The No. 2 Most-Buzzed-About Olympic Athlete? Michael Phelps. And No.1 Is...

Bluefin Labs Tracks Pre-Games Social-Media Chatter

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Today, of course, the Games of the XXX Olympiad -- more commonly known as the 2012 Summer Olympics -- kick off in London. Our editorial partner Bluefin Labs, the Cambridge-Mass.-based social-TV analytics company, has been tracking buzz related to the sports spectacular in preparation for what's likely to become the biggest event in social-media history when all is said and done. Scroll down below the graphic for some notes and context.

  • For a seven-week pre-games period (June 1 to July 20), Bluefin Labs tracked more than 10.4 million social-media comments about the Olympics -- including not only those with explicit uses of the words "Olympic" and "Olympics," but related terms as well. Sample tweets: "I cant wait for the Olympics. I enjoy pretty much every sport thats in it" and "Usually not a Lebron fan, but I gotta support Team #USA. #NewDreamTeam #GoldMedal."
  • In the pre-games period tracked, the conversation about the Olympics has skewed marginally male: 55% vs. 45% female.
  • According to Bluefin's Mike Guigli, "The largest spike in comments occurred on July 12, when USA handily defeated the Dominican Republic 113-59 in an exhibition basketball game. On that day, there were nearly 700,000 Olympics-related social-media comments. And the second largest spike, on July 16, was primarily driven by conversation about Team USA's win over Brazil."
  • The Top Five most buzzed-about athletes before the games includes two Jamaican sprinters, two American swimmers, and one American sprinter. It's worth noting that the No. 1 most-mentioned athlete seems to be getting a boost thanks to his appearance in a spot for a certain energy drink. Sample tweets: "Usain Bolt the only reason to watch the Olympics! #londoncalling" and "Usain bolt's Gatorade commercial fires me up can't wait to watch the Olympics."
  • Stay tuned to for more data from Bluefin Labs. For more about Bluefin, visit its website.

    Simon Dumenco is the "Media Guy" media columnist for Advertising Age. Follow him on Twitter @simondumenco.

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