Following the yellow jersey (2013)

Full title: ‘Following the yellow jersey: Tweeting the Tour de France’.

Chapter for: Twitter and Society, eds. Katrin Weller, Axel Bruns, Jean Burgess, Merja Mahrt, & Cornelius Puschmann. Published by Peter Lang.


Sporting events feature among the most popular topics covered on Twitter, both in terms of volume and frequency of updates (Twitter, 2010, 2011), with spectators using social media as a backchannel to post their own commentary while watching live events. Participating in these sports-oriented discussions is not limited to the audience, though—athletes and broadcasters are also active on social media, providing additional comments and perspectives before, after, and even while competing. This chapter looks at the 2012 Tour de France cycling race and its coverage on Twitter (as both sporting and media events) during the three weeks of competition between 30 June and 22 July 2012. Watched by millions of spectators around the world as well as along the streets of France, the Tour is also covered extensively online, and social media such as Twitter can potentially foster the development of a global, participatory audience simultaneously following the race.


Citation: Highfield, T. (2013) ‘Following the yellow jersey: Tweeting the Tour de France’. In K. Weller, A. Bruns, J. Burgess, M. Mahrt, & C. Puschmann (Eds.), Twitter and Society. Peter Lang, pp. 249-261.