iProspect and The Jockey Club approached us with regards to building a social sentiment app for the 2016 Grand National. The idea would be to replicate a ‘Roll-A-Ball Racing’ experience, but instead of being powered by balls going down holes the horses would be powered by tweets that reference their name.
The app works through a realtime connection to the Twitter API that searches for specific terms, in this case the horse names, that allow the animated horses to be propelled along the track by social sentiment in order to see which are most popular pre-race.
Launched at the official Grand National opening event, the app was a big success with over 40,000 tweets that allowed the social conversation spike to exist over a much broader period of time and build anticipation of the Grand National weekend. Throughout this period punters, horse owners and jockeys got involved to power their trusty steads across the screen.