The list of sporting events that Twitter says generated the most impressions in 2015 includes some surprises.
The year didn't include a men's World Cup, so that eliminated an obvious winner. The Women's World Cup, however, finished third in Twitter's end-of-year rankings. And the Super Bowl? It's way down in eleventh place — but we'll explain why.
First, a note: Twitter defines an "impression" as how many times a tweet is seen online, both on Twitter and off. If a tweet gets embedded in an ESPN.com article, for example, the people who saw that tweet in the article are counted along with those who saw it Twitter proper. (Note: TV audiences are not counted in Twitter's totals.)
As for why the Super Bowl isn't ranked as high as you might think here: It's a huge event in the United States, but lasts for only one afternoon and can't compete with international competitions that take place over the course of weeks. That said, another one-day event fared even better than the Super Bowl this year.
You can find more 2015 retrospectives as seen through the prism of Twitter on the company's year in review site. Now, without further ado, here are the top 15 sports events of 2015 — as ranked by Twitter impressions.
1. Copa America
South America's three-week soccer championship generated 14 billion impressions.
2. March Madness
College basketball's annual spring bonanza drew 9.1 billion impressions over three weeks.
3. Women's Soccer World Cup
The quadrennial, month-long international tournament generated 9 billion impressions.
The annual tennis classic generated 8 billion Impressions over two weeks.
5. NBA Finals
The six-game affair between the Warriors and Cavaliers generated a total of 7.6 billion impressions.
6. Rugby World Cup
It may not have garnered much attention Stateside, but the six-week tournament drew a total of 6.8 billion impressions worldwide.
7. Tour de France
The three-week bicycle race generated 5.3 billion impressions.
8. French Open
The two-week tennis tournament generated 4.1 billion Impressions.
9. U.S. Open
This two-week tennis tournament was only slightly less popular than its French counterpart, generating 3.5 billion impressions.
10. Mayweather vs. Pacquiao
The mega-hyped boxing match outpaced even the Super Bowl on this list, generating 2.7 billion impressions in just a day.
11. Super Bowl XLIX
America's national holiday generated 2.5 billion impressions.
12. World Series (Baseball)
The five-game series between the Royals and Mets generated 1.9 billion impressions.
13. Cricket World Cup
Another event that drew scant attention in the U.S., this international championship generated 1.4 billion impressions worldwide over six weeks.
14. Champions League Final
The crowing moment of European club soccer generated 834 million impressions in one day.
15. El Clasico
November's first match of the season between FC Barcelona and Spanish rival Real Madrid generated 831 million impressions in one day.