How will the Nick Riewoldt controversy play out?

This entry was posted by Laura on Monday, 20 December, 2010 at

How will the Nick Riewoldt controversy play out? Will the latest footy code penis scandal adversely affect his club?

My prediction is no. This won’t hurt the St. Kilda Saints. I’ve watched and documented three major sport controversies play out: Joel Monaghan’s Mad Monday and the Online Canberra Raiders Fan Base, The Impact of Jason Akermanis’s Comments on the Western Bulldogs’s Online Fanbase , and Online Activity in the Wake of the Melbourne Storm Controversy . In the case of Akermanis and Monaghan, there was increased interest in the club compared to other teams in their leagues during the same period… and there was increased interest in the player. Interest in the player was generally greater by at least a factor of two than interest in the club.

Nick Riewoldt will be hit by a lot of increased attention. A lot of this will be really, really, really bad. I wouldn’t want to be in his shoes at all. The media will probably be the worst. They’ll continue to milk the story as much as they can in order to sell newspapers. People will pay attention because who doesn’t love to naval gaze at someone else’s problems? Monaghan and Akermanis didn’t hurt their club’s fanbase online. Riewoldt likely won’t either.

If Riewoldt does hurt something, it could be the AFL and their goal of expanding into geographic areas that have not been traditional homes to the game, and that’s only if those areas are predisposed to view the AFL disfavorably like Victorians are regarding the NRL.

Could I be wrong? Yeah, you betcha. Every controversy plays out a bit differently depending on individual variables. Riewoldt’s a bigger star than Monaghan. He doesn’t have a reputation for saying offensive things and being a bad team mate like Akermanis was. Give me a couple of week, I’ll collect the data and see if my hypothesis right. (And yeah, it might be a bit more interesting if it was wrong.)

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