A longitudinal analysis on Instagram characteristics of Olympic champions

Amirhosein Bodaghi, Jonice Oliveira

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

6 Citations (Scopus)


This study examines Olympic champions’ characteristics on Instagram to first understand how age and gender affect the characteristics and their interrelations and second to see if the future changes in those characteristics are predictable. We crawled Instagram data of individual gold medalists in the Rio2016 Olympics for four months and utilized a content analytic method to analyze their photograph posts. The cross-sectional analysis shows that as the champions age, the follower engagement rate decreases in both genders. However, men increase their pure self-presentation posts while women extend their circle of followings. In its approval, the longitudinal analysis shows that when a higher engagement rate is achieved, men and women champions lose their tendency to increase self-presenting posts and the number of followings, respectively. In the light of relative theories and the previous literature, these findings contribute to a better understanding of athletes’ cyber behavior in social media. Moreover, the findings serve as a guide for sport researchers seeking to grasp the ways that aid athletes to better interact with their followers and build the personal brand, which involves sponsorship and other promotional opportunities.
Original languageEnglish
JournalSocial Network Analysis and Mining
Issue number3
Early online date13 Nov 2021
Publication statusPublished online - 13 Nov 2021


  • Instagram
  • User engagement
  • Olympics
  • Gold medalists
  • Social network analysis
  • Data mining


Dive into the research topics of 'A longitudinal analysis on Instagram characteristics of Olympic champions'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this