The Tiger Effect, 2.0?


ATLAS - Tiger Effect
Kevin Whalen

The Masters kicks off today and by far the biggest story in Augusta Georgia this year is the unlikely comeback of Tiger Woods. He is, by far, the most important person in the sport. How excited are golf fans at the thought of his return? In the last tournament he played a few weeks ago, it had higher TV ratings than three of the four golf “majors” last year.

Thinking about all this, I was reminded of the influence Woods has on the game, and beyond. Way back in 2008, when he was at the top of his game, Woods make an electrifying comeback to win the U.S.Open. So many people were drawn to the event that many of our service provider customers thought they were under a DDoS attack.

Below is a chart we pulled from ATLAS at the time, which we dubbed The Tiger Effect.

ATLAS tiger effect chart


From our blog post, The Tiger Effect, June 16, 2008,

“Starting around 9 am Pacific and peaking at 1:30 pm yesterday, many ISPs noticed an unusual increase in traffic. At first, a few security engineers worried they were under some type of new DDoS attack. But the flood of traffic did not appear directed at any individual customer — the gigabits of anomaly traffic surged to almost all customers from multi-national banks to the bakery down the street and home DSL / Cable users. For several ISPs, traffic into their network grew by 15-25%. In one provider, inbound traffic nearly doubled.

It turns out that the U.S. Open played at Torrey Pines yesterday generated one of the larger Internet-wide flash crowds this year. Traffic dipped and peaked corresponding to Tiger’s initial misses and subsequent spectacular comeback as millions of office bound fans tuned in to the live NBC and ESPN coverage.”

I know where I’ll be on Sunday afternoon, and I’m sure I’ll have lots of company. Will we see the Tiger Effect 2.0? I sure hope so.