66%
Total $20,485 757483 20540 5.67% 3.47%
Download the
Ryder Cup team roster post
Organization IG Followers Twitter Followers Combined
Ryder Cup USA 237,318 271,097 508,415
Ryder Cup Europe 308,652 282,023 590,675
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Ryder Cup team socials overall

FOLLOWER COUNT: With each team fielding 12 golfers, a tally of their combined social followers revealed almost a two-to-one advantage on Twitter for European Ryder Cup members who, led by Rory McIlroy (3.2 million), are followed by more than 8.3 million fans. The U.S., however, remained in control on Instagram with over 7 million followers, nearly 2.1 million more than their rivals. Four Americans -- Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka -- own accounts with more than 1 million followers, while McIlroy represents the lone European over that mark. Nonetheless, the total tally across both platforms gave the edge to Europe, 13,493,914 followers to 11,679,886. 

USA IG Followers Twitter Followers Rookie
Dustin Johnson 1,210,798 866,036 no
Collin Morikawa 358,205 99,162 yes
Patrick Cantlay 78,369 21,507 yes
Xander Schauffele 226,084 96,585 yes
Justin Thomas 1,227,806 449,387 no
Bryson DeChambeau 738,588 273,143 no
Tony Finau 412,811 168,038 no
Brooks Koepka 1,054,817 517,777 no
Harris English 26,273 52,765 yes
Jordan Spieth 1,630,683 2,011,661 no
Daniel Berger 88,715 57,743 yes
Scottie Scheffler 12,933 N/A yes
Total 7,066,082 4,613,804 6
Europe IG Followers Twitter Followers Rookie
Jon Rahm 410,993 192,230 no
Rory McIlroy 2,218,418 3,176,810 no
Tommy Fleetwood 355,098 241,230 no
Viktor Hovland 234,752 4,680 yes
Paul Casey 170,178 193,769 no
Lee Westwood 306,391 935,354 no
Bernd Wiesberger 30,425 21,820 yes
Matt Fitzpatrick 97,790 91,750 no
Tyrrell Hatton 112,334 102,149 no
Ian Poulter 559,261 2,250,781 no
Shane Lowry 208,652 217,480 yes
Sergio Garcia 427,600 933,969 0
Total 5,131,892 8,362,022 3
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Ryder Cup players social

BRAND PLAY: Twelve companies are listed as official partners for the Ryder Cup, with a total of five sponsors marketing both the event and a player or players competing in it. Aon, BMW and Rolex all endorse several golfers. Rolex leads the charge with seven of their golfers competing -- four Americans and three Europeans. UPS, endorsing Lee Westwood, and RBC (Dustin Johnson) represent the two Ryder Cup partners sponsoring one athlete in the contest. However, per Ryder Cup rules, players do not wear individual sponsor marks on their team uniforms.

To see further metrics on social media and sponsorship for professional golf and other major sports, visit SBJ Atlas.

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