ESPN’s SportsNation Interactive Map Polls and Their Failed Super Bowl Winner Prediction
I’ve been a New Orleans Saints fan my whole life. Also, on the way back from vacation last week we spent part of the day Saturday in Miami, where the Super Bowl was being held the very next day. Needless to say we saw hundreds of die hard football fans, and I was pleasantly surprised to see the Saints fans outnumbered the Colts fans of an estimated ratio of 15:1. Because of this apparent favoritism I was quite surprised to see 58% of SportsNation pulling for the Colts.
For anyone who is a sports fan, ESPN’s daily SportsNation polls hand the voting to the masses. The interesting thing about sports is that every fan has his or her own opinion. Fans are usually quite passionate about these opinions too. The way that winners and losers are picked reside in with the cold hard facts or in the case of sports wins and losses. Of course that is why they play the game, but even then people want to debate their favorite players and teams.
As we now know SportsNation picked this one wrong. A big congratulations to the Saints! All I can say is some of us have been waiting too long for this day to come.
SportsNation utilizes US maps and displays their poll data broken down by state. The only required input for any of their polls is choosing one radio button in a defined list. Voting has never been easier. I’m assuming they are able to break down data by state by using analytics that look at a users’ internet service provider (ISP) to capture location data. With these easy-to-use polls SportsNation is able to run hundreds of polls a year on a variety of sports and get passionate fans to cast their votes. By intelligently applying analytics to the poll SportsNation is able to create the colorful graphs and interactive maps of voting by states.
Although the polls are rarely factual, the interesting survey of informed fans provides unique insight into who thinks what. It is able to display this data in interesting ways by combining the behind the scenes data that is also collected. The overall presentation is smart and engaging.
With interesting tools like ESPN’s SportsNation polling solution there are all sorts of interesting data and interactive map displays that you can create. What really makes this one interesting is not only the very opinionated nature of sports fans, but the advanced analytics that allows the system to collect more data than the user has to provide.
What sort of interesting interactive maps and data would you create with a tool like this?