In case you missed the big news last week, in addition to our brand new website and the 52-week rolling system in the AFP World Rankings, we're extremely excited to announce the launch of the AFP Social Rankings.
The AFP Social Rankings uses a a proprietary indexing system that calculates an athlete's Twitter, Instagram and Facebook usage and engagement to determine their social rankings, so for comparison's sake, think Klout score…but for skiing!
These rankings, in addition to being fun and allowing for friendly rivalries to ensue between competitive athletes, will act as an incredibly useful tool for both sponsors and athletes alike. Since social media has become a large part of the information-based world we all now live in, an athlete and their sponsors knowing how broad of an online reach they have is a valuable marketing asset, which is precisely why we at the AFP wanted to be the first in skiing to showcase it.
So to kick it all off, let's take a look at who's on top, along with how they got there…
In 1st place (although as you'll likely notice, it says 4th, due to the fact that Hookit's system encompasses all skiers from all disciplines (including racing, moguls, etc) whether they're AFP members or not…so stay tuned for a freeski-only subsection) is the one and only Tom Wallisch. Why is he in 1st? Well if you know even a little bit about Tom, then it should make sense, as with 123,311 Facebook fans, 30,711 followers on Twitter and 49,227 on Instagram (all of which he regularly receives hundreds to thousands of likes on each and every time he posts a piece of content) and the online buzz his short film The Wallisch Project has received, along with his participation in the recent unveiling of the US Freeskiing Olympic uniforms, it's no surprise to see one of the most prominent faces of our sport at the top of the AFP Social Rankings.
Just behind Wallisch in 2nd is the incredibly talented Bobby Brown, who with 53,139 Facebook fans and 28,155 and 35,012 followers on Twitter and Instagram respectively has always be a big fish in skiing's social media pond. Bobby without question racked up a heaping helping of likes, shares and comments following the release of his jaw-dropping footage from Red Bull Megaslope, and if you combine that with the legions of young ladies who regularly proclaim their online love for his million dollar smile, much like his jumbo-sized bag of tricks, you've got a winning combination.
In 3rd is the incomparable and legendary Simon Dumont, who's recent short film, A Decade of Freeskiing Progression, turned many a heads (53,614 and counting to be precise), as did his entry in the Toyota Dream Build Challenge, and when you add that to his 91,529 Facebook fans and 21,288 followers on Twitter and 13,820 on Instagram, expect to see The Dumont continue to be a force to be reckoned with on the AFP Social Rankings, particularly as his full steam ahead charge to the Olympics continues.
Just off the invisible podium in 4th is Gus Kenworthy, who may very well be the most prolific Instagram user in all of skiing (with 18,530 followers and counting, alongside 20,604 on Facebook and 10,642 on Twitter). Gus is also a finalist in Freeskier's highly popular Skier of the Year online contest, which has undoubtedly helped him land near the recent top of the pile.
Rounding out the top 5 is Henrik Harlaut, who recently released a film titled Let It Flow with his partner in crime Phil 'B-Dog' Casabon and regularly clocks in close to 100,000 views on his and Phil's extremely popular video series, The B&E Show. Henrik is one of the online community's favorite skiers, and it shows in his numbers (37,632 on Facebook, 9,635 on Twitter and 28,000 on Instagram), so don't be surprised to see E-Dollo too far outside of the top 5 or 3 throughout this winter and beyond.
To view the rest of the current AFP Social Rankings, click here, and stay tuned for another update in a few weeks to how they've fluctuated and why.